Decriminalizing Cannabis in 2021

As the world of marijuana continues to progress, an overwhelming 91% of U.S. adults say marijuana should be legal either for medical and recreational use (59%) or that it should be legal just for medical use (32%). Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) prefer to keep marijuana illegal in all circumstances, according to the survey Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel. And in 2020, the country hit an all-time high of people who want the drug completely legalized—68 percent, according to Gallup. As Biden takes office, many are hoping marijuana reform will be one goal on his extensive to-do list. 

Drug Convictions

In December, an appropriation package was approved by Congress that includes the repealing  of a longstanding federal ban on providing student aid eligibility to those with certain drug convictions. This 1998 federal law mandated that those applying for student aid must disclose if they have ever had any drug-related convictions, which barred hundreds of thousands of applicants from receiving funding. The new law strikes the subsection of the Higher Education Act that established the drug-related eligibility standard. 

Congress has a duty to provide equal access to quality higher education. While there is still work to be done, this proposal will help millions of students. This one repeal is a step in the right direction as many in the marijuana space continue to work with Congress and the new administration on a more vast drug policy reform. The goal is to ensure those who have been most affected by the war on drugs are not abandoned. 

Marginalization

As we know, the criminal justice system can often be unjust. With racial disparities, low-income disparities and bias all around, now more than ever is the time for change. With marijuana in particular, Black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession despite nearly identical usage rates to white people. Furthermore, low-income adults are three times more likely to be arrested than those who are not in poverty. These people make up a significant portion of the criminal-legal system and often cannot afford effective assistance of counsel. In 2021, we hope to certainly see a decriminalization of marijuana under a Democratic-controlled Congress and a Biden presidency. The uncertainty lies on just how far legislation will go to address racial disparities and make repairs to communities that have been unfairly punished for decades. 

Marijuana in Maryland 

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission was taken back in 2018 when over 1,200 patients inquired per day, on top of 300 applicants applying for their medical marijuana card. The state is focusing on combing through common issues and problems as the industry continues to flourish. Growers have no option but to expand to continue to meet demand for patient’s needs.  

Mary and Main is more than grateful to be a part of the medical marijuana community, offering patients an alternative to opiates and addiction. As our medical marijuana dispensary celebrates our two year anniversary, we are also reflecting on how Maryland has grown in the industry. With over 70,000 patients in Maryland, making up more than 1% of the state, it’s no wonder Maryland growers need to increase flower production to meet demands. 

The recent pivot in favor of decriminalization and medical cannabis legalization indicates that our nation recognizes that a tough-on-crime approach to drugs is no longer politically acceptable to voters and signals that further evolution in cannabis is possible.

 

Mary and Main offer the best products alongside exceptional customer service. Our qualified professionals will work with you to help decide how to treat the challenges you face while offering education and solutions specific to your needs. We are here to help you. Call us today 240-838-3660.