Representing the cannabis industry is always a challenge as I always say to my colleagues at AskGrowers. I’ve been researching this question for quite some time and here’s what I found.
According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), more than 147 million people all over the world use marijuana for recreational or any other purpose.
Politics and Cannabis
It’s difficult to put the finger on what made the weed usage turn from a taboo to an openly discussed topic, however, it’s clear that international governments are nowadays less strict when it comes to the use of marijuana and its potential legalization.
The United States and Canada have been the pioneers of effort to bring cannabis back to where it was a century ago, along with Australia, Brazil, and a series of European countries that allow its use for medicinal purposes or a partially restricted recreational consumption.
There are practical and economic reasons that make legalization a sensible step for every country in the world. Larger tax revenues, lesser law enforcement costs, and higher employment rates are indicators reported in countries where weed and its products have become legal.
Even during the global lockdown, online dispensaries help struggling economies maintain a healthy balance.
Is the new generation of politicians smarter than their seniors or have we lived to see potheads running the world?
The 44th US president Barack Obama has openly admitted that he was a frequent user of marijuana for recreational purposes.
One might think that the president that doesn’t hide his past affection for weed would be open-minded and pragmatic when it comes to legalizing the herb, however, this was not the case with mister Obama.
His opinion was that allowing people to grow, sell, and use weed in legally controlled boundaries would not help the economy.
At the same time, a young and progressive Canadian politician who admitted to having tried pot a few times in his life argued that legalizing weed would help the economy, reduce the crime rate, and help people with medical conditions.
This young politician became the Canadian Prime Minister and eventually made marijuana and its products legal all over the country.
According to most recent statistics, Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau was right with his predictions as online and physical weed shops reported a near billion-dollar revenue during the first year after the legalization.
The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is just one of many past and present British politicians that have admitted having used cannabis for recreational purposes.
Mr. Johnson was not open for legalization up until the start of 2020 when he took a sudden U-turn and changed his view on the decriminalization of marijuana and its legal medicinal use.
The Future of Legalization
With British pharmaceutical companies showing great progress with the use of CBD oil for child epilepsy treatment and the growing public voice for legalization, it appears that the British PM has a chance to improve his political foothold by showing a much more lenient stance on marijuana usage.
Also, the current economic struggles could be faced with the introduction of a marijuana legalization act since COVID-19 global lockdown is forcing a series of UK businesses to shut down, temporarily and permanently.
What’s interesting about the position of marijuana in the UK is that GW Pharmaceutical is a British company that first started exporting its CBD to the USA market, while kids in the United Kingdom can’t get the same therapy legally through NHS.
As for the United States, people in New York, Florida, Ohio, and Missouri will have to wait for full legalization of weed. The reason why these four states will have to wait until the next year for legalized adult use of marijuana is mainly the lack of time to verify the signatures needed for the poll.
In New York, however, the legislative barriers are placing a holt on the legalization discussion for the time being.
When it comes to Europe, most EU countries have legalized medicinal use of cannabis, nevertheless, it appears that the politicians of the Old Continent are still not interested in pushing the envelope and fully legalize weed for adult use.
The only exception is the Netherlands that has a world-known liberal position on the use of weed and several other psychoactive substances.
Still, in most European countries, weed is partially decriminalized, which means that in case a police officer would find a few grams of weed in your pocket you’d probably face a several hundred Euros fine or, at worst, enforced rehabilitation program.
President Trump’s position to allow each state to deal with the matter of legalization on its own gives the people and pro-legalization politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren a chance to make weed legal for adult use throughout the US.
In Britain, Boris Johnson will most probably try and legalize medical cannabis to support the struggling economy and get a few more points to keep his government stable during the crisis.
In Europe, however, politicians are giving their best to keep the Union in place and deal with refugee issues amid the COVID-19 challenge, so we could expect no more than individual countries passing highly restrictive medicinal use laws.