In 1990, the state of California legalized marijuana for medical purposes. In 2016, a general cannabis legalization is on its way to becoming law in one form or another. At this point, it’s looking more likely than ever that weed will be legal across America soon — even if states don’t take action directly.
Now that medicinal marijuana has been authorized in more than half of the United States, the law’s ramifications are evident.
It’s difficult to express how far the campaign to eliminate marijuana prohibition has progressed. It’s safe to suppose that most of that development would not have been achieved if California’s Proposition 215 hadn’t been passed in November 1996.
Prop 215 allowed Californians to buy, possess, and use marijuana for a limited number of medical ailments, including cancer, glaucoma, arthritis, HIV, and AIDS. Medical marijuana has progressively transformed the way many Americans regard cannabis since the legislation was introduced.
Here are a few important ways the country’s attitude on cannabis has shifted over the previous quarter-century.
Skeptics will be exposed to the medicinal properties of cannabis.
Because most Americans were unfamiliar with medicinal marijuana, the notion had to be put to the test before gaining widespread acceptance. People were able to get a personal glimpse at how medicinal marijuana may improve people’s lives thanks to the approval of Proposition 215 in California.
Seeing how medicinal marijuana assisted patients with a variety of ailments had an influence not just on the general people, but also on the medical establishment, since research into the therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana was still largely a mystery inside the field.
The success of California’s medicinal marijuana patients supplied enough proof for other states to start their own medical marijuana programs. Medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states throughout the United States.
By allowing more cannabis research to be conducted, several cannabis-related myths were debunked.
Another reason for the passage of Prop 215’s role in changing Americans’ attitudes toward cannabis is how effective it was in dispelling long-held misconceptions about the drug. Prior to the approval of Proposition 215, there was essentially little study on the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana.
The DEA has mainly restricted initiatives to investigate the medical benefits of cannabis, according to the marijuana policy project. Even though conditions surrounding medical marijuana research have improved since the passing of Prop 215, more study need to be done in order for scientists to completely comprehend the medicinal potential of marijuana.
Medical marijuana aided in the acceptance of recreational marijuana use and sale among Americans.
There are a number of factors that have contributed to the shift in marijuana views, but the passing of Proposition 215 was the spark. After the legislation was approved, for example, perceptions regarding marijuana started to shift quickly. In the year 2000, just 34% of Americans supported recreational cannabis legalization. That percentage has now more than quadrupled to 86 percent.
Apart from allowing Americans to experience personally how successful cannabis can be in treating medical conditions, the introduction of medical marijuana demonstrated that there’s no reason why individuals shouldn’t be able to go into a shop and buy cannabis like any other product.
The War on Drugs isn’t finished yet, but the approval of Proposition 215 in California suggested that it wouldn’t be for long. Now that medicinal marijuana has been authorized in more than half of the United States, the law’s ramifications are evident.
This makes it a bit easier to believe that the end of the drug war might be closer than we realize 25 years after Prop 215 was passed.