November 6, 2012. It’s one of the most important dates in recent cannabis history. It’s Weed Legalization Day!
So what is the legalization day meaning? It marks the date that Colorado and Washington legalized adult-use marijuana. Although a small handful of states already had legalized medical cannabis, this date marked the first time weed became legal for recreational use.
This year, 2022, marks the tenth anniversary of Weed Legalization Day. And we’re celebrating with a look back at cannabis prior to this momentous date and how far we’ve come since then.
A Brief History of Cannabis Before November 6, 2012
In the U.S., cannabis wasn’t exactly known for being a good or beneficial plant. The first restrictions began in the early 1900s. By 1930, every state labeled it as a drug. The government then passed the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which placed a tax on the sale of hemp and cannabis and effectively made recreational use illegal.
In 1970, the government passed the Controlled Substances Act, which set up the framework for federal regulation and criminalization of drugs in the U.S. It labeled cannabis as a Schedule I drug, placing it in a category of drugs considered to lack any medical benefit and have a high potential for abuse alongside heroin and cocaine. It remains a Schedule I drug to this day.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that things started to change. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis with Proposition 215. The law stated that, with a doctor’s recommendation, patients and caregivers could have and grow the plant for medicinal purposes. Several other states followed suit shortly after.
However, it wasn’t until November 6, 2012, that the first states legalized weed for recreational purposes. Amendment 64 (Colorado) and Initiative 502 (Washington) allowed for the possession of up to one ounce for adults 21 and older.
Life After Weed Legalization Day: 6 Fun Facts and Trends
So, how far has cannabis come since November 6, 2012? Here are a few fun facts and trends worth celebrating.
1. More Than Half of US States Have Legalized Weed
Today, 37 states and DC have legalized cannabis for medical use (17 of which legalized it before 2012). Since November 6, 2012, there are also now a total of 19 states and DC that have legalized it for recreational use. Several more states have marijuana-related measures on their 2022 ballots.
2. Product Options Have Exploded
Cannabis product options are practically limitless. There are flowers, vape carts, tinctures/oils, topicals, and concentrates. The edibles market has grown substantially, too. You have a wide assortment of baked goods, gourmet chocolates, hard candies, gummies, coffee, tea, and sparkling water. In short, no matter your needs and preferences, there are cannabis products for pretty much everyone.
3. Job Opportunities Abound
If you’re looking for work, check out the cannabis industry. According to the 2022 Leafly Jobs Report, the legal U.S. market now supports more than 428,000 full-time equivalent jobs. That figure represents a 33% increase in one year. It also marks the fifth consecutive year of annual growth greater than 27%. States are adding new positions almost daily, giving job seekers and those interested in the cannabis industry plenty of opportunities to get in.
4. Acceptance Is Growing Across the Generations
A recent Gallup poll found that 49% of U.S. adults have tried cannabis, up from 40% only seven years prior. It isn’t only one generation, though. The number of adults who have at least tried it is up across all age groups, from the Silent Generation (before 1945) to Millennials. Several outlets predict Gen Zers (many of whom are still too young to use cannabis legally) will be twice as likely to use cannabis than the average American.
5. A Majority of People Want To See Cannabis Federally Legal
Another indication that acceptance of cannabis is growing is that almost all people want to see cannabis legal on the federal level in some capacity. According to the PEW Research Center, 60% of people say medical and recreational use should be legal, while 31% say medical only should be legal. Only 8% say it shouldn’t be legal at all.
6. The MORE Act
The MORE Act, which seeks to deschedule and decriminalize the cannabis plant federally, has gone through the House a few times. It has yet to make it to the Senate, though. President Biden did announce an executive order to pardon all prior federal offenses for simple possession, but we have yet to see any real movement on full federal legalization.
Tips to Celebrate Weed Legalization Day
Looking to have your own celebration? Try some of the following:
Visit Your Favorite Local Dispensary
Support the businesses that supply you with high-quality products. Take a trip to your local dispensary, purchase your favorite products, and don’t forget to wish the budtenders (and other customers) a happy legalization day.
Try a New Strain or Product
Use this cannabis holiday as an opportunity to expand your cannabis horizons. Have you thought about treating yourself to a delectable edible? Perhaps you’re curious about concentrates. Maybe there’s a new strain that’s caught your attention. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Relax at Home
Use the products you buy. Go a step further and watch a cannabis-centric movie or documentary. You could opt for classics like “The Big Lebowski,” “Dazed and Confused,” or “Pineapple Express.” Or see how far we’ve come by viewing “Reefer Madness.” Check out documentaries such as “Lady Buds,” “Weed the People,” or “Grass Is Greener.”
Start a Conversation
While attitudes are changing, many stigmas remain. Help break them by talking about cannabis. Not sure how to broach the subject? Try the following:
- Educate yourself
- Wear a t-shirt, pin, or other paraphernalia. You may find that people approach you to ask questions.
- Introduce what you’ve learned/what you know to your friends and family.
- Share information on social media.
Reach Out to Your Elected Officials
Calling or emailing your Representatives and Senators is one of the best ways you can advocate for cannabis reform. Getting involved and making your voice heard can help you make a difference.
Happy Legalization Day From VidaCann!
Are you looking to celebrate Legalization Day in Florida? Look no further than VidaCann. We have several dispensaries throughout the state that carry an assortment of the highest-quality products to help you live your healthiest life. No matter which location you visit, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and that you’ll enjoy using. Visit us online to find your nearest shop today!