Rhode Island on the Way to Pass New Reforms for Marijuana Legalization

All over the world, there has been a shift in perspective regarding the use of marijuana. Previously, people majorly knew about marijuana on the grounds of its psychedelic effects.

Lately, many experimental results are proof that using marijuana has other effects as well. Therefore, there has been a surge in the medical and recreational use of marijuana.

With time, people have come to accept its many benefits and make use of it to their advantage. This is now possible, and cannabis has become more accessible because of the change in views that have compelled the governments to change the laws.

Many countries around the world have moved towards cannabis legalization and decriminalization. These changes in the law have multiple impacts on many different industries.

According to MJbizdaily, in many states of the US, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Montana, the state governments are facing diverse situations in the path of cannabis legalization.

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a herbal drug that is obtained from the dried leaves, flowers, and stems of the Cannabis sativa plant. It has a huge range of chemical components or cannabinoids which induce different effects on an individual.

A major component of cannabis is the psychoactive compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is a psychedelic that meddles with the brain. THC readily binds with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Due to this interaction, the consumer experiences the feeling of immense pleasure.

Cannabis flower in a person's hand.

Another major psychoactive cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD) that gives the cannabis plant the medicinal properties many people commonly know it for.

The increased popularity of cannabis has led to its use for self-medicating. However, this method is unsafe and should not be practiced.

Moreover, as more people have become aware of cannabis, its methods of consumption have also developed. People can obtain it in edible forms such as gummies or infuse it with other foods.

Otherwise, people can use it as topical creams and ointments, and oils or take them in the form of supplements such as capsules.

Uses

Marijuana has an enormous range of uses. Moreover, the effects that its multiple chemicals produce have many diverse effects that can be both desirable or concerning.

Many countries have legalized the medical or recreational use of marijuana. This is concerning the evidence supporting its efficacy in treating different symptoms and helping with anxiety.

Experiments suggest the benefits of using cannabis in chronic pain, nausea, to relieve muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis (MS), and to help manage symptoms related to chemotherapy.

Furthermore, cannabis consumption is also appetite-stimulating. Additionally, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has approved a cannabis-containing medicine for stroke treatment.

Also, there are many conditions in which we can use marijuana as a potential treatment. However, we need further evidence to prove its efficiency.

People with anxiety or those who want a break from the hardships of the real world also use cannabis. Its psychedelic effects help in soothing and produce a feeling of happiness and relaxation.

Effects

Effects that people seek when using cannabis mainly include intense awareness of surroundings, altered perception, greater focus and creativity, and an increased appetite.

However, some undesirable side effects of cannabis consumption include its effects on the nervous system, nausea, fatigue, and hypotension.

Moreover, studies link cannabis use to effects on the immune response, brain development, diseases of the respiratory system, and the gums. In the long run, routine cannabis consumption may even lead to dependence and addiction.

Also, as per Today’s Health Science, the surge in cannabis use has consequently led to an increase in cases of ADHD.

Cannabis—Precautions

People with the following conditions should be careful when consuming cannabis:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Lung problems
  • Schizophrenia
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • During pregnancy
  • Breast-feeding

Cannabis Legalization

An article on MJbizdaily gives an insight into the happenings of cannabis legalization in different US states.

Rhode Island

One of three bills that address the legalization of recreational marijuana has been scheduled to vote in the Senate after the Judiciary Committee advanced the measure.

However, as there is a lack of agreement behind one bill, it is a general belief that the legalization of recreational marijuana before the end of the regular legislative sessions is unlikely.

Furthermore, there is a possibility that the issue may get delayed to a special session later. The Senate modified bill reserves one-third of the licenses for people who had been affected by the war on drugs.

Moreover, it restricts the number of licenses to one per 20,000 residents.

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Connecticut

In Connecticut, the state authorities have passed a measure concerning recreational marijuana that focuses on social equity.

It will presumably create a market of more than $700 million within a few years. 

The combination of license types, social equity provisions, and fee structure is a great measure to boost business opportunities in the state.

Moreover, Connecticut has given the regulatory authority to an existing state agency. Consequently, the work will progress quickly.

50% of the applications will be reserved for social equity applicants. They focused the law on helping communities that the war on drugs has damaged and lifted minority entrepreneurs.

Additionally, a lottery system will award the license to keep it fair to provide all qualified applicants equal opportunity.

Montana

Someone lighting a joint.

SAFE Montana and Wrong for Montana, which are anti-marijuana groups, voluntarily dropped their lawsuit that challenged voter-approved adult use of recreational marijuana.

In 2021, MJBizFactbook had anticipated the adult-use sales to be $90 million in the first year and $325 million in the fourth year. However, this was before the legislative actions.

However, the measures that could result in a decrease in sales are:

  • 35% potency limit for flower
  • Potency limits on edibles
  • 18-months head-start for existing medical cannabis operators over newcomers

Verdict

The legalization of cannabis has proved to be a challenge in many states as people are yet to accept its medicinal uses. Simultaneously, there is a lot of support for cannabis legalization, and it is a great initiative that governments are trying to do work.

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