Current Marijuana Laws Stifle Innovation By Imprisoning Entrepreneurs
Cannabis business entrepreneurs exhibit the characteristics we wish more of our society had. It is high time to embrace them, or even become one.
Cannabis has endured against all odds and overwhelming negative publicity. Not only endured, but it is thriving, pushing the mainstream thinking, and forever altering the course of history. What does that say about those who have believed in the plant and fought for its freedom? Characteristics such as intelligence, creativity, tenacity, courage, self-sacrifice, and compassion spring to mind.
The benefit to society of these individuals and their attributes is immense. Faced with adversity, they have not given in. Much like the plant they enjoy, they
The world needs more cannabis lovers
In a recent hearing of the US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Senator Chuck Grassley said:
“Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Far from it. Some of the best and brightest have enjoyed the herb. From Presidents and CEO’s to scientists, scholars, inventors, entrepreneurs, doctors, charity workers, and numerous politicians and parents.
It is not the use of a plant that makes one good or bad. Rather, it is the intentions and attributes of the person that are what characterize users, both for good and ill. There are more sinners than saints in a church, as they say.
The nature of cannabis-related businesses, whether legal or illegal, on the other hand, is a breeding ground for positive characteristics. Business acumen, perseverance, financial savvy, inventory control, and creative marketing and distributorship are skills that benefit one regardless of the legal status of the product. That is not a promotion of illegal activity, just an analysis of what makes a person successful at whatever endeavors they undertake.
Prohibition damages society
Cannabis is a stark example, but not the only one where the letter of the law has contradicted with the minds of entrepreneurs. Bitcoin has teetered on that ledge numerous times, and those who dedicated themselves to that business strategy often found themselves at risk of facing the wrong side of the law.
It is not just the removal of these bright minds from our ranks as a society that causes so much damage. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in the world. It is enjoyed by all ranks of society, crossing all social barriers.
If every person who used it was locked away, and given a record that barred them from competitive employment, higher education, and financial backing, then our society would be a poor one indeed.
Many politicians, including several Presidents, would never have been able to help their fellow citizens through leadership. College students who went on to be doctors would never have saved the lives of so many in the course of their careers.
Cancer patients who contributed to society through employing dozens if not hundreds of people would have left those wage-earners without jobs. Turning our youth into criminals denies them the ability to contribute, to be the best they can be, and to be a blessing rather than a burden on society as a whole.
By the numbers
According to the FBI,
“Nearly half (44.3%) of federal marijuana inmates are offenders with minimal criminal histories who have not previously served time in prison. 85% of marijuana offenders did not possess a firearm.”
There are as many courageous veterans of the armed forces, loving parents and grandparents, bright students, and faithful members of religious organizations in prison for the offence of consuming or purchasing cannabis as there are ‘pervasive criminals’.
In addition, the families of otherwise law-abiding citizens are ripped apart. Children grow up without parents, and are left to the dodgy caretaking abilities of a system that produces isolated and underloved adults.
At best, those children lose their parents only for a short time, but they still suffer from the financial and social stigmas heaped upon their family. Lower-income parents have far fewer resources to ensure their children don’t end up as lower-income adults as well.
The contributions of cannabis entrepreneurs and users
From the research into the human body and new-found medical treatments to numerous inventions and businesses that have boosted economies, those who put their talents to the grindstone of cannabis-related business only serve to improve society.
Jobs are created, families are provided for, and as numerous states have gratefully realized, taxes flow in. The world needs more people to not only accept cannabis in society but embrace the benefits of those who already do.
The world needs more people to not only accept cannabis in society but embrace the benefits of those who already do.
Do you earn your living in a cannabis-related industry? Has the industry provided your business with more customers or jobs? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.
The gold standard for treatment is still prescription drugs.
At NYC’s Cannabis Parade, cannabis activists reckoned with issues beyond simple legalization.
Legalization has been getting a lot of prominent supporters in Washington lately, but it’s not enough.