Marijuana has generated a lot of interest over the years, and it remains a big and controversial subject.
However, the plant, known under the umbrella name cannabis, remains illegal at the federal level even though it enjoyed huge success through state legalization.
At the moment, more than forty states have at least a form of cannabis measure that legalizes it or decriminalizes it to a point.
With the nation under a new administration, there was a lot of expectation from Americans regarding the subject of marijuana.
A Pew Research Center survey in April 2021 shows that at least nine out of ten Americans are pro-marijuana.
Basically, we’re talking about 90 percent of the population.
Like many people, you’re probably wondering about the developments in marijuana legalization in 2021.
Well, let’s find out:
Covid-19 slowed down several legislative processes in the legalization of marijuana.
These processes have resumed.
As of 2021, the overwhelming majority of US citizens support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.
And, even more, people want medicinal marijuana.
The policymakers are also getting the message that their constituents are pro-marijuana and would like to see effective policies created.
States such as Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Maryland, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, and South Dakota have already made huge moves in medicinal marijuana legislation.
Whether it’s amending the existing medical marijuana act or creating a new one, these legislations highlight the quantity considered legal for consumption and carry.
2.Federal Marijuana Bill
As we’ve mentioned, marijuana is still federally illegal despite various states legalizing its growing, transportation, and use.
The last hope for nationwide legalization seems to lie with the new Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill.
The federal bill draft was submitted on 8th September 2021, and its primary objective is to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances while addressing the multifaceted issues under federal probation.
If the bill passes, the federal government may use the same regulatory approach for tobacco and alcohol to maintain control of marijuana.
3.Marijuana and The Workplace Policy
There’s still a lot of gray area when it comes to marijuana legislation, which can make things difficult to understand for the average person.
The same is reflected at workplaces.
You can still get fired because of marijuana, since drug regulation at the workplace is in the hands of the employer.
However, the National Conference of State Legislatures NCSL has identified 13 states actively focusing on employee protection from cannabis discrimination.
These 13 states primarily focus on medicinal cannabis users.
Nevada, however, has gone a notch higher to offer anti-discrimination to recreational users at work.
Other states are also considering similar moves.
Wisconsin considers legalizing recreational use and including it in the state’s employment protection laws.
These new policy changes at work, including previous low-level convictions for use or carry, seem to be shifting the tide on cannabis and employment relations.
4.Traveling With Marijuana
Is it possible to cross state borders with cannabis?
The legalization of cannabis at the state level has got many people wondering whether traveling is possible while in possession of the drug.
But here’s the thing, federal law prohibits possessing, using, and moving marijuana. While you may have allowances in your state, just remember that moving with the drug across state lines is a federal crime.
You can’t carry weed into a plane, but the law will look the other way to allow you the chance to dispose of it before traveling.
If you wish to learn more about marijuana and flying, this Veriheal post covers a lot.
5.Lobbyist Groups and Business Giants
At the moment, businesses have a lot of stake in the legalization of Marijuana in the US.
Amazon is a prime example of businesses with a relaxed stance regarding marijuana.
In July, the retail giant stressed that its public policy team would actively lobby for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.
Apart from supporting legalization, Amazon has also stopped drug testing for marijuana.
Other industry and policy groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance and Canopy Growth Inc. are also championing the same cause.
The decriminalization of cannabis and relaxed stance on non-violent cannabis offenses is a factor that is gaining more and more acceptance.
These industry groups and advocates are playing a huge part in influencing both state and federal policies.
The medicinal benefits of marijuana are not even disputable anymore in the country, which serves as a big push towards federal legalization.
What started with certain states ended up with a landslide success for marijuana as more states joined the movement.
While both corporate and congress America has been slow on marijuana legalization for medicinal and recreational use, the future seems bent towards legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana on the national level.