GOING TO POT

The World is Going to Pot

No literally, the world is going to pot. At least the majority of it and that is fucking awesome if you ask me! Now more than ever we are seeing the tides turn in favor of cannabis and the movement to re-legalize it for medical and retail purposes is hitting countries around the world like a tidal wave. Back in the early 1930s cannabis prohibition was enacted in countries around the world shunning the consumption of a plant that had been part of pharmacopeias around the world for centuries. Since this time, the human race has been in an almost constant downward spiral in regard to our health as a whole. Conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, autism, ADHD, and many others have become more common and almost expected throughout many communities worldwide.

Could it be that these illnesses and diseases are becoming more common simply due to the fact that cannabinoids have been denied to us as a society for several decades? This is exactly what many feel and if you look at the anecdotal and scientific evidence surrounding how cannabis helps many of these conditions it’s almost obvious. As more anecdotal and scientific research is available, we are starting to see countries around the world recognizing that cannabis is medicine and in general is much safer than many of the items that you find in households worldwide. Let’s take a look at a few of the countries around the world that are saying yes to cannabis.

United States

Since California started the trend in 1995, 28 of the 50 states in the United States have recognized the medical benefits of cannabis and have implemented some form of legal access to the plant or products derived from the plant. While some of these states such as California, Colorado, Washington, Michigan and New Mexico have implemented full comprehensive programs that include legal dispensaries which sell a multitude of different products, other states such as Tennessee, South Carolina and Wisconsin have only legalized the use of CBD based products for epilepsy patients with no legal way for patients to gain access to the product. Unfortunately, the federal government doesn’t share the same compassion and cannabis remains highly illegal at the federal level thanks to the Controlled Substances Act.

Canada

Canada actually criminalized cannabis several years before the United States in 1923. In 2001 however, cannabis once again became legal for medicinal purposes under certain regulations. Retail/recreational legalization for adults over the age of 19 is also expected to go into effect within the next 12 months. Medical cannabis dispensaries are found throughout the country; however, they are all operating illegally according to guidelines set forth in the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations which states medical patients must obtain their products through an LP via mail order.

Australia

The land down under is one of the more recent countries to recognize the medical benefits that cannabis has to offer. On August 24, 2016 members of the Australian Parliament passed legislation which legalized medical cannabis under certain restrictions. The measure which allows patients with a doctor’s recommendation for cannabis the ability to purchase cannabis products from authorized distributors took effect just 3 months later in November of 2016. First legal, commercial medicinal cannabis shipment arrived in Australia from Canada just last week which will help to meet the demand of patients whom have until now been waiting weeks and sometimes months for their medicine to arrive as it was shipped on a case by case basis. With this latest shipment arriving, pharmacies will now be able to stock product for immediate purchase by qualified patients.

Germany

Germany is another country that just recently took steps to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. In the beginning of 2017, Germany announced what is considered to be “one of the world’s most progressive medical marijuana plans.” This plan will allow cannabis to be purchased in local pharmacies by qualified patients and public insurers will be picking up the cost of said prescriptions for cannabis products just as they do currently for pharmaceutical prescriptions, under one condition and that is that the cannabis is prescribed specifically for “severe conditions” only. Currently there are approximately 30 conditions in which German government has recognized as qualifying illnesses eligible for medical cannabis including chronic pain, ADD and epilepsy.

Other Countries

These are just a few of the countries around the world that have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Other countries include but are not limited to Argentina, Austria, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Israel, Uruguay, Portugal, Italy and Jamaica. A big applause is due to those who have fought around the world to help show their governments the truth about cannabis and my heart goes out to those who have lost their lives when cannabis could have helped. We will continue to educate the world until every single living being who can benefit from cannabis can access it safely and legally.

Article courtesy of Expert Contributor: AshleyP from CannaLance (CannaLance.com, @CannaLance, @MJWriter87)

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