Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Cannabis legalization looks to be right around the corner and almost inevitable. 33 states have passed adult or medical use laws and the federal government is seriously contemplating multiple legalization bills. Sounds great right? For the consumers, it’s definitely a step up, but the business owners are still facing hurdles that normal businesses don’t have to worry about. Many companies feel slighted on regulations that restrict routes of marketing, ask for excessive packaging for products, and block them from creating any products that might entice children. However, there are reasons why these regulations are in place. All we need to do is to take a trip down memory lane to figure it out.
This is not the first time cannabis was on the precipice of being legal. In the 1970’s a massive surge of support for cannabis flooded the country. NORML and High Times were formed, cannabis advocates locked arms with the anti-war group, and Vietnam veterans came back from the war touting how much cannabis helped them. To top it off, 11 states had decriminalized cannabis by the end of the 1970’s.
Jimmy Carter ran in support of decriminalizing cannabis and appointed Peter Bourne (who convinced him to support the decriminalization effort) as the “Special Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse". Peter Bourne had close ties with the president of NORML, Keith Stroup, who was a major influence in many legislative documents like the draft paper on drug policy in 1977. He was prominent in the capital and had an office across the street. Stroup was so confident in the strides being made that he claimed in High Times that cannabis will definitely be nationally legalized by 1980. But that’s when the movement came to a sudden halt.