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The mainstream media is quickly wising up to the shifting public opinion on marijuana and its legalization. First, the New York Times (and subsequently many other news outlets) came out calling for the legalization of cannabis. Now, another mainstream media outlet had taken an important first step.
Today, the mainstream understanding of marijuana and cannabis culture has taken another major step forward. The Boston Globe has published a short letter to the editor about medical marijuana, marijuana decriminlization, and the black hole in supply that decriminalization without legalization of production and distribution causes.
For those who haven’t read the original letter, it’s a response to a local news story about police seeking the individual who was growing thirty cannabis plants near a Walmart in the nearby state of Vermont.
The letter’s writer, Richard Feinberg, goes on to bluntly state that the individual growing those plants out in the open was a hero.
Why? Because both Vermont and Massachusetts have already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis and passed medical marijuana laws. In both states, however, plenty of citizens are still being arrested and prosecuted for the “crime” of growing, selling, or possessing cannabis. Because there are no retail dispensaries (particularly not for adult recreations users in the states taking advantage of the decriminalization laws), citizens have no choice but to purchase their marijuana from a black market dealer.
Most people find someone they are comfortable with, but as Feinberg points out, what happens when their dealer (or their dealer’s grower) is arrested? These citizens are forced to navigate the black market, which can be very dangerous, trying to find a new source for safe, high-quality cannabis.
The fact that prohibition forces otherwise law-abiding citizens to deal with career criminals has always been a strong argument for the legalization of marijuana for adults. It’s refreshing and encouraging to finally see this important concept filtering into mainstream media and therefore the perception of the average American citizen.
For previous Ladybud articles about marijuana decriminalization, click here.