When recreational marijuana use was first becoming legal in different US States, more and more regions are also becoming open with the use of weed for medicinal purposes. In fact, it’s now found in the shelves of groceries, chemists, and in various forms of medications. It is also starting to be grown more openly in gardens and homes all across America. With the passage of time and as more medical studies are conducted and released, this type of legislation will begin to evolve.
Read more as we’ll tackle what states have legal medical marijuana in today’s post.
The List Goes On And On
At present, there are 16 states, including Washington, DC, have legalized the use of marijuana. And 37 states have allowed the use of marijuana for medical purposes. This goes to show that Americans now have wide access to cannabis, whether they intend to use it medically or recreationally.
As for the case of Virginia, New Mexico, and South Dakota, these states have already passed laws for legislation but are still pending to take effect. In particular, a debate is still ongoing in South Dakota as Gov. Kristi Noem is still opposing the legalization of marijuana in the Mount Rushmore State. On the other hand, New Mexico’s governor, Michelle Lujan Grishan has already signed the bill to be made into law in April, but it will still take effect on June 29 next year in terms of retail sales.
Virginia legalized the use of marijuana last month. However, the law will still take effect on the first day of July, with retail sales yet to commence in 2024.
The Impact And Consequences Of Medical Marijuana Legalization
1. Ease Of Access To Alternative Medicine – Recent studies have verified the significant benefits of marijuana for treating certain health conditions. And since more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of using synthetic medicines, they now turn to alternative methods of healing as long as it is effective.
Marijuana has been proven to cure chronic illnesses, including epilepsy. In fact, there was a case of a girl who had frequent seizures and is still not cured even if she was regularly taking prescription medications. So her family turned to medical marijuana, and surprisingly her seizures stopped. This is just one of the many cases that confirm the medicinal value of cannabis, which also serve as the basis for all arguments for enforcing laws on medical marijuana legalization.
2. Public Perception – It has long been an established notion, at least in the public eye, that marijuana is classified as an “illegal drug”. And as a result, people often associate cannabis with crime and other illegal activities. But the legalization of marijuana has somehow ‘opened the eyes’ of more and more people into accepting the use of this plant provided that proper dosage is observed and state-specific labels for cannabis are always followed.
3. Law Enforcement – The medical marijuana legalization has also caused a decline in cannabis-related arrests. And this resulted in savings that also allowed law enforcement agencies to allocate their funds to other projects like social investments.
4. Public Health – The risk of harm and death due to marijuana overdose has also decreased (up to 0.7 declines every month since 2014) because people are now properly informed about the use of marijuana according to dosage.
5. Education And Youth – In a study conducted by AMA (American Medical Association) – Pediatrics, it was determined that the number of high-schoolers who use marijuana fell by 8 percent in states where adult use of medical marijuana is legalized. Also, the number of teens who use marijuana at least 10 times a monthly has lessened by 9 percent because only adults are now permitted to use it.
This evidence shows that medical marijuana legalization has effectively eliminated the illegal sales in these states, which is where most teens get their supply due to the strict regulations being implemented.