October 1, 2015 marks another historic moment in Oregon’s marijuana initiative. It was a long wait for many Oregonians who have long anticipated the day when they would be legally allowed to purchase weed in a store, without a medical card or hassle from law enforcement.
The scene was reminiscent of long lines of people anxiously awaiting their moment to buy the new iPhone 6, or any other new technology product. The crowd standing outside of Shango Premium Cannabis in Portland, Oregon was slightly less agitated and nervous, possibly due to the laid-back nature of the customer demographic.
Customers like Davia Fleming, a 29-year-old Portlander, who commented on how professional and beautiful the cannabis shop was to the reporters covering the weed-storic day. “Besides the overwhelmingly positive outcome it’s been a productive day, the whole country is watching us,” Fleming added to reporters.
Almost a year prior, in November 2015, Measure 91 was passed in the state of Oregon legalizing recreational marijuana use for any Oregonians 21 and older. The new regulations went into effect on July 1, 2014, but the state was still hashing out the details of recreational marijuana sales. While legal sales remained a budding issue, Oregonians were still able to legally grow and share their love for weed with others.
As of Thursday, the first day of October 2015, Oregonians can now purchase, and medical marijuana dispensaries can dispense, up to one-quarter ounce of green alternative medicine to adults per day. “It was a historic moment for Shango and all the recreational users in the state of Oregon that finally have the ability to buy quality lab tested product in a safe environment,” Shane McKee, cofounder of Shango told reporters as people awaited the midnight launch.
This year was a soft opening as Oregon is still growing toward the sales of other marijuana products like edibles, concentrates and topicals. The state will also begin accepting new cannabis store applications at the beginning of 2016, which will most certainly spark economic growth in the state.
There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the legalization of marijuana in the United States. Many states like Alaska, Colorado and Washington have also legalized non-medicinal marijuana use just as Oregon had last year. Over 20 other states in America are allowing medicinal marijuana use. Is the openly smokey nature of cannabis legalization a sticky issue? Much of America is still divided, however, the alternative healing power of marijuana cannot be denied.
A study published in Current Opinion in Psychiatry (2002) discusses the positive therapeutic nature of cannabis and how it is an essential alternative medicine to study more closely. The study concluded, “Pure plant cannabinoids and synthetic analogues have a potential role in the treatment of pain conditions, spastic disorders and in palliative care, and give promise of future benefits in a range of illnesses.”
Marijuana has been used as an alternative medication for centuries. In China, Emperor Shen Neng prescribed cannabis as a treatment for many ailments, including rheumatism, malaria, poor memory and gout. Emperor Neng’s cannabis practice began around 2737 B.C. and has spread like wildfire around the world since.
Today, marijuana is utilized in the treatment of many physical and mental health conditions as well as their side effects. The National Cancer Institute states, “Commercially available cannabinoids, such as dronabinol and nabilone, are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects.”
Oregon may be headed in the right direction, however, what problems do you think will arise, if any, from complete legalization of marijuana?
Stephen Seifert is a writer, professor, adventurer and a health & fitness guru. His flair for travel and outdoor adventure allows him to enjoy culture and traditions different than his own. A healthy diet, routine fitness and constant mental development is the cornerstone to Stephen’s life.