This year has been amazing for the marijuana movement! We’ve been so happy to see more states legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana. Congress is taking more of a hands-off approach and more research is getting done on dosing, effects, and the regulation of marijuana. Keep reading to find out the legislative highlights for 2019.
States Pushing for Legalization
2019 has been a historic year. Many states as of recent have been taking steps towards passing bills for the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana. Some of the biggest wins have been the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois starting on January 1, 2020 and the U.S. house preventing federal intervention and decriminalization in New Mexico. Read about all the 2019 highlights on the Marijuana Policy Project’s website.
Recent Legislation News
We keep seeing states pushing bills through Congress to legalize marijuana, but will it ever be legalized on the federal level? According to a recent article from Marijuana Moment, White House drug officials are leaving it up to the states to legalize if they choose. This is an interesting position for them to take considering the national drug czar is required to “take such actions as necessary to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a substance listed as a Schedule 1 drug.” The only thing the drug officials ask is that additional research is done so that these decisions being made are in an informed manner at the state level.
As the marijuana legalization movement continues to grow and restrictions begin to loosen, the list of research studies that federal health agencies are adding to continues to get longer. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has come out with 13 priority research objectives concerning marijuana. NIDA is primarily interested in learning more about “reasons for initiation and continued use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes” as well as “how cannabis industry practices, including research on marketing, taxes, and prices, impact use and health outcomes.” Some of these research objectives include developing standards for measuring cannabis dose, intoxication, and impairment, the effects of maternal cannabis consumption during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and developing effective roadside tests for cannabis impairment.
Considering all of this fantastic progress in 2019, we hope that 2020 is an even bigger year. Since the start of this movement, there are now 11 states that have legalized and 27 that have decriminalized. It’s only a matter of time until marijuana is legal across the nation!