27 Nov Reasons to Give Thanks in 2020
“It’s another sign that, even as political and social issues divide the world, weed is one thing we can all agree on.”
Reasons to Give Thanks in 2020
words: Dante Jordan
Holidays are a time for reflection and community. It’s when you get with your family, your friends, and celebrate how the love amongst y’all was stronger than the ills of the world. Unfortunately, with 2020 being the year of coronavirus, we aren’t going to be able to gather. Like every other plan this year, including traveling, or operating your business, the global pandemic has shut things down. Still, looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, we have plenty of things to be thankful for.
Weed being deemed an essential business
The biggest thing for us to be thankful for is weed being deemed an essential business. While we’ve seen other industries absolutely flatten, cannabis continues to move along its trajectory of becoming a $30 billion industry by 2025.
For one, this has been a blessing this year because we all need to get high to make it through the storms. Cannabis is lauded for being able to help with depression, anxiety, stress, pain, and everything else that has come with this year. Had it been deemed unessential, there would have been thousands, probably millions, of people that would be stuck without their medicine. That’s truly the most important reason that we should be grateful. For many people, life can get a little dark when they aren’t able to consume cannabis. For two, weed being deemed an essential business has helped keep some people employed while the country’s economy falls into historical ruin.
States continue to legalize adult-use cannabis
In addition to weed being deemed an essential business, another reason to give thanks in 2020 is the continued legalization of cannabis on the stateside. While cannabis remains federally illegal, on November 3rd, 2020, four new states: Montana, Arizona, New Jersey, and South Dakota, fully legalized adult-use (recreational) cannabis. This is a big deal because it shows how the tide is turning, and the old ways of thinking about cannabis are finally being corrected.
Montana has been rocking with medical weed since approving it in 2004, and starting to really operate it in 2016. Thankfully, in 2020, thanks to voters saying yes to nearly 57% of voters saying Yes to Initiative 190, adult-use cannabis has been okayed. It’ll be a couple of years before recreational sales began, but this is still a huge step in the right direction, especially when you consider Montana’s political landscape, historically.
In 2016, Proposition 205 put the adult-use of cannabis up for a vote in Arizona. Unfortunately, it was rejected with 51.3% of the state’s voters saying “Ahhh, no thank you.” In 2020, however, they changed their tune, when 60.03% of voters said yes to Proposition 207. Finally, in Arizona, where medicinal cannabis has been legally operational since 2010, adults who are 21 years of age or older, can buy weed.
In conjunction with Massachusetts legalizing adult-cannabis in 2016, and finally starting to sell it in 2018, New Jersey’s legalization of weed in 2020 shows that the East Coast is ready for cannabis. What failed in 2019, finally succeeded on November 3, 2020, as 67% of voters approved Question 1. Recreational sales start at the top of January 2021.
Like Montana, South Dakota is another state that makes you think “Really?! They did?!” when it comes to legalizing cannabis. But this year, South Dakota made history by becoming the first state ever to legalize both medicinal use and adult-use simultaneously. Prior to now, they were the only state that outlawed the ingestion of controlled substances. It’s another sign that, even as political and social issues divide the world, weed is one thing we can all agree on.
While four new states legalizing weed is a reason to be thankful, we can’t possibly celebrate it as a full win, until these states, and each one before them, start to prioritize social equity and restorative justice. It is imperative that each state that legalizes weed acknowledges the harm done by the War on Drugs by implementing programs that gave the Black and Brown communities most harmed by this war the opportunity to reap all of the benefits that this new, billion-dollar industry allows.
A new president, a new era
I’m not the politics guy, and probably never will be; but it’s important for many people that Donald Trump is gone, and Joe Biden will be our next president. For these past four years, Trump has said and done some of the wildest shit imaginable, and the results of his actions have been absolute hell for most of our country. But on November 3, 2020, Biden earned 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 electoral votes, to become President-Elect, and Kamala Harris Vice President-Elect. Now, many of the minorities and immigrants that felt fearful, threatened and targeted by The White House’s actions, and the types of people those actions empowered, can finally go to sleep easily. The clown’s show is over, and we look forward to a fruitful future that hopefully includes federal legalization. Only time will tell.