Weed is ready to hit the main­stream

The Week Middle East - - News -

Katy Stein­metz

Time The 2016 US elec­tion “may go down as a wa­ter­shed for weed”, says Katy Stein­metz. Amid all the drama of the cam­paign, rel­a­tively lit­tle at­ten­tion has been paid to the var­i­ous mar­i­juana-re­lated mea­sures that in­di­vid­ual states ap­proved, but these prom­ise to have a trans­for­ma­tive ef­fect. Be­fore the elec­tion, recre­ational use of mar­i­juana was le­gal in four states and the District of Columbia. It’s now le­gal in eight – and one of the four new states to le­galise it is Cal­i­for­nia, Amer­ica’s most pop­u­lous state and the fifth-largest econ­omy in the world. In ad­di­tion, four more states voted to le­galise the med­i­cal use of mar­i­juana. “The up­shot is that more than half the states in the US now have med­i­cal mar­i­juana laws, and roughly one-fifth of the pop­u­la­tion lives in a place where adults 21 and older can legally con­sume weed for fun.” Ex­perts be­lieve this could prove a tip­ping point, forc­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, which still views mar­i­juana as “a highly ad­dic­tive sub­stance on a par with heroin”, to adopt a more sen­si­ble stance. Af­ter the elec­tion, le­gal­i­sa­tion has “shifted from be­ing an ex­per­i­ment in the Amer­i­can west to some­thing primed for the main­stream”. With Canada also look­ing to le­galise recre­ational mar­i­juana next year, the end of pro­hi­bi­tion is surely nigh.

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