OVERVIEW OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION
In 2013, the South American country of Uruguay was the primary country to completely legalize recreational cannabis. Countries in North America recently became very cannabis-friendly, too, with us and Canada both enacting laws that legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
In the U.S., the medical use of cannabis is currently legalized in 33 states, and therefore the recreational use of it’s legal in 11. However, it remains a Schedule I drug with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medicinal use at the federal level.
Canada became the second country to legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use in 2018. a couple of countries that may imitate include Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, the US, and New Zealand.
THE WAR ON THE WAR ON DRUGS
In 1971, President Nixon led the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs increased prison sentences for drug dealers and users to prevent the utilization and distribution of psychedelic substances and other drugs.
Statistics attest to the ineffectiveness of the war on drugs, and three in four people within the U.S. believe it’s failing. Surveys also found that 67 percent saying that the govt should turn much of the main target on providing treatment for people that are using hard-core narcotics like heroin and cocaine. Only 26 percent felt that the main target should get on the prosecution of those narcotics users.
HIGH TIME FOR A about-face
Many feel certain drugs are less severe than others and shouldn’t fall under the umbrella of the War on Drugs, including President Carter in 1977. That year, the U.S. president involved marijuana to be decriminalized, telling Congress, “Penalties against possession of the drug shouldn’t be more damaging than the drug itself.”
Forward thinkers like Carter have formed peaceful battlegrounds that have made a difference in the decriminalization of certain drugs throughout history. Today, the War on Drugs is facing a replacement drug policy landscape, and proponents who favor legalizing psychedelic drugs are working hard to form decriminalization of them a reality.
THE MORE ACT
Today, many researchers and policymakers agree that the contentious War on Drugs may be a massive failure. However, its detractors agree that the misguided initiative has been an excellent success in contributing to at least one of the foremost crowded prison systems within the world.
The comprehensive Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act introduced to us Congress this year aims to vary the mass incarceration rate and more.
If passed, the MORE Act chips away at the War on Drugs while providing economic recovery from COVID-19, partly through a five percent tax on marijuana sales at the manufacturer level.
The Judiciary Committee approved legislation for the MORE Act, and now it’s been mentioned other committees that haven’t taken action thereon yet. Once they are doing, it’ll get on its thanks to the House floor. Since its inception, the Act has garnered 76 cosponsors.
Beyond the economic benefits of the MORE Act, the Marijuana Justice Coalition (MJC) said “federal descheduling and expungement will drastically reduce the burden of marijuana charges and arrests within the criminal justice system.”
“This would help begin the long-overdue reversal of mass incarceration within the U.S. — which is more timely than ever within the times of mass mobilizations for police reform and within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging jails and prisons. The MORE Act focuses on creating community infrastructure and supports that diminish contact with the criminal justice system.”
Spurred on by what went on with marijuana recently, psychonauts around the world are pushing for psychedelic substances to be legalized, especially when it involves their proven benefits in therapy. The movement particularly seems to be gaining steam when it involves decriminalizing psilocybin.
INITIATIVE PETITION 34
Oregonians supporting IP 34 are very busy gathering the needed petitions to urge the legalization of psilocybin on the ballot as an initiated state statute. They succeeded, and on November 3, 2020, Oregon voters can vote yes or no to legalize the utilization of psilocybin for therapy. If passed, IP 34 brings psilocybin treatment to Oregon through a licensed and controlled system.
Psilocybin may be a groundbreaking therapeutical approach for people with drug-resistant depression disorders and PTSD. If the measure passes, it’ll support and protect patients, getting them the assistance they have.
Also, researchers at top universities within the U.S. demonstrate that psilocybin therapy can help patients affected by anxiety, depression, and addiction. Clinicians, neuroscientists, and even combat veterans have spoken out and support saying yes to IP 34.
The November result will certainly be interesting to ascertain. If it passes, it’ll be quite a coup for people performing on getting legislation that bars the utilization of therapeutic psychedelics reduced or removed.
ARE PSYCHEDELICS subsequent BIG WAVE?
Cities like Denver and Oakland are leading the charge in decriminalizing psychedelics through either ballot measures or council action.
In June 2020, the town Council of Oakland decriminalized magic mushrooms and other natural psychedelics. The new measure passed unanimously weeks after voters in Denver narrowly approved an identical bill.
Along with psilocybin mushrooms, the resolution decriminalizes other psychedelics derived from plants and fungi. The list includes ayahuasca, DMT, and peyote, but synthetic hallucinogens like MDMA and LSD are still illegal.
MEDICAL AND WELLNESS THERAPIES
In 2018, Johns Hopkins University researchers saw the potential of psilocybin for medicinal use and recommended that the DEA downgrade it from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule IV. Later, the FDA approved the Depression treatment drug, Esketamine (Spravato), in March 2019, making it the primary psychedelic substance the agency approved.
The FDA also conferred “breakthrough therapy” status on psilocybin and MDMA, enabling research to be hastened for PTSD and major depression treatments.
Although it’s a touch premature to hazard a guess, many of the watershed moments that indicate psychedelics are following within the steps of cannabis haven’t been fully realized yet.
However, it’s safe to mention psychedelic legalization initiatives are slowly grasping and gaining momentum, very similar to what we saw with the timeline that governed cannabis legalization.