In November 2016, California state voters exercised their democratic right and made it legal to get high for fun. Other states followed, and it’s now official that more than half of the U.S. states recognize cannabis as a medical and recreational drug. Being the sixth largest economy in the world, California was no doubt going to send strong waves to other parts of the country to also consider having a few changes in their drug policy. In fact, more cities are yet to do that, and it’s just a matter of time before we see many other cities making it legal to use cannabis for medical and recreational reasons.
It should also be noted that the same state was the first one 20 years ago to decriminalize the use of medical marijuana. So what has changed over the years? Well, the creators and the supporters of the already passed Proposition 64 have many arguments in support of the law. On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of issues that critics and skeptics say that are not okay. Though there is still time before the law takes full force and becomes enforceable in the state, we can already see some activity shaping up in the industry. Potential business folks are testing the waters to see if there are great opportunities that can be exploited once everything is okay.
The creators of the law argue that legalizing the medical and recreational cannabis will help legitimize an activity that millions of people were already partaking. They further argue that regulating the drug will lead to a big revenue generation of even up to a billion dollars every year. In fact, this is one of the strongest points that saw the officials and voters give a big support to the law. But was that the only reason for the legalization of marijuana? Of course, there were other considerations. One among the most important things that must have also influenced voters to support the passing of the law was quality and pricing guidelines. When it wasn’t legal to use the drug, pricing and quality standards were obviously exorbitant and low respectively.
Supporters also argue that legalizing the drug will help reduce the many cases reported every year involving illegal dealers. It’s expected that once the law is fully operational, the industry will experience growth and as a result, the licensed cultivators, distributors and manufacturers will benefit. Those in the black market will thus lose their share and be forced to legalize their operations if they are to gain by trading in the marijuana industry. That aside, it’s also expected that the revenue raised will help fund youth programs and also support other development projects by the state. All these and other argued benefits of the legalizations are among the strong arguments that supporters used to push the voters to pass the law.
On the other hand, the opponents are worried that the legalization of medical cannabis will create a gateway for the children to start taking the drug. Besides that, they also argue that we’ll begin to see many drivers being on the road when high. Furthermore, they also say that the legalization will make it easy for the black market to thrive. It’s because of all these reasons that critics keep arguing that the move by Californians to legalize the drug might not bring the benefits expected. All these have been used many times to challenge last year’s decision to legalize the use of medical and recreational marijuana in California.
We are yet to see what will happen once the industry begins its operations. Will the expected benefits become a reality or we’ll see negative happenings? All these cannot be determined now since not everything is in place. Once we have everything in place and the law is implemented then we can be able to assess whether the supporters or the critics were right in their various arguments. It’s good to give time and wait until things are okay, so we have evidence for whatever we’ll say. However, it’s also right to analyze the two sides of this move carefully to find out whether it was right to make it legal for Californians to use medical and recreational Cannabis. Though we expect good things such as the supply of high-quality marijuana, we cannot rule out the possibility of having some issues.
With all the above, it’s now clear why the passing of Proposition 64 received both criticism and support at an almost equal measure. The creators intended good with it, and on the other hand, the opponents are also warning against possible wrongs as a result of the passing of the law. We cannot rule that any group is right, but all we can do is to wait and see what will happen. Though it’s evident that the industry will grow, we cannot forget to caution ourselves against one or two happenings that might not be good.