Regulating Cannabis Sustainably
MEDICALLY REGULATING CANNABIS
Every election cycle, more states within the US implement medical and recreational cannabis regulations. Although years of anecdotal evidence correlates otherwise, the US Federal Government continues to considers cannabis Schedule I narcotic. Lack of access to suitable cannabis prevented accurate scientific analysis of cannabinoids in the 20th century. The complex regulations that state legislatures create to bypass federal prohibition are tenuous under Federal law. Still, each election cycle brings new regulations, often passed by voters under the sole motivation of personal use. On the other end of the spectrum, states institute Draconian laws and reactive justice to inforce illegal cannabis possession. In states that do not regulate cannabis for public or medical use, punishment on conviction can carry life sentences and event death.
THREE MISSIONS OF THE GREEN ASSOCIATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY
The Green Association for Sustainability scrutinizes cannabis laws within the US and around the world. Although the global consensus in developed nations has changed dramatically surrounding marihuana, it is still considered a high crime in many countries, including the United States. The movement at the state level of government has allowed for a wider acceptance, but has not changed the federal, or the global marijuana laws. Although there was a period of detante during the Obama administration, the War on Marijuana continues in our own backyard, and across the globe.
Three important goals of the Green Association for Sustainability include:
1) EXAMINE CANNABIS REGULATIONS
GrAS examines the failed political policies of the continuing 20th Century Drug War. Historically, prohibitive cannabis laws have been well scrutinized. They readily demonstrate the many social justice issues inherent in the judicial processes. GrAS reviews state regulatory laws and their motivations in the context of the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
2) DEFINE THE TERMS OF THE STATE REGULATIONS
GrAS defines the terms of medical and recreational schemes and legislative regulations. Usually, the legislative language is vague, creating a regulatory framework. A bureaucratic agency is created to design the regulatory specifics. These city, district or county regulations have the most impact on lives, yet are the least well defined or understood.
3) PROMOTE FEDERAL DECRIMINALIZATION
The importance of medical marijuana to the medical community should be our first concern. The medicalization discourse legitimized marijuana, and opened the conversation. While prohibitionists may have medical compassion, understanding recreational use eludes them.
Recreational marijuana is popular and a lucrative tax collection paradigm for cash-strapped states. In addition to the tax revenue, another advantage is the law enforcement and judicial management of possession offenders. True recreational regulation will require an alignment of federal and state laws.