We are all in charge of ourselves. We make our own choices, we walk our own path. That said, sometimes, the laws of the land preclude us from taking care of ourselves. Cannabis laws in many states do not allow us to take care of ourselves, because the laws they have in place keep us from this very powerful medicinal plant.
I live in MA and when I am in my home state, I am a legal cannabis user. I cook it into my food three times a day, and smoke it on the average two times a day. I obtain cannabis from my legal caregiver, and it is marked for THC and CBD content. I know exactly what I am using, and what works for the different ailments that I have. The price of it is far less than what is charged in non-legal states
I recently traveled to Arkansas, where cannabis is illegal. Yes, I recently learned, that Arkansas has some of the most prohibitive and confining marijuana laws in the nation. In fact, the Government in Arkansas has not budged about making any change its laws regarding cannabis use. In fact, according to the Marijuana Policy Project: “Possessing under four ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor carrying up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Possessing an ounce of marijuana or more by those who have twice been convicted of possession is a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000”. Many other states are moving toward legalization, and there are a number of people working on this in Arkansas as well. The Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act folks in that state work diligently every day to bring forward legal medical marijuana. But the state has just not moved forward, at least not yet.
I am very pleased to see that legalization is occurring in a number of states. That said, I have been asking myself some burning questions more recently. What if anyone could grow their own cannabis? With all of the positive effects on the body that cannabis provides, who wouldn’t benefit from it? Will making it legal for medicinal purposes allow everyone who could benefit from it to have access to it? These questions arose after the Heart and Soul radio show I did in RI, with RI Governor candidate, Anne Armstrong. When she explained the history of hemp and cannabis in this country, and why prohibition started, it deeply effected me. Then, Ms. Armstrong filed a law suit against her state of RI to end prohibition of cannabis. She opened my eyes even further with this. I began to wonder, is it really legalization that I want, or is it the lifting of prohibition?
If we lift prohibition of cannabis, many of the issues surrounding it will simply go away. Illegal cannabis users who are otherwise law-abiding citizens, will become law-abiding citizens again. The crime that surrounds it will disappear. The price and quality can be regulated just like with alcohol. It is my hope that people will be able to grow their own cannabis like in the legal states presently. But if they choose not to grow, and it is legal to obtain, they can obtain their cannabis knowing exactly what they are getting. They can do this with confidence and safety.
I began to really think deeply about this. If Ms. Armstrong can file against her state, can’t we all? I believe that the lifting of prohibition has to be state by state. The reason, is that at the present time, I do not see the Federal Government lifting prohibition. I am not suggesting giving up on that by any means. But we must start and be diligent about it state by state to begin to affect change. That is how we have been able to make headway with legalization. And if the Federal government were to repeal prohibition, it would still be up to the states to decide how to regulate it. We may as well start at the state level where it is going to end up anyway.
We all want to be fully in charge of ourselves and our choices. This is no different. Tell your state to repeal cannabis prohibition. All of our voices and actions together can create change.
Wendy Love Edge