It's the home stretch to 4/20, and the march to Legalization moves forward with Pennsylvania's welcoming medical cannabis… but while not exactly a step backward, annoyingly persistent attempts by Oklahoma and Nebraska seek to drag any progress retrograde.
Governor Tom Wolf's signature made Pennsylvania the 24th state to approve medical pot, while the Attorneys General of Oklahoma and Nebraska, asserting that Colorado legalization makes it difficult for them to pursue prohibition, (and after failing in their bid to have Colorado's legalization of cannabis invalidated), joined in an existing lawsuit, continuing to assert Federal law over legislation voted in by Colorado's citizenry.
Oklahoma and Nebraska are joined with Texas, Kansas and the rest of the dwindling collection of anti-pot states in rejecting the growing list of benefits enjoyed by states which have some form of legalization in place.
This list including a decrease in prescription painkiller-related deaths and ER visits (24.8% according to an August 2014 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania), a decrease in drunk driving arrests, a stabilization of traffic fatalities in general, and a stabilization or decrease in overall crime rates, including violent crimes.
Legalization states have also experienced a reduction in unemployment, (legal cannabis creates more jobs than new sports stadiums or oil pipelines), and see the removal of support for a criminal underground now replaced by a legal, supervised, and regulated supply apparatus. A legal, supervised, regulated and TAXED supply apparatus…
For Colorado, Washington, our own California and more, also experience a large influx of revenue and economic gains resulting from the birth of a healthy new industry, benefitting so much more than just schools and infrastructure, in addition to a net fiscal gain from money saved on law enforcement, and NOT flushed down the toilet of the disastrous War on Drugs.
But most of all, states supporting cannabis legalization increase availability of effective medicine to those suffering from chronic pain, seizures, nausea, wasting sickness, cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma, sleep issues, and a host of other human ailments.
Contrary to the prophecy of anti-cannabis groups, neither medical nor fully legalized cannabis has been shown to result in any observable increase of use by young people, so why Oklahoma, Nebraska and the rest persist in prohibition thinking is a definite puzzlement. So as we medicate this 4/20, lets remember the distance we have yet to travel, and to send positive and liberating vibes to the people of these states, encouraging them to step up and re-educate their duly elected representatives, and/or replace them with others more in step.