You Win Some You Lose Some
This year we have won some major battles as well as suffered some major losses when it comes to the legalization of cannabis in the United States. Thousands of people who have been relying on their state representatives to legalize the utilization of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, are now left asking what’s next in several states. Some of them are even scratching their heads and wondering WTF just happened? In other states however, people are rejoicing and celebrating success.
Let’s take a look at some of the cannabis legislation wins as well as efforts that have been dismissed or have otherwise unfortunately failed this year.
We Won One
Vermont becomes First State to Legalize through Legislation
While eight states in the United States have successfully legalized retail adult cannabis or what many refer to as recreational cannabis they have done so through what is known as a ballot Initiative. For other states, however, passing laws to reform those surrounding cannabis in the state requires more than a ballot initiative and must be completed through the process of legislation.
That means that someone in the Senate and House must introduce a bill to legalize medical or recreational cannabis and then it must be passed by members in those respective committees before ultimately being signed into law by the Governor.
There are nine states in the United States now that have legalized cannabis for recreational purposes one being Vermont who legalized this January by way of legislation. This made Vermont the very first state in the U.S. to legalize adult use cannabis through legislation.
But We Lost These
While patients and advocates have rejoiced in Vermont, others are mourning the loss of cannabis efforts in their states.
WTF Just Happened in TN
Thousands of Tennesseans that could have benefited from the legalization of medical cannabis in the state went from being extremely ecstatic the end of last year to extremely disappointed just this week. What started in the state as a comprehensive medical cannabis program turned into a gutted decriminalization bill and was ultimately dismissed by its Senate sponsor before a vote could take place.
To read the full story and journey of the medical cannabis oil only bill in the state of Tennessee check out my article here titled WTF Just Happened in Tennessee?
8 Failed Efforts in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, there were eight bills introduced throughout the legislation that pertained to cannabis. At this time every one of them has met their demise and hopes for cannabis legalization in the state are out of reach this year. Here is a summary of 6 of the 8 bills that never were heard or received a vote per an article on cannabadger.com.
- Proposal AB75 – Related to medical use of marijuana, the regulation of marijuana distribution entities, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, making appropriations, and providing a criminal penalty.
- Proposal AJR7 – an advisory referendum on legalization of medical marijuana. The advisory question would have placed the following question on general election ballots, “Medical Marijuana. Should the state of Wisconsin allow individuals with debilitating medical conditions to use and safely access marijuana for medical purposes if those individuals have a written recommendation from a licensed Wisconsin physician?”
- Proposal AB158 – Related to the production and possession of cannabidiol for treatment of a medical condition and providing a penalty.
- Proposal AB409 – Related to the possession of not more than 10 grams of marijuana.
- Proposal AB482 – Related to marijuana possession, regulation of marijuana distribution and cultivation, medical marijuana, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, making appropriations, requiring the exercise of rule-making authority, and providing criminal penalties.
- Proposal AB1005 – Related to prohibiting employers from testing employees and prospective employees for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinols, synthetic cannabinoids, or controlled substance analogs of tetrahydrocannabinols or synthetic cannabinoids as a condition of employment.
There is Still Hope
For some other states, however, there is still hope when it comes to seeing a change in the laws pertaining to cannabis. States that are still hopeful to see a change yet this year include but are not limited to Michigan (retail/recreational), Delaware (retail/recreational), Rhode Island (retail/recreational), Connecticut (retail/recreational), Ohio (retail/recreational), Oklahoma (medical) and Kentucky (medical).