Note my picture here in Amsterdam. I insisted that any shots of me were meticulously “sanitized” of anything to do with cannabis.

It was around the year 2002 that a friend and I traveled to Amsterdam to take in the coffeeshops. Coffeeshops were the “code word” in that Dutch city for “get your cannabis here” … consuming in the public and in the daylight nonetheless!
It was very exotic, of course, because back home, “coming out” would have fingered me as a dope-smoking pariah and my job as a magazine editor would have certainly been on the line.
I thought of that this week during the wrap-up of the U.S. election, where, incredibly, in every state where cannabis legalization was on the ballot it won – which makes access to the plant legal for more than one-third of Americans.
This could very well be the catalyst for a cascade of new legalization to come, which I have more to say about in this week’s blog:

Well, there was one silver lining coming out of the election… the intriguing fact that staunch conservative holdouts like Montana and South Dakota are falling in line, legalizing cannabis for “recreational” use or what we now call Adult Use. Arizona and New Jersey, not such surprises, went there too. Mississippi jumped in legalizing medical. Mississippi!

Those in the know, analysts who keep a studied eye on the subtleties of cannabis legalization, fully expect the rest of the hold-out states to step into the ring sooner than later. They believe that the more states that legalize, the more that other states will be forced to legalize.

Why is this? Because citizens of the illegal states who want their cannabis medicine, will cross state lines to go and buy product. And they’ll be spending their money on cannabis and the taxes that go with it in those legal states and then taking it back to their home state. Of course, that’s illegal, but that’s what happens.

And states that don’t offer legalized cannabis sales are losing incredible amounts of tax money to these other states where people are buying their product.

For instance, in the state of Colorado, where Adult use cannabis has been legal since 2014, that state has raked in more than, get this, 1 billion dollars in tax revenue from the legal sales of cannabis.

So when this kind of money is pouring into state coffers for education, health care, substance abuse prevention and treatment, how long will other state legislatures stand-by and watch this happens… foregoing beaucoup dollars of potential tax revenue. Especially in this climate of  huge budget cut-backs and austerity programs. It’s pretty much a no-brainer. A law-maker would have to be a conservative neanderthal to dig in his heels OR keep his heels dug in – and how long is an elected official going to last if their citizens want cannabis legalized.

What’s more, not only the tax revenue … it’s the creation of jobs associated with that whole marketplace of cannabis, from growing it, to packaging it, to testing it, to selling it and everything in between.

In 2019, it was reported that nearly 300-thousand full-time jobs have been created because of the cannabis industry. 300,000 – that’s about the population of Pittsburgh. And of course more now with these other states are coming on line.

Now, this is all being done without cannabis being legal on a Federal level.  And regardless of where you stand with your politics, Joe Biden is putting forward a platform that calls for rescheduling cannabis to make it legal at the federal level and to implement robust social justice opportunities – like moving the last people out of prison who are in there because they were caught with cannabis.

So between what’s going on at the state level and what may be falling into place on the national federal level, access to cannabis is looking very good.

And this is great news, regardless of your relationship to the plant, whether it’s medical, whether it’s adult use to better your wellbeing or as it is in my world, for supporting mental health.

In the end, Cannabis is not about getting high, it’s about getting well. What do you think about this movement? Are you someone who’s just coming around or have been an advocate for along time now? Drop down to the comments section and let me know!

I’m Becca Williams, and I want you to lead your most magnificent life. And I want to help you do that!