Nowadays one of the reasons why people remember the sixties is by the development of pre-marijuana movements and organizations. The usage of drugs was one of the “symbols” of those turbulent years. Among them, marijuana became the most consumed drug of the generation. Because of this, medical marijuana laws are ramping up.
Now, the youngsters of those years are around 60 years old; they belong to the so-called “baby boomer” generation. “Baby boomers” were born between 1946 and 1964, a generation that uses drugs more frequently as they age, unlike their predecessors. In fact, US organizations estimate that marijuana use will triple among people over the age of 50. Moreover, these organizations expect the consumption to multiply by such amounts between 1999/2001 and 2020.
THC and CBD in Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is a plant that has more than 500 chemical substances in its leaves and inflorescences. Of which tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) is the most important. THC is the compound responsible for behavioral changes. These occur after consumption. It can be consumed by oral intake or by smoking it. At the same time, CBD is a substance with powerful anti-epileptic effects.
It’s vital to clarify a few points about the recent debates around the use of marijuana for medical purposes. They mainly contemplate the cultivation, processing, and distribution of these two different types of substances.
Both THC and CBD act through a system that works together with the brain. This is a determinant for our body, and it is called the endocannabinoid system. It regulates essential functions such as memory, mood, and brain reward systems. In addition to drug addiction and metabolic processes. Among them is the destruction of fat, glucose metabolism, and energy balance.
History Of Medical Marijuana
Marijuana is a plant with psychoactive properties. Various human populations have produced, exchanged, and consumed it for thousands of years. Having originated in Asia, different varieties of cannabis have spread throughout the world. They have been put to different uses: religious, medicinal, festive, artistic, and intellectual. It has also been put to use for the manufacture of various articles.
There is archaeological evidence that the first hemp crops date back some 10,000 years, presumably for the manufacture of fabrics. The first specific references to cannabis correspond to the Chinese emperor Shen Nung (2,730 BC). Who recommended it to treat various conditions.
In Western antiquity, marijuana was an essential ingredient in Greek medicine. In addition, it also occupies an important place in the social life of the Romans, Scythians, and Celts. Cannabis derivatives also played an important role in Muslim population both for medicinal and spiritual uses. It was also used in the ancient Egyptian kingdom, according to evidence. There is also evidence of its use in various African tribes.
However, since the Renaissance, the use of this plant has been the object of progressive interest. Both for medical and practical purposes. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Different parts of hemp, especially its fibers, were the source for the manufacture of various products. Among them are paper, ropes, nets, oils, dyes, soap, fabrics, and others. Its leaves and seeds have been used as animal feed. Until the end of the 18th century, hemp cultivation was widespread and widely consumed.
Medical Uses of Marijuana
Cannabis contains around 80 chemical components known as cannabinoids. They are used for different pathologies beyond refractory epilepsy. Furthermore, like any drug, it can present side effects. One of its most popular forms is cannabis oil. This is derived from the marijuana plant with high content of cannabidiol and a low proportion of THC. This is the substance that causes addiction. They can have adverse effects, just like any other medicine, still under investigation. Here is a list of the pathologies it can fight
- Refractory epilepsy. It is used to reduce the number of seizures.
- Chronic pain. It is used to alleviate it. This encompasses a variety of chronic pain conditions, including that caused by nerve injuries.
- It is used to control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy. It is also used to make patients feel like eating.
- HIV/AIDS. It helps to stimulate the appetite when the person does not eat enough food and loses weight.
Other studies suggest that it can fight (to a lesser extent):
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Glaucoma (because it lowers eye pressure)
Medical Marijuana Laws
What about Medical cannabis in the United States? While it is true that there is much in the US medical, legal framework that is not enough. Several markets demonstrated the potential that marijuana has for patients, business owners, and state revenues alike. Pennsylvania has been considered one of the most successful medical markets to date. With over 116,000 patients registered in 2018, its first year.
The lucrative marketplace now has some lawmakers lobbying. They are pushing for adult-use laws. Florida is another medical market that is on the rise. In particular, this is because the state eventually allowed smokable cannabis flowers. The expanded list of consumption options has been a favorite among dispensaries constituting up to 50% of the products sold at specific locations.
At the same time, some predicted that Florida might pass adult-use laws in the wake of the success of the medical market. But the efforts stalled and will remain so until 2022. As you see, there are some states with medical marijuana laws. There will be a lot more because of the federal legalization bill.
Likewise, marijuana approval has been increasingly on the rise. According to an October Gallup poll in the United States, 64% of Americans approve of medical marijuana legalization. Both for recreational and medicinal purposes.
Legalization By State
Medical marijuana can currently be used in 22 of 50 states. Little by little more states in the United States (US) are putting on the so-called green shirt. The legalization of marijuana in California for cultivation, consumption, and commercialization only for recreational purposes helped.
There are already states that are in a similar situation, although with some nuances. California legalized marijuana, and, in addition to the other states, there are 22 states in which the use of medical marijuana is allowed. Patient registries are common in states where medicinal marijuana is legal.
Of course, patients whose physicians recommend medical are exempt from criminal prosecution in states that have passed medical marijuana laws.
The states where medical marijuana laws have been approved are:
- Florida (It is illegal to share your medical marijuana with another patient)
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Other states, like Texas, are in the fight. Despite the fact that about 85% of Texans believe marijuana should be legal, both medically and recreationally, lawmakers have chosen to move slowly.
Legalized Recreational Pot
US marijuana laws can get a little tricky. What are the most important US states where marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational purposes?
- Alaska: At the beginning of 2015, legalization was approved in Alaska. Thus, adults over 21 could recreate with the plant and carry 28 grams.
- California: On January 1, marijuana cultivation, consumption and commercialization became legal.
- Colorado: Along with Washington, Colorado was among the first states to legalize recreational marijuana since 2012.
- Maine: A legislative initiative gave locals the right to possess up to 70 grams.
- Massachusetts: In 2016 the state allowed the possession and use of 28 grams of marijuana. The state also legalized the cultivation of up to 12 plants in each home.
- Nevada: Locals and tourists over 21 can buy 28 grams of marijuana or 3.5 grams of edibles or concentrates.
- Oregon: Since 2015, locals can have possession of 28 grams and grow up to 4 plants.
- Washington: Locals may possess 28 grams of marijuana, but they must do so for medicinal purposes if they want to grow it.
- Washington DC: In November 2014, locals in the US capital voted to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.
Advantages Of Medical Marijuana Laws
The debates about legalization bring many things to analyze. Here is a summary of the benefits that legalization could bring:
- It ends the illegal market and reduces corruption and violence.
- Reduces the profit margin and operations of organized crime.
- It reduces the expenses destined for the fight against drug trafficking.
- Governments take control of the market and establish norms and rules for the activity.
Side Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws
Drug use is a public health problem. Micro-trafficking and trafficking are public safety problems. This differentiation is fundamental, and in policy, it is necessary to try to reconcile public health with public safety. The drug phenomenon is very complex and not as black and white as people see it. It affects the health of consumers and family relationships. It facilitates crime and hurts the perception of security.
Moreover, according to experts, it deteriorates the quality of life in neighborhoods and cities. Legalizing marijuana generates a dilemma among marijuana users. This is mainly represented by young people from middle- and high-income families.
For those for whom marijuana does not generate a social threat. Under those circumstance, it is not a path to delinquency or a source of destabilization of their studies or future family. Nor does it put their health and well-being at risk. As a result, they resent that justice interferes in their consumption and restricts recreational use, considering it a right.
The Future Of Medical Marijuana Laws
In the US medical marijuana markets, several stories are waiting to be developed. Regardless of the election results. The US appears poised to advance cannabis laws. That said, advancing adult-use laws could see the downfall of medical markets. As the two become one, regardless of patient opinion on the matter.
In general, markets are evolving rapidly. The state markets we know now could look drastically different in the future. This would encourage more and more laws to regulate the use of this component.
There have been two big shifts in people’s perceptions of this one-of-a-kind plant. First, the medicinal properties of marijuana have been rediscovered. People are increasingly resorting to it to cure certain diseases. Secondly, more than a century of prohibitionism has passed.
It has become evident that it has not yielded the expected results. This is in line with the high proportion of people who break the law. This is how medical cannabis is making headway. Recreational cannabis is also doing so at a slower pace.