With over 20 states issuing laws to legalize (in some way) marijuana, America is still not convinced that the projected $6 billion industry is worth legalizing across the nation. Twenty-one states now allow medical marijuana to be sold in small doses to those carrying a medical card, while only four states have made it legal for both medical and recreational use. However, with marijuana said to make millions, why is America not yet convinced it is worth legalization?
It has been a long (almost comical) battle that the poor hemp leaf has had to endure. From the hippies of the 70s to the stoners of the 90s, and now to the entrepreneurs of the millennium, marijuana remains one of the most controversial plants known to man. Staffingpreneurs Academy has come forth to offer an online course for those who are looking to start their own cannabis company. With materials and all, the academy looks to help entrepreneurs who want a piece of the hemp-baked brownie lining their bank accounts.
Many people are on the fence about marijuana, and the debate has gone on for centuries. While some advocate harshly for the drug, others say that its use in recreation is what gives the plant a bad reputation. With songs having been written about it, recording artists so luxuriously flaunting it, and millions of blue-collar and white-collar workers alike sneaking away to use it, recreational users cannot seem to find the issue that America has.
Riick Bossman, a user (both for recreation and medicinal purposes) and distributor himself, says that the hemp leaf (if allowed) can help many people with a myriad of health issues, including mental, emotional, and physical ailments. The young 28-year-old has said that marijuana has in the past helped his own medical issues, and has relieved pain that he feels modern medicine only made worse. Jesse Janedy, an online personality, comedian, and local celebrity, says that marijuana has many stigmas that cause America to be hesitant in legalizing the plant. When asked why he thought America has so much trouble with making marijuana legal, Janedy said, “A lot of negative stigmas, claiming it’s the gateway drug which personally I believe alcohol is…paranoia of not knowing how to control/pull yourself together but at large I just feel they [American government] can’t really stop people from growing it if it was legalized. It’s like the music industry, why buy it when you can download it for free?” Even with millions of users who claim the advantages of marijuana and are making millions, America has yet to be convinced.
Although marijuana in connected to a lot of negativity, the plant itself has shown to be very useful in centuries past. DEA Museum shares on their site that cannabis was used as one of the first fiber plants for things such as rope, clothing, and even paper prior to the use of cotton. Medical professionals, however, say that although marijuana does have medicinal purposes, the potential for abuse is what causes America (and the medical community) such great pause on legalizing the plant nationwide. Doctors say that there is the issue of impaired abilities of cognition. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in cannabis, can be used to help prevent vomiting and/or nausea. However, without the proper dosage, THC can also contribute to short-term memory loss, a disability to learn, and perception distortion, as well as increase the heart rate.
Jackie Rae, an actress and online sports commentator, says, “If you make it legal, you lose the ability to convict people for non-violent drug crimes, which takes money away from those who run the prison system.” Rae’s statement on how legalizing marijuana is purely a government tug-o-war over money is further collaborated by crafts maker and military wife Heather Staley, who says, “Before the campaign against marijuana in the 20s & 30s, marijuana was more commonly called hemp. Hemp was a threat. And for the billion dollar industry of cotton, that was a problem. What better way to snuff out the competition than to change the name and create propaganda such as ‘Reefer Madness’ to convince the masses that hemp should be illegal?”
Whether or not marijuana poses a threat to Americans or simply to the American government’s pocketbook, it is sure to be a continuous debate. However, entrepreneurs who advocate for the leaf and its many uses simply vie for a way to make honest money helping those who, they say, need their services. California is among the 21 states that have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes only. Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska are the only states, however, that have legalized the plant for both medicinal and recreational uses. With the potential for marijuana to make millions (even billions), America is still not convinced that it is worth legalization.
Many agree that if it were to be legalized, it could offset the economic balance that currently plagues the lower and middle classes while financially serving the upper echelon. This, many believe, is the primary reason that America chooses to press its thumb down hard on allowing marijuana any more legal room than it has already gained. It is truly unknown as to why a Godly creation of foliage can cause such controversy for centuries (possibly millennia). However, many stand hard on the fact that the reason why America is so pressed to legalize this particular plant nationwide is because, according to hairstylist Seante Harden, the plant is “green-gold”. This opinion, which is held by many supporters, is what seems to make it a monetary threat to old Uncle Sam, the keeper of all things green.
Opinion by Danyol Jaye
Edited by Chanel van der Woodsen
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Staffingpreneurs Academy: Become A Cannabis Staffingpreneur
DEA Museum: Cannabis, Coca, & Poppy: Nature’s Addictive Plants
Feature Photo Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Photo Courtesy of David Trawin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License