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Cannabis Bill of Rights

On Tuesday, people in eight states made it clear that cannabis matters. We doubled the number of states that allow adult use and we’re up

Medicine Box // November 10, 2016

On Tuesday, people in eight states made it clear that cannabis matters. We doubled the number of states that allow adult use and we’re up to 21 states that allow medical use. Fully 20% of US citizens live in a state that allows adults to use cannabis recreationally. In light of the overwhelming support for cannabis, we think it’s time for a cannabis bill of rights. With more and more states legalizing cannabis, we need a clear idea of what we want from a legal market. A cannabis bill of rights helps identify the needs of the patients and adults who use cannabis.

Access

First and foremost, we believe people have a right to access cannabis. Several things need to be in place to make cannabis easily accessible to both the people who need it and the people who want it:

Legalization

Cannabis needs to be legal, both for medical use and for adult use. While many states are working to create the legal frameworks needed to create a safe and open cannabis market, we need to see progress on a federal level. Cannabis isn’t really legal until it’s legal for everyone everywhere.

Home Cultivation

Home cultivation is an essential part of cannabis access, and explicitly allowing adults to grow cannabis in their homes needs to be a part of every effort to regulate cannabis.

Dispensaries and Delivery Services

Patients need to have easy, reliable access to their medicine, but home cultivation isn’t the best option for everyone. That means we need to have both a solid network of dispensaries and home delivery services available. No one should need to drive for hours to get vital medicines.

Know What is in Your Cannabis

Not only do cannabis consumers deserve to know about any pesticides or mold, they also deserve accurate information about cannabinoids, terpenes, and dosage. Our ability to make good decisions about using cannabis depends on knowing what we’re putting into our bodies. Fortunately, lab testing is becoming the standard. These tests provide a wealth of information and promote transparency between growers, manufacturers, dispensaries, and consumers.

Unrestricted Research

We know that cannabis has incredible health benefits, helping with everything from anxiety to IBS to pain. However, we need quality research to help us learn more about the best ways to harness those benefits. The only way we can achieve that is to give scientists and researchers unlimited access to cannabis. Getting funding for scientific research is usually the biggest challenge, but when it comes to cannabis, that’s often the easy part. Anyone who wants to research cannabis must work with the federal government and it can take years to work through the red tape. Even then, being approved means you’ll have to use cannabis grown for research purposes, which is nothing like the cannabis found in dispensaries. Eliminating these bureaucratic obstacles will help us understand the full potential of cannabis. It will create a better experience for both patients and adult users.

A Fair Price from Soil to Oil

Prohibition made cannabis dangerous to grow, process, and consume. The risks involved inflated the price at every level, but legalization will quickly change that. Moving away from the black market makes cannabis safer and more affordable for everyone. However, we need to keep prices high enough to allow small farms to continue to be competitive and to provide a living wage to everyone in the industry. We also need to give growers and manufacturers an incentive to create quality products, instead of pushing them to take shortcuts such as pesticides to remain competitive.

Mindful Cultivation and Innovation

Like any crop, cannabis requires careful planning to mindfully use the natural resources it depends on. The cannabis community is a position to lead the way with mindful cultivation and innovative farming techniques. Issues such as water, pesticides, carbon output, and more all factor into the best practices for growing cannabis. We believe cannabis and hemp have the potential to do great things for the environment and the end of prohibition will push this industry to be more innovative and more mindful.

A Level Playing Field

Cannabis is a new industry and it’s quickly becoming one of the best places for women to work. That’s wonderful, but it’s not enough. We need to make sure that everyone has a place at the table, including the minorities that continue to be arrested and jailed far more often than their white counterparts. Prohibition has hurt a lot of people and we need steps in place to reverse as much of that harm as possible. However, legalization alone will not end the racial disparities in cannabis arrest rates; the entire cannabis community needs to be proactive about making the industry open to everyone.
This is the beginning of the end of prohibition but we still have a lot of work to do. We still have 22 states that do not allow for cannabis use of any kind and it’s still federally prohibited. A cannabis bill of rights gives us a standard to fight for as we attempt to regulate cannabis, but many people are still fighting prohibition. What do you need from a legal cannabis market? Share your personal cannabis bill of rights in the comments. Image credit: bistandsaktuelt 

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