It’s Almost Danksgiving! What’s On the Menu for Discussion?

With the 2016 general election in our collective rearview mirror, there are several reasons the 420-community should jointly celebrate this Danksgiving on Thursday, November 24. And perhaps, dependent on your political affiliation, a few that will inspire further activism after Inauguration Day 2017.

For starters, in 2016 the price of weed has fallen dramatically, most appreciated! California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and by the narrowest of margins, Maine, have all come to their senses and legalized recreational marijuana. Historic! And, minus the whole Trump fiasco … the end of prohibition seems relatively close, fingers crossed. Thanks to the Herculean efforts of those in the reform movement, approximately 50% of the United States has decriminalized marijuana consumption through legislative efforts, providing 1 out of 5 Americans access to either medical or recreational marijuana at their local dispensary – absolutely awe-inspiring.

So, as Americans come together this Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving, of which 60% will support the outright legalization of pot, there will no doubt be some elevated conversations on the highly charged topic. As family members and guests start to recite the different events that have left them appreciative around the Thanksgiving meal, below are a few events you might want to share.

CA, NV, MA, ME Says “Yes” To Legal Weed

Sticking a fork in the viability of prohibition, constituents of California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska in showing the federal government exactly what they think about legalizing marijuana …”Just do it already.” As Colorado and Washington have statistically proven, legalization does nothing to diminish safety, increase crime, or spur teenage usage. Instead, based on state-funded studies, Colorado and Washington have witnessed violent crimes plunge, teenage use fall, and tax revenues skyrocket. By simply legalizing this medicinal herb, these individual states have taken a proactive step to minimize black market sales. Extracting legal pot revenue rather than spending tax dollars on nonviolent drug offenders, they have removed much of the profitability by removing the prohibitive status.

Big Alcohol Anxious Over Marijuana

In addition to potentially altering the course of American politics, a WikiLeaks release of hacked emails indicated the alcohol industry is spending a pile of cash in an attempt to lobby Congress to view marijuana impaired driving as the new national scourge. Imploring congressional leaders to fully fund Section 4008 of the 2017 Fast Act, “Pro-legalization advocates have long speculated that as criminalization and stigma disappear, many adults will choose to use marijuana instead of drink alcohol, which could lead to diminishing profits for beer, wine and liquor manufacturers, and sellers.”

DEA Still Won’t Reschedule Marijuana

On August 26, 2016 United States Drug Enforcement Administration – otherwise known as the DEA – came down on the side of maintaining that status quo. Shooting down in flames the petitions to reschedule cannabis within the CSA (Controlled Substance Act). By failing to reschedule cannabis as something other than a Schedule I narcotic, a classification reserved for substances with no medicinal value, they have chosen to ignore science and embrace ignorance. Simply rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III or less, for example, would provide some much-needed protection for our federal employees who, despite being a federal employee, still require medical marijuana.

Congress Tried to Vote “Yes” For MMJ and U.S. Vets*

On May 19, 2016, by a vote of 89-8, senators approved a bill containing language preventing the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) from spending money to enforce a current policy that prohibits its government doctors from filling out medical marijuana recommendation forms in states where the drug is legal. Disallowing the following:

(1) interfere with the ability of a veteran to participate in a medicinal marijuana program approved by a State;

(2) deny any services from the Department to a veteran who is participating in such a program; or

(3) limit or interfere with the ability of a health care provider of the Department to make appropriate recommendations, fill out forms, or take steps to comply with such a program.

* Unfortunately, congressional leadership blocked the change.

Opioid-Related Deaths Pushed Down By MMJ

As America’s problem with prescription pain medication (read: OxyContin and Vicodin) kills approximately 46 people every day from overdose across the U.S., two recent studies have shown that states with legalized medical marijuana dispensaries have witnessed a dramatic reduction in their opiate-related death rates. The promising UC Irvine study mirrored Medical Marijuana States” href=”http://www.marijuana.com/blog/news/2014/08/painkiller-deaths-drop-by-25-in-medical-marijuana-states/”>states with medical marijuana laws enjoyed a dramatic decline in their overall opioid-related mortality rate; reducing it by a “lower mean” average of 24.8%.

As politicians who oppose legalization and whose pockets have been lined with lobbyist’s cash from opposing industries are exposed for their duplicitous positions, Americans are slowly waking up to the foul smelling reality – they’ve been had. Despite Donald Trump’s pending swearing-in process, many forward thinking politicians still believe marijuana legalization is nothing short of inevitable in the not-too-distant future.

And, a Happy Danksgiving to all!

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