The marijuana industry and the political sphere in the U.S. have seen a large number of drastic changes over the course of the past few years. The two states of Georgia and New Mexico are both working to update their laws surrounding cannabis, which should help to add them into the majority of the U.S. that has legalized or decriminalized cannabis.
The state of Georgia recently came into the public eye as they may be on the verge of legalizing the use of medicinal cannabis. The state assembly recently passed a bill that would allow for the sale of marijuana within the state as well as in-state production for medical use only.
Prior to this, the state had legislation that only allowed for low THC cannabis oil for those with certain illnesses. It did not, however, allow for the growth or sale of cannabis and cannabis oil within state lines. The new bill would effectively legalize the production, manufacturing and dispensing of the substance within the state of Georgia. In addition, it would also help to grow a statewide commission to oversee all the various aspects of the industry as well as licensing some businesses and universities to produce the substance.
The bill will not, however, legalize smoking marijuana or recreational use, but these could come in the near future potentially. Governor Brian Kemp stated that “over the years, I’ve met with children who are battling chronic, debilitating diseases. I’ve heard from parents who are struggling with access and losing hope. This compromise legislation is carefully crafted to provide access to medical cannabis oil to those in need. This is simply the right thing to do.”
If Georgia is able to pass this legislation, it would make them the 34th state to do so, which is quite a sizable number and adds them to the desire for a nationwide legal marijuana system. The hopes are high for the upcoming vote on the subject.
In similar news, New Mexico recently became the 24th state in the U.S. to decriminalize possession of cannabis in small amounts. The bill was signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, which allows for as much as half an ounce of marijuana with a $50 fine if caught.
A report showed that the new law “could have a positive fiscal impact on the courts, prosecutors, and public defenders; workloads could be lessened by reducing the charges of possession of marijuana up to one-half ounce and use or possession of drug paraphernalia to penalty assessments.” While this is not legalization of the substance, it does show a new light for those who consume the substance or have been criminalized for doing so.
Both of these states are only contributing to the vast need for a change from the federal level for cannabis reform. The public does continue to show that they support legalizing marijuana, but all we need now is the change from the higher level. It seems as though this may be well on the way, which continues to be positive news.