The Year in Weed: Biggest Cannabis Moves in 2014
Photo by Monkiphoto
It’s been an exciting year of ups and downs for everyone’s favorite plant, but cannabis definitely came out on top after everything was said and done. Voters showed up in droves at the ballots, politicians and physicians made stands for cannabis and some people even got a little bit of free weed.
Though some of the changes weren’t as progressive or drastic as many people would have liked, like the saying goes: every little bit counts. Take a look below to see some of the game-changing things that happened in 2014.
This year citizens fought for their right to smoke as they see fit by challenging the powers that be and demanding a system without complicated double standards. From the Judge in California hearing a case on Schedule I classification to the medical marijuana employee fired for his after-hours cannabis use taking his case to the Colorado Supreme Court, it’s clear that people are no longer going to allow themselves to be bullied by outdated laws.
Prince of Pot Released from Prison
Marc Emery’s story, from seed salesman to prisoner to free man and face of the Canadian cannabis movement, has garnered him the timeless nickname of the Prince of Pot. His release came at a historical time in cannabis history with recreational legalization for adults in Colorado and Washington already in full swing, marking another milestone for the movement.
Over the summer, the U.S. government quietly released an application on their job opportunities website seeking skilled and prolific cultivators to assist them in growing massive amounts of pot… for research. The catch, of course, was that growers must obtain permission from the Drug Enforcement Administration to handle Schedule I substances and also own either 12 acres of land or possess a 1,000 square feet space to grow.
NY Legalizes Medical Cannabis and Decriminalizes Possession
Following a dark history of shady arrest practices and disproportionate arrests of people of color, city officials and local law enforcement have taken steps to improve the social and political climate surrounding cannabis in the state. Their two-part plan first involved officially legalizing medical cannabis to qualifying patients who need the medicine to manage their symptoms. Next, they decriminalized marijuana, which turns the act into a simple cite-and-release situation for having less than 25 grams.
If you missed the viral video of three hilarious grannies taking bong rips, trying out a vaporizer and munching on snacks, do yourself a favor and follow the link above to the clip. Just imagine one of your own beloved senior citizen family members indulging while you view it.
Berkeley Dispensaries Gave out Free Weed
Low-income and homeless patients in Berkeley received an early Christmas gift this year when the Berkeley City Council passed an ordinance that essentially forced dispensaries in the city to give free weed to those in need. The regulations made it mandatory for businesses to give away at least 2 percent of the bud they sell annually for no charge. The move proved that all patients should have access to medicine, regardless of their economic standing.
Oxford Dictionary Names “Vape” Word of the Year
Forget any of the other inescapable buzzwords of the year — academia has spoken. Vape, short for vaporize, is denoted as both the device and the act of inhaling vapour of an herb or substance. So, why did they name it as the word of the year? Because it’s currently being used twice as much as it was two years ago with people being 30 times more likely to hear it now than ever.
When Doctor Sanjay Gupta speaks, people listen and people were definitely all ears when he completely changed his stance on the usefulness of medical marijuana. He publicly apologized for his previous position, stating that he had not looked hard or far enough into the evidence. He even went as far as to say that the federal government needs to reschedule because it’s the right thing to do. Now, if only more mainstream physicians could follow in his footsteps.
Congress Passes Landmark Spending Bill
For a nice end-of-the-year surprise, the U.S. Congress unceremoniously passed a historical federal spending bill that included a provision essentially ended the federal government’s prohibition of medical marijuana. Only the future will show if this significant change in legislation will prevent DEA agents from raiding marijuana dispensaries that are in compliance with state regulations.
This November, during the general election, citizens around the world came forward to have their voices be heard and change the cannabis legislation in their city, state or country. Alaska and Oregon voters approved measures that legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Guam also legalized medical cannabis with the approval of Proposal 14A. The Department of Public Health and Social Services has nine months to develop specific rules.
What else happened this year that made history … in weed? Share with us in the comments.