Tag: mary jane

2019 Is the Year to Legalize Marijuana

Nick Hamilton | United States

As 2017 drew to a close, I wrote a piece on why 2018 was the year that marijuana legalization should become popular. Though there is still a long way to go, many locations took this to heart. Canada decided to fully legalize the plant, and several more states in the United States followed. But as of right now, it’s still federally illegal.

Three states legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2018: Michigan, Vermont, and Maine. This past midterm election, North Dakota voted on a referendum that would have legalized it, but the vote failed. Oklahoma also legalized it for medical use. Moreover, in December of 2018, President Trump signed the Farm Bill into law, which passed in both chambers of Congress easily. The Farm Bill allows American farmers to grow and harvest hemp.

Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in ten states and legal for medical use in 33 states. Presumed Democrat Presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) said that she believes it’s time to legalize and regulate marijuana federally. In her new book, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey,” Harris asserts multiple times that America needs to fully legalize marijuana for all uses and erase marijuana-related convictions from people’s criminal records.

Americans Want to Legalize Marijuana

With the 2020 election cycle starting to heat up, I expect that marijuana legalization will soon be a critical issue on both sides of the aisle. According to Pew Research Center, 62% of Americans favor legalization, up 31% from 2000. Additionally, 54% of Boomers (1946-1954) support it, showing a drastic increase from around 15% in the 1990s. Even some Republicans are starting to make legalization concessions. 45% of Republicans support legalization, as do 59% of Republican-leaning independents.

It’s absolutely clear the Americans want legalization. It’s clear that if marijuana is not federally legal in the coming years, our government is doing something very wrong. President Trump has been surprisingly open to the idea, making a commitment to push for reform of marijuana laws, with a goal of having medical marijuana federally legal. If he accomplishes this, he will have done more to legalize the plant than any previous administration.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see New York state legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2019, considering that New York City has thrown around the idea. A lot of the more liberal states could absolutely follow suit soon. However, in order to do so in every state, marijuana activists need to continue persuading more Republicans to get behind the movement.

Seeing as marijuana legalization could be a hot topic of the 2020 Presidential Campaign, it wouldn’t be crazy to say that more states will lift bans. I’m predicting that four states legalize recreational marijuana this year: New York and three others.


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San Francisco Is Wiping Out A TON Of Weed Arrests

By Nick Hamilton | California

If you haven’t already heard, California legalized the use of marijuana at the beginning of the year.

The case and verdict have been reported time and time again. Something less reported, however, may prove equally important. Recently in San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascon announced that nearly 5,000 marijuana-related felony convictions will be reviewed, and the convicts will be re-sentenced.

The best part? The state will likely fully dismiss over 3,000 misdemeanor convictions.

Proposition 64, which legalized the drug in the State of California, states that people can possess six plants and one ounce of the substance. In San Francisco, this proposition had a 75% citizen approval rate. This was the highest of any county in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Let’s analyze this for a second: San Francisco is reviewing 8,000 cases of marijuana-related crimes. Also, they will likely throw out around 3,000 of them. In fact, it took 23 petitions to the city of San Francisco to act on this measure. Thus, each petition written will ultimately lead to the clearing of over 100 records.

Attorney Gascon spoke out towards the Department of Justice recently in regards to marijuana classification. They recently announced a desire to schedule marijuana as a class I narcotic, equal to heroin and above cocaine. (Quote from NPR)

“Every high school kid knows that that is B.S., right? But we continue to insist almost like marijuana is almost an existential threat. It’s hypocritical. It doesn’t really follow the reality of our country and it takes from the credibility of the entire criminal justice system.”

San Francisco dismissing these convictions basically says one thing to the Department of Justice. Essentially, it reaffirms the belief that federal prohibition on marijuana is an awful thing for this country. Thus, in order to further the principles of freedom, it’s about time to stop being so harsh on it.

(Image from capoliticalreview.com)