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Today is a popular unofficial holiday for cannabis enthusiasts all over the world. This year, more people in the United States than ever before can celebrate this holiday without fear of criminal consequences. Celebrating 4/20 is legal in eight states, as well as in Washington D.C. as of April 20th, 2018. While Vermont’s lawmakers did pass a legalization law, it sadly doesn’t go into effect until July 1st, meaning next year will be the first year Vermont residents can legally enjoy this holiday.
While celebrating, make sure to take a moment to thank those who have fought long and hard to change the nation’s broken approach to cannabis. Gratitude is also owed to the people who chose to break the law and grow cannabis during prohibition, risking jail and the loss of their property. Their actions helped ensure that the plant survived decades of eradication efforts.
Today is also an excellent time to reflect on the consequences of the Drug War and to remember how many people remain incarcerated or saddled by criminal records as a result of a victimless “crime.” One way you can honor these people is by reaching out to your representatives to ask that they support the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017. This bill is back in the news after Bernie Sanders signed on as a co-sponsor yesterday.
If passed, this bill could help decriminalize cannabis at both state and federal levels. In addition to removing the plant from the Controlled Substances Act, it would also reduce federal funding to states that continue to criminalize cannabis. It also allocated funds to help rebuild the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs, including communities of color across the country. This bill represents a major shift in national rhetoric, helping change the discussion around cannabis to something that better reflects modern reality.
So, from everyone here at Ladybud, have a Happy 420! Please be safe, ensure a sober driver if you’re out at parties and take a moment to remember how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go.