For many years now, the arguments of legalization vs decriminalization of cannabis have been floating around on the internet. In some places, it is completely legal to buy, own, and consume cannabis products. No one will be prosecuted for consuming legal cannabis, in fact, anyone can buy, consume, and own cannabis with some limitations. But in some other places, people can only use medical cannabis. It also means no one can use cannabis for recreational purposes, only for medical purposes. To use cannabis for medical purposes, one would need papers that support them.
That said, there are many people who still use the two terms interchangeably. This could be harmful and might get you in trouble with the law when you don’t expect it. In this article, we are going to talk more about the terms legal and decriminalization. And how the two terms may differ from each other beyond just a semantic difference.
Legalization of cannabis
The legalization of cannabis implies that citizens can use use cannabis for recreational purposes. Anyone over the age of 21 can buy, use, and own cannabis. Personal recreational use of cannabis in states or countries that have legalized cannabis is completely within the law. That’s why you can get your cannabis from stores like Kia Ora Thunder Bay and consume it whenever you feel like it.
Basically, you will not get in trouble with the law, as long as you consume and own cannabis within the specified amount. The law usually covers the place, age, and amount of consumption. So as long as everything is within what is allowed, you are free to use consume cannabis. The tricky part here is figuring out how much cannabis you can possess without breaking the law. And since the laws and regulations of cannabis are relatively new and things might keep changing, it is important to keep checking on the development regularly.
Keep in mind that some people still do get in trouble with the law due to selling or trafficking cannabis products without following the laws on taxation and license. Please remember this the next time you are trying to buy cannabis products from a black market. Because despite cannabis being legal, these black markets are still illegal.
Decriminalization of cannabis
Let’s be clear on this, decriminalization of cannabis is not the same as cannabis legalization. No one should use the terms legalization and decriminalization interchangeably. Decriminalization simply means that a state or country amended its laws to make certain criminal acts no longer subject to prosecution. Basically, in this case, cannabis is still illegal. If you are caught with small amounts of cannabis for personal consumption, you won’t be prosecuted.
In places where decriminalization of cannabis has taken place, owning small amounts of cannabis is like violating minor traffic laws. The keyword here is “small amounts,” because if you possess large amounts of cannabis or selling cannabis, you will receive more severe penalties. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself on the local laws regarding cannabis. It could save you from having to deal with the law and ultimately avoid unnecessary problems.
Now, there is also a matter of using cannabis for medical purposes. Cannabis has been used for medical purposes for a very long time now as it can make the user healthier. Some states or countries have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. In many places, these laws have been in place long before cannabis got legalized or decriminalized.
In order to be able to use cannabis for medical purposes, however, a patient would need to be qualified first. A common requirement is being a patient with debilitating or terminal medical conditions.
Legalization or decriminalization?
The question of legalization or decriminalization is still up for debate. Many studies have been conducted, and the results seem to describe both the pros and cons for both cases. It is always a possibility for either of the two cases to happen in one place and not in another.
That said, the future of cannabis is looking bright, judging from what we have today. We can find all kinds of cannabis products on the market. Some are fresh from the manufacturers and have never been seen before. We also have cannabis products designed for people who want to make their own edibles.