Cannabis has been misunderstood until very recently. The past couple of decades have unfolded revolutionary evidence of the role cannabinoids play in our bodies. And while today’s society adapts to that notable presence, it gets criticized among its objectors and becomes more researched by its admirers.

Humans and Cannabis

The findings on cannabis and our reception to it have shown the flower to be a potential missing link in our brain and body. Connecting the CB1 and CB2 receptors we have in our brain, cannabis equips malfunctioning receptors to correct themselves. Advanced research in cannabis studies suggests that cannabis has medicinal value and that it has many benefits to us as humans.

Therefore, cannabis use is sought out as a natural regime to assist any diagnosis or known disease without compromising the body’s ability to heal or cope for itself. In fact, cannabis is also recognized as a natural booster for many things such as autoimmune diseases and immunity damage, cellular damage, and even rare brain disorders such as Dravet Syndrome.

As the biological effects of cannabis have been explored, research unveils outstanding benefits as to why it is so complementary to our systems. When something unique and versatile holds so much power, it also sometimes becomes misunderstood. And what humans misunderstand, they will either fear or create a willingness for themselves to understand.

This has been the case with humans and cannabis.

The History of the Struggle for Cannabis

When we look to the past when cannabis initially surfaced, it proves to have had its struggle. And when looking into that struggle a little deeper, it displays connections with government agencies, privately funded agencies, interest groups, and religious groups. So when we investigate the possibilities as to why cannabis has been torn apart by these groups, it is safe to say that they all share one thing in common: propaganda.

Their claim is that cannabis is harmful to individuals and youth and creates gang violence, which is why they’ve tried to keep cannabis illegal. This is not so accurate. The majority of government agencies have invested in corporations to “provide” for society, which are conveniently profitable. One example is that medicinal cannabis pushes away the need for some pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals heal in some aspects, but are not innocent in creating new problems. Cannabis is a way out of many pharmaceutical treatments, and these groups are certainly aware of this.

Cannabis in the USA

We can also safely assume that another reason why cannabis is illegal is because of its versatile uses. United States history shows that hemp was a viable industrial application until their government outlawed it with The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This ban created a new niche for textile companies to look at synthetic applications, such as nylon. Companies like DuPont argued that nylon was better than hemp. Their arguments fell short, and had little validity.

This law was then challenged and repealed in 1969 with Leary v. United States. Appropriately, the decision of the Supreme Court determined the Marihuana Tax Act to be unconstitutional, since it directly violated the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. In response, congress passed the Controlled Substances Act as Schedule II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. This was cannabis’ second shift into America’s governed laws.

Cannabis in America remains fully illegal on a federal level while most states are pushing for individual legalization and regulations.

Cannabis in Canada

In Canadian history, cannabis was added to the Confidential Restricted List under the Narcotics Drug Act Amendment Bill on April 23, 1923 in the House of Commons. This made cannabis officially illegal in Canada for any purpose.

However, in July of 2001 cannabis as medication was brought to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The Court granted access for persons with deemable medical issues that were outlined by Health Canada.

Over the years, the Conservative government attempted to strike down aspects of the program. But that only created other regulatory obstacles for patients who were in the program or who were trying to access it. Canadians won the right to continue to medically grow in February 2016 in Federal Court.

Today, Canada will be enforcing a new Cannabis Act to legalize recreational cannabis in 2018. This structure of regulations and penalizing laws around cannabis is a very unreasonable framework.

And the disgusting truth is that people still struggle with cannabis, and it’s not over yet. We can rest assured that once cannabis is legal, it will get harder for regular people. The new struggle with cannabis is corporate monetary greed and power that has reared its ugly head.

Ultimately provinces will make all final decisions on retail, age access, driving impairment, and there is more to be determined.

The Future of the Struggle for Cannabis

So how do we transition with the nature of things? Cannabis advocates have
fought tooth and nail for legalization. They even went as far as being martyrs in the system, facing Supreme Court challenges in order to get further footed. And they did it by standing up for what they believe in: cannabis.

Advocate for what you believe in and be a part of the understanding. We don’t have to like what is happening, but we can choose to live happily. Transition is inevitable and so is change. We can make a difference by being the difference.

And maybe next time when voting, we shouldn’t believe the lies.

This article was edited to correct the courts which granted legal access to cannabis. The previous version incorrectly credited the Supreme Court of Canada.