Reefer, Ganja, Herb, Skunk, and Weed, all names for one of the most nefarious plants in all of our known existence: Marijuana. This leafy green plant has become known by many names, and few other plants have ever had a need to be so disguised and or hidden throughout time. Never in our history, has a plant been so controversial as Marijuana is today. Depending on where you are in the world, one could experience a range of things when they are found to be in possession of the Green Power Flower. In some places in the world, it is considered a medication, used to treat a wide range of maladies ranging from chronic pain conditions, to terminal illnesses. At the same time, in another part of the world one could face imprisonment for the rest of their lives for possession of Marijuana. Marijuana and its uses however, are not new to the human race. In fact, we as a species have used it for thousands of years for medicinal, to spiritual purposes, it is only until relatively recently that this plant has come under such persecution for one reason or another. As science advances, and we learn more about the facts that lay behind the effects of Marijuana, will the outlook and future of this plant change? Only time will tell, but we can look at the current landscape of the Cannabis industry around the world, and take some clues as to where we will see ourselves in the next decade or so when it comes to what some would call natures greatest gift to man.
It would not be a stretch of truth to say that there is nothing that grows out of the ground more controversial than Marijuana in the modern world. Despite the fact that this medicinal herb has been used through out the world for millennia by countless cultures for a variety of reasons, it was during the early 20th century that something began to change. Certain industries and opinions began to change, and soon, by 1911, Cannabis began to be outlawed in certain regions within the United States. Soon other states and countries followed suit and international policies were put in place. Marijuana was relegated to be used only for specific, and controlled purposes. Fast forward a little farther, and we now see that the possession and use of Cannabis is now almost entirely illegal in most places! What one person may have used for medication a few years before, could now land them in prison for the rest of their lives! Cannabis and many of its byproducts were placed on various lists of dangerous drugs, and deadly substances. But why? To answer that, one has to delve deeper. Depending on who you ask, it was the lobbying of various established industries, lumber, pharmaceuticals, etc. that strove to have Cannabis banned as to not disrupt their business. Little scientific work was done int he past to support the various ideas perpetuated by propaganda such as Reefer Madness. Claims all the way from Cannabis causing violence, to homelessness, and teen pregnancy were being streamed into the population for decades, creating an environment that was, and would be very negative towards the Cannabis industry for a very long time. In the 60’s, the “War on Drugs” was initiated in the United States, continuing a long history of anti-marijuana rhetoric. It was not until the mid 1990’s that things began to finally swing once again in the other direction with the reintroduction of medical cannabis laws. It was not easy, but it was the start of a long and difficult process towards better understanding of what Cannabis truly is, and the benefits it can reap on society. Finally, we find ourselves in 2017 where nations around the world have not only decriminalised the use and possession of Marijuana, but are on the path of full legalisation either medically, or even recreationally. It has been a drastic change, but what does this all mean for the weed of today?
In today’s world, Marijuana is very different then “in your father’s day”. From new ways of consumption and uses, to ways of production, and even the strength of the actual flowers that are grown, Marijuana has changed a great deal. The reasons for this are many, mostly due to the advances in science since the prohibition of Marijuana began. Today we have strains of flower that are higher in THC (the chemical compound that causes the “high”) then hippies during the sixties ever imagined. We have the ability to infuse practically any edible item with Cannabis, from the typical brownie, all the way to entire pizzas, and even coffee! We have access to medicated pads, capsules, tropicals, and other “normal” health products. You can purchase syringes with almost pure CBD (the chemical that provides most medical benefits in Cannabis) oil in them even! The possibilities that we have today are so far beyond what anyone every thought! If inhaling is still your thing, but you’d like to avoid smoking, you can now even vaporize the flower itself, or the oil, avoiding the carbonization of the plant matter. From recreational, to medical Marijuana, not only are there now more ways to consume the Power Flower, but what you do consume, is going to be much more potent than anything the world had seen before! From helping cancer patients, and those in chronic pain, to just giving you that needed break after an “oh so stressful” day after work, Cannabis is becoming the more and more go-to for many people around the world. Cannabis in 2017, especially with how much more flexible the laws are becoming, is on the fast track to becoming a viable source of relief for many patients around the world, imprinting its place in our cultural identity in many cases.
Despite all of these advances, scientific discoveries, and improvements in the Cannabis industry, Marijuana remains illegal and or hard to obtain in many parts of the world. However, as the time goes on and Marijuana becomes more and more accepted for its medical and economic purposes, many places are creating new legislation to accommodate these changes. However, in certain places like the United States, it is often the case that states are in violation of federal laws when it comes to Marijuana, and the debate rages on as to who has the power to make such decisions. It is a similar story around the world. While millions are spent a year on studying the effects of Marijuana, how it can be altered, and improved etc. it still remains a highly taboo subject, and business practice. Many believe that Cannabis could be the next booming industry, and if early signs are true, they may be right. This year, a university in Colorado, is offering scholarships to students funded completely by the legal recreational sale of Marijuana in the state. It is truly a new world, where the economic aspects of Marijuana can truly be used for the good of the communities it surrounds. This is but one of many similar stories around the world. 2017 seems to only be the beginning, but there is definitely change in the air.
Despite the long history that Cannabis has with our species, it has only recently come under fire and persecution for its possession and use during the last century or so. It is only now, in 2017 after decades of medical, and scientific advances, that the true potential of Cannabis as a medical, and economic aid are being realized. Only the future will tell what is in store for this extraordinary member of the flora kingdom.