The past six months have radically changed the legal landscape in cannabis, giving nearly 50 million people across the U.S. legal access. In the November 2020 election, adult use of cannabis – which means for anyone over 21 – was on the ballot in New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota and Montana & for medical use in Mississippi. It passed in every state. So far in 2021, Mexico legalized cannabis, and Virginia, New Mexico, and New York legalized it through their state legislatures.
One of the top questions we get from women is “what should I buy?”. If going to a dispensary for the first time makes you a little nervous, How to Do the Pot is here to help with a new audio series sharing women’s stories about the first time they bought legal weed. We’ve also created a map to check what’s legal where you live. Get a sneak peek into the series in this week’s episode, and we would love to hear your story. Please send a voice memo to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us @dothepot. Consider it a public service! ❤️ Ellen
WHAT IS DRIVING CANNABIS LEGALIZATION?
1. Social justice. 40,000 people remain in prison in the U.S. for cannabis crimes. More than 15 million people have been arrested for cannabis crimes in the past decade. And although Black & white people consume cannabis at the same rate, Black people are four times more likely to be arrested than white people. Listen to Episode 5 of How to Do the Pot for more on social justice in the modern cannabis industry and the equity programs that are part of states’ efforts to support people & communities affected by the War on Drugs.
2. Medical use. Cannabis is currently a Schedule 1 drug, which means it’s officially considered a dangerous substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. But the FDA has approved four cannabinoid-based drugs including Epidiolex, a treatment for seizures caused by Dravet syndrome. Charlotte Figi, a child with Dravet syndrome who passed away in 2020, and her parents are among the many advocates changing hearts and minds about cannabis medicine.
3. Bi-partisan support. A 2020 Gallup poll showed that two-thirds of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal, one of the only issues where different political leanings agree. Half of conservatives polled think it should be legal, joining nearly 80% of liberals and moderates.
4. Taxes. Alcohol was prohibited in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933, and one of the key reasons that federal prohibition ended was to raise tax revenue during the Great Depression. States are looking at serious budget shortfalls due to COVID. In 2020 alone, tax revenue for states with legal cannabis sales was $3 billion dollars.
5. Financial opportunity. When a new industry that is conservatively estimated to be worth $25 billion dollars sprouts up, a lot of people take notice. We believe very strongly that women should play an equal role in its growth – women are half of the population, so let’s make sure women have half of the jobs, run half of the businesses, and make up half of the board seats at companies in cannabis. Yet only 8% of CEOs in the cannabis industry are women. The next time you buy weed, consider who is running the company. And tell your friends! Let’s make sure that everyone knows how important it is to buy from brands run by women and with the best interests of women in mind.