Throughout the nation, laws governing an allowance for dispensaries regulating the distribution of medical marijuana have been liberalized. Colorado is the most leading example of a state whose legislature has passed laws that have become the most lenient in regard to recognizing the medical benefits of medicinal Marijuana toward people with a proven need for such pain management.
Other states such as Oregon and California have taken concrete steps to decriminalize the use of Marijuana under certain circumstances. Whether by the modification of state constitutions or by statewide voter referendums, the increasing acceptance of Marijuana as a drug with some secondary health benefits or as a tolerated recreational drug with health concerns on par with tobacco or alcohol has increased the national tolerance for a second look at Marijuana.
States like Colorado are currently appreciating the economic benefits of legalization in limited circumstances related to prescribed pain management. Businesses related to the growing and cultivating of marijuana are flourishing. Tax revenue to state governmental entities generated by this new revenue stream has continued the momentum for the public’s growing acceptance of Marijuana as an either accepted or tolerated drug to be distributed and distinguished from addictive narcotic drugs.
The elephant in the room as to the proliferation of Marijuana as an accepted drug to be introduced into the mainstream of American society is that despite state laws to the contrary, the sale and/or distribution of Marijuana is presently in contravention of US federal law. This reality in my opinion is the only issue stemming the overwhelming tide of sentiment among many that it is only a matter of time before Marijuana will be indoctrinated into mainstream society no differently than tobacco or alcohol.
As there seems to be little indication to suggest that federal authorities wish to make state laws allowing for use of Marijuana the target of federal priority, we as a nation must begin to recognize the inevitable secondary offshoots of increased tolerance of Marijuana usage.
As an owi attorney, my perspective is one that forecasts a growing shift from drunk driving arrests related to the standard consumption of alcohol to stops of motor vehicles predicated by alleged impairment prompted by Marijuana.
With voter referendums throughout the nation this election day on the issue, the issue of legalized Marijuana in prescribed circumstances will either keep advancing to the goal line or be stopped in its tracks by all eligible voters.
It is my strong belief that in the wake of election results soon to be forthcoming, the will of the people within these voting states will continue to exert public pressure on those within federal law enforcement who have continued the looming threat of prosecution for state practices that contravene the one size fits all prohibitions on all benefits related to Marijuana.
If I am correct, I believe it will only be a matter of time before the benefits of liberalized public policies on the issue of Marijuana usage will continue to lead other states on the fence as well as federal policy makers needing the political cover to adopt more rational policy stances on this issue.
With positive change also comes the increased potential for negative public risks inherent within the tacit acceptance of any drug. Although I suggest that the responsible, prescribed and regulated use of Marijuana in the future will no doubt benefit a size able number of people, we must no doubt appreciate the risks to the general public both on our roadways as well as by law enforcement who will be motivated to ramp up another avenue of revenue within which to target low risk Marijuana related arrests.