The pro-marijuana movement will have a lot to live up to in 2014 after everything that went down in 2013. It was truly a remarkable year, when advances in marijuana legalization and the advancement towards this remarkable plant being recognized as a healing force were at the forefront across the US and around the world.
What was once little more than a blip on the global radar, is now making headlines everywhere. And this ongoing discussion about the plant, the people who use it, and the laws that restrict it, is reaching a staggering momentum.
Here are 7 marijuana advancements made in 2013:
- 1. Lawmakers in 31 states file bills on marijuana policy. While the bills varied in intent and language, and most of them failed, the country saw a new high in regards to the number of proposed marijuana laws. From medical pot to taxing recreational pot, lawmakers were tossing ideas around throughout 2013.
- 2. Public support of marijuana legalization hits all-time highs. For the first time, the majority of Americans support marijuana legalization. The latest Gallup poll, conducted in November, revealed 58% of adults supported ending prohibition, a whopping 10% increase over 2012.
- 3. Federal Govt. backs off state marijuana laws. The Obama Administration finally promised to make good on campaign promises made several years ago, in backing off states who had conflicting marijuana policies. The DOJ issued a list of 8 things that would trigger a federal response and promised to essentially mind their own business if states were conducting marijuana business in a responsible manner.
- 4. Medicinal pot dispensaries opened in D.C., New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These locations became the latest in the growing list of states providing state-approved marijuana for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions.
- 5. Studies continue to affirm the medical benefits and lack of harm posed by marijuana. One study found there was no association between smoking marijuana and the risk of lung cancer. The growing body of research also led the FDA to approve clinical trials of cannabidiol (CBD) extracts in a rare form of childhood epilepsy.
- 6. Uruguay becomes first country to authorize the production, sale, and possession of marijuana. Like Colorado and Washington, lawmakers in this South American country saw legalization as a way to end the violence associated with the War on Drugs and give responsible adults the option to imbibe safely.
- 7. World’s first legal retail pot stores open. Though Amsterdam may have offered pot in tea shops for years, they existed in a legal grey area. Ushering in another promising year in the fight against marijuana prohibition, the US state of Colorado made history on January 1 when retail marijuana stores first started selling their goods.
2014 is off to a good start, but it will be up to the people who support marijuana legalization to keep the heat on. Now that all-out legalization seems like a possibility, we need to begin thinking of how to best craft policies and laws so that Big Pharma doesn’t eventually exploit what will ultimately be a lucrative business.