Cannabis has been in the lime-light more now than ever; which does not surprise me. What does surprise me is why! I fully expected cannabis to be a hot topic in the news by the spring of 2020. Though I truly believed it would be the Presidential Campaigns that stirred the pot (no pun intended), bringing their platforms, conversation, debate and most certainly scrutiny of cannabis to the forefront of the mass medias.
However, a turn of events in China spawned circumstances no one could have foreseen; the COVID virus pandemic. And yet amidst all of the global disruption and peril, marijuana’s reputation has grown in leaps and bounds. The once misunderstood and even feared plant is now being recognized and Officially endorsed by world governments as ESSENTIAL for consumption by the people. This included the United States where the Federal Government still contends that Marijuana (MJ) is illegal.
This news has been highly publicized world wide, opening the eyes and blowing the minds of millions upon millions of people everywhere who literally had no clue that not only was Marijuana no longer a ‘bad thing’ but was actually being sold in stores in America and the rest of the world; and on top of that was now being publicly condoned by the governments and proclaimed ESSENTIAL! Had the world gone crazy?
The truth is COVID was a wake-up call for MJs ‘appropriate’ place in society. Life can be stressful, however recent events did far more than just highlight the value of the calm and soothing effects of marijuana (AKA: getting high), it also has lead to an increase in attention from the medical community for potential medicines and cures. Up to now, research with Marijuana in America has been highly constrained due to the antiquated (mis)Scheduling of Cannabis by purporting that it has no medicinal benefit (recently proven untrue by the FDA’s approval of the Epidiolex drug for epilepsy…the first ever CBD Drug).
When COVID finally passes, there will be many facets of society that will change and forever be different; including how marijuana is perceived and treated. Long gone will be the days of Reefer Madness. The stigma of the stoner on the couch, well that one may stick with us a while longer. In any case, the world as a whole has joined in an unofficial consensus that MJ is acceptable and has a prominent place of value in society.
Above all, the pandemic has afforded the medical community an opportunity to bypass the bureaucracy previously preventing them from ‘seeing’ the health benefits associated with MJ and the potential for medicines and cures derived from it. Covid very well may be the inspiration paving the way for MJ research in the end.
For over 80 years MJ has been viewed as a culprit in society, a weed to be despised. It took a world wide crisis to show us all that cannabis is and always has been user friendly. Will the laws change in the USA for MJ any time soon because of all of this? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. However, I would expect more pressure from the medical research community toward the government for laxer laws to study the benefits of cannabis. If nothing less, you will most likely be able to openly smoke pot now with fewer scowls.
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