The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, dramatically changed the regulation of cannabis in the United States. Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp production and distribution at the federal level, cannabis remains highly regulated at the state level, posing risks to consumer safety and disproportionately harming communities of color.
Within the last decade, dozens of cannabis reform policy bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the United States thanks to grassroots campaigns. If you’re passionate about cannabis reform, forming a pro-legalization group can help you send a message to politicians and lawmakers.
The internet is filled with claims about cannabis that are difficult to substantiate. Staying up-to-date with the latest cannabis news and studies using reliable sources like academia and professional research can help you separate fact from fiction and spread information in a more effective way. Some of the most well-known benefits of legalizing cannabis include:
- Environmental benefits: Substituting hemp for many of the industrial materials used today could lead to substantial environmental benefits, including forest cover and diversity, lower carbon emissions, and soil protection.
- Health benefits: Cannabinoid (CBD) users report many benefits of CBD, from relieving insomnia and anxiety to pain relief and treating epilepsy. According to the CBD experts at Plain Jane, experimenting with different CBD products—from CBD cigarette to CBD oil products—can help users find what works best for them. Many reputable CBD companies practice product testing through 3rd party lab tests, which informs consumers about the products they use.
- Social justice: The war on cannabis disproportionately harms young people and people of color and sponsors massive levels of violence and corruption. Advocating for the legalization of cannabis helps to support civil liberty, equality, and justice by decriminalizing marijuana.
If you’re currently a student, consider focusing on marijuana policy issues for your research projects or papers. This can help expose students in your class to the issue, and can even inspire your professor to start their own research project.
Spread the Word
Raising awareness of the benefits associated with the legalization of cannabis can help you gain support. To spread the word, start by educating friends, family members, and colleagues on the issue. If you’re not sure where to start, try sharing resource-backed articles on Facebook or writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper.
In addition, volunteering for relevant political groups, political campaigns, and nonprofit organizations in your area can help you reach a wider demographic and connect with other people who are passionate about cannabis reform.
Political peer to peer texting allows campaign workers to quickly and efficiently send out text messages to large groups of people, which can help campaigns connect with potential voters in a conversational manner. As a leading provider of P2P texting, Peerly is especially valuable for campaign workers interested in starting conversations and answering voter questions about cannabis reform.
From supporting businesses in the cannabis industry to reaching out to legislators, getting involved can take various forms. If you’re not currently registered to vote, take a few minutes to fill out a voter registration form so you’ll be able to vote during the next election cycle.
If you’re a healthcare professional, lawyer, elected official, medical marijuana patient, or member of law enforcement, reach out to local nonprofit organizations to ask about special ways you can advocate for cannabis reform.
If you’re a college student, join Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) to learn more about starting a chapter at your school or joining an existing chapter.
Whether you’re passionate about decriminalizing marijuana or the environmental benefits of hemp, forming a pro-legalization support group can help you push for cannabis reform and educate potential voters.