The legalization of marijuana is spreading throughout the United States under unique conditions. In spite of the war on drugs, there has been an increasing amount of support for the legalization of cannabis in the United States. Supporters of legalization fight hard and make excellent points, and as a result, more people in the U.S. have legal access to the substance. There is a catch though, and there are reasons involved that many people may not have even thought of. In the states of Texas and Alabama, support for the distribution of marijuana oils under specific conditions is strong. In other states such as New York, refreshing arguments are being brought into the spotlight. Rural residents are thrilled at the idea of growing marijuana farms, because these farms will preserve rural characteristics and keep areas from suburbanizing.
Texas governor Greg Abbott is known to hold conservative views, but he has signed a bill to legalize low doses of cannabis oil. The oil is for use strictly for epilepsy patients. Otherwise, Abbott has confirmed that marijuana will not be legalized for medicinal or recreational uses as long as he is in office. Still, supporters of legalization see the move as a way of Texas getting its foot in the door on the path to legalizing more forms of the drug.
In Alabama, State Representative Pam DeLissio received a unanimous vote in a town council meeting in support of legalizing medical marijuana. DeLissio discussed Senate Bill 3, which defines medical cannabis as plants that contain THC, cannabinol, delta-9-THC acid, and any part of the cannabis plant or oil that is extracted for medicinal purposes. The bill also discusses pills, gels, liquids, oils, and other substances that can serve as the vessel through which cannabis can be medically utilized. The substance cannot be smoked though. The bill passed through the Senate rather quickly, and DeLissio hopes that it can get through the House.
DeLissio herself, who is on the agricultural committee supports the permission of farmers to grow hemp. Constituents at the town hall meeting agreed that hemp is a useful plant when it comes to producing products such as paper and rope. The contribution that hemp could provide to the nation’s industry is just another unique reason that supporters of legalization have under their belt.
When Eric Holling approached Wallkill resident Don Crawford and announced his plan to grow marijuana next to Crawford’s land, Crawford was thrilled. Wallkill, New York holds about 30,000 residents who value the features of their rural land. The idea of the suburbs spreading into Wallkill does not make its residents happy. If Holling manages to obtain one of the five licenses to grow and distribute cannabis in New York, than he can manage to maintain an industry, provide jobs and preserve the open space in Wallkill. “Its better than a bunch of houses” said Crawford. Not only has a refreshing new argument for the legalization of marijuana been made, but an interesting phenomenon has to be noted here. Residents of rural areas now have a reason of their own to support the legalization of marijuana because the industry will preserve their land. In many cases, when an industry thrives, urbanization and suburbanized housing follows that industry. But because marijuana has to be grown, the industry can actually prevent the suburbanization areas like Wallkill.
Although marijuana developed a negative reputation in the 20th century, the benefits of legalizing it have been brought under the spotlight in the twenty-first century. The debate between legalizing the substance and keeping it outlawed has been ongoing with the same arguments being repeated. The arguments made in favor of legalizing marijuana are that the economy will benefit from the market, less people will be criminally penalized if it is legal, and its medical benefits will help sick patients. Slowly, but surely, the populace and lawmakers are becoming more accepting of the idea of legalization, and are finding ways to legalize certain forms of it. Unique and strong arguments are being made in favor of legalization, and in turn, more states in the U.S. have legalized some form of cannabis.
By Tania Dawood
Times- Medical Marijuana Feeds Familiar Hopes of Renewal Around New York State
Montgomery Media- DeLission discusses possibility of legalizing medical marijuana at town hall meeting
KHOU- Abbott sign bill to legalize medical cannabis for epilepsy
Photo Credits: PabloEvan’s Flickr- Creative Commons License