Cannabis legalization comes in multiple phases. At least that has been my experience living in Oregon where we voted to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2014.
Many people think that just because a legalization initiative is passed on election day that the fight is over. But the reality is that the battle goes on, just in different ways.
Every single cannabis legalization initiative that has passed in America was not perfect. All of them can and should be improved upon.
One facet of legalization that most states missed was social cannabis use provisions. Cannabis clubs and businesses allowing on-site cannabis use are still prohibited in almost all of the United States.
Denver Initiative 300 passed during the last election, making it the first place in America to pass a measure to allow public use.
Many of the initiative’s provisions became null once alcohol regulators chimed in, but the initiative has since been followed by a number of efforts to legalize social cannabis use models via state legislatures.
Social cannabis use laws are extremely important for cannabis consumers, and you should fight for them in your area. Below are six talking points that Green Flower encourages people to use when speaking with elected officials.
#1) Travelers need a place to legally consume cannabis
A lot of people have traveled from a prohibition state to a legal state and made cannabis purchases. The purchases were made in regulated, licensed stores by legal adults.
Most of the tourists likely realized they had an issue on their hands – where could they legally consume the cannabis they had just purchased?
Many hotels and other lodging prohibit cannabis consumption. People cannot consume cannabis in direct public view, leaving little to no options to remain in compliance.
That’s why social cannabis clubs and limited social use laws are so important for travelers.
#2) Renters or people without homes
Landlords are under no obligation to allow non-medical cannabis use in rental properties in America. Even with medical use, protections for patients are few and far between.
Even adult citizens in legal states are often barred from legally consuming cannabis because of their living situation and the rules their landlords hold them too.
It is even worse for people that are in-between housing or homeless. As previously stated, cannabis use in public view is prohibited everywhere in America, even in legal states.
#3) Voters gave the mandate to ‘regulate it like alcohol’
The most effective message of this decade when it comes to cannabis reform is to ‘regulate cannabis like alcohol.’ It is what voters approved on legalization day, and it is what elected officials should implement.
Cannabis will never be truly legalized for adult use until it is treated the same way as alcohol. Alcohol consumption in private clubs and establishments only open to adults is commonplace. It should be that way for cannabis.
#4) Cannabis enhances so many things
You will be hard pressed to find something that enhances as many experiences as cannabis does. Cannabis can enhance the yoga experience, culinary experiences, painting classes, poetry groups, video game clubs, etc.
With the exception of alcohol, there is no other substance in America that has the ability to draw in consumers like cannabis. Last time I checked people weren’t coming in packs and droves to events dedicated to spinach and couples painting.
#5) It boosts local economies
A big argument for legalization is that it creates businesses. By all measures legalization is exceeding expectations in areas where cannabis is legal from that standpoint.
With the creation of new businesses comes the creation of jobs. Just as dispensaries and gardens create jobs, so too will businesses revolving around social cannabis use.
Employees of those companies will spend their hard earned dollars in the communities in which they work, providing an economic boost to businesses that have nothing to do with cannabis. It’s a win for everyone.
#6) Social clubs and other businesses will exist anyways and consumers want them
The consumer demand for businesses that will be licensed via social use cannabis legalization is obvious. Cannabis clubs and other business models are operating currently in ‘grey areas’ in many states, and are very popular.
If they are going to exist anyways, why not legalize and regulated them to ensure safety and to generate revenue for the governments that regulate them? Why keep them operating off the record, in the shadows?
Social cannabis use venues are not going away, and they should be embraced instead of shunned. They should be allowed to benefit responsible adult cannabis consumers everywhere that they exist!