BY JON GETTMAN – High Times Magazine
Looking ahead into 2016 one thing is clear: there is a lot more to marijuana’s legalization than whether cannabis users are arrested, fined or regulated.
Here are the three most important marijuana issues for 2016 and beyond.
First, there is the old issue of criminal penalties for marijuana possession, sale and cultivation.
It’s great that some states have legalized marijuana and many more are considering this approach in the upcoming year. But marijuana remains illegal in much of the United States. This cannot be allowed to continue; legalization must become national. Federal legislation that allows states the option to legalize or criminalize marijuana is not an acceptable national policy.
Second, all Americans must have the right to grow cannabis for both personal and commercial use.
On a large scale this is an issue of having a free, open market without the granting of limited commercial monopolies for cultivation. But this is also a matter of personal freedom. Individuals ought to be able to grow cannabis for personal use and also be able to sell some to their friends or even at a local farmer’s market.
Third, marijuana users must be protected from employment discrimination.
Employers have every right to require that their employees not be impaired while at work—whether from prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana or any other drug. Firing someone from their job because they use marijuana when they are not at work is unacceptable discrimination, as is denying employment for this reason. Public discrimination based on private legal behavior should not be allowed, regardless of the behavior.
The medical use of cannabis during work hours is a bit more complicated, in which the rights and responsibilities of the employee must be balanced against the rights and responsibilities of the employer. But in these cases, the issue is that the medical condition of the employee and its treatment creates a disability, which may prevent that person from working, and it should be addressed accordingly rather than as an issue of on-the-job drug abuse.
Read More at High Times Magazine
Photo Credit: Dollar Photo Club