2020 has been a year that we’re sure not to forget soon. It seems like there’s been a never ending onslaught of calamities. All the chaos makes counting our blessings this Thanksgiving even more important. So despite the deadly virus, stay-at-home orders, and political unrest, we at E1011 Labs have put together a list of six things we’re thankful for this year.
1. Push for Inclusivity in Cannabis
One big thing we’re thankful for is the continued push for inclusivity in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis prohibition has disproportionately affected people of color. A study by the ACLU determined that African Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana charges than white people, despite both groups reporting similar rates of use. Now that legal cannabis has become a multi-billion dollar industry, those same people of color make up a very slim percentage of the CEOs and executives who are raking in millions in marijuana profits.
Fortunately, the industry has begun taking steps to correct this injustice. One organization, Cannaclusive, has made it there their mission to bring more diversity to mainstream cannabis. They’ve even created an accountability list intended to hold individual companies accountable for their lack of inclusivity by detailing their diversity metrics.
2. Sweeping Marijuana Legalization
This November, the United States saw voters in several states express their support of cannabis reform. An unprecedented four states passed ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana, and even historically conservative Mississippi overwhelmingly voted for a medical marijuana program.
Surprisingly, the deep-red South Dakota was on the list of states where marijuana was legalized. Unfortunately, the Mount Rushmore State can’t celebrate yet. Two members of South Dakota law enforcement have filed a suit attempting to circumvent the will of voters.
Arizona had an opportunity in 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana; however, the ballot measure failed. This year Prop. 207, a similar measure designed to legalize marijuana and set the groundwork for expunging prior cannabis convictions passed by a margin of 20%, signaling a change of heart in local residents.
New Jersey and Montana each passed their own marijuana legalization legislation as well. Montana’s initiative earmarks half of the public revenue generated by cannabis sales for wildlife conservation funds, and New Jersey prosecutors have already suspended pursuing marijuana possession convictions in the wake of their bill passing.
E1011 Labs is thankful that thousands of more Americans will soon have safe access to cannabis and no longer be subject to criminal prosecution.
3. The MORE Act and Federal Marijuana Decriminalization
The house of representatives is set to vote on the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 in December. The MORE Act is a piece of legislation sponsored by Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level, expunge federal cannabis convictions, and financially support efforts to diversify the cannabis industry.
So what does decriminalized mean? What’s the difference between decriminalization and legalization? When we talk about the decriminalization of drugs, we’re talking about ending criminal penalties for possessing those drugs, but not necessarily full legalization. To best understand the nuances of decriminalization vs legalization, look at a state like Colorado where cannabis is completely legal. There you are legally allowed to sell, grow, and manufacture cannabis products freely. Whereas in a state like North Carolina that has some degree of decriminalization, you might not face jail time for possessing a small amount of cannabis, but you won’t be able to freely purchase it.
4. Growing Support for Cannabis Reform
The people of the United States are making it clear that they are in favor of meaningful cannabis reform, and we’re thankful this trend is continuing.
So far, a total of twenty-seven states (Including D.C.) have decriminalization laws:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
And a total of 16 states (including D.C.) have legalized it:
- New Jersey
- South Dakota
5. The Hemp Plant
We are always thankful for the curative properties of hemp. The list of reasons why we should support hemp and hemp cultivation is seemingly endless, and its potential to save the honeybees is one of our personal favorites. There’s nothing quite like unwinding after a long day with the CBD-rich hemp in our Stem Relax. This Thanksgiving, share the sublime gift of hemp with our Elon Starter Kit.