If you want to know why some pro-cannabis activists are so passionate about what they do, look no further than the contradictory laws applied to cannabis around the world. It is like the world can’t decide once and for all what it thinks about cannabis. Worse yet, there doesn’t seem to be a desire to figure it out – at least from a political and legal standpoint.
To a pro-cannabis activist, it doesn’t make sense that you can legally possess cannabis in Mexico but you can’t purchase it. Someone, somewhere down the line, has to cultivate cannabis and sell it. It is not like cultivators are giving the stuff away. So how can you actually possess cannabis in Mexico if you don’t buy it first?
Mexico is not the only country with contradictory laws. We have our own contradictions here in the U.S. Furthermore, some countries that have been open to cannabis for decades are starting to dial things back a bit. It is enough to drive anyone who tries to follow it all just a bit crazy.
State and Federal Contradictions
As a U.S. resident, you already know how contradictory our laws are. Marijuana and THC are banned under federal law. Hemp and CBD are perfectly legal. What is the difference? It boils down to THC content.
A marijuana plant contains more than 0.3% THC by volume. A hemp plant contains less than that amount. Yet both marijuana and hemp are varieties of cannabis. So when someone says that cannabis is illegal in the U.S., that’s not exactly true. Marijuana is illegal but hemp is okay.
Moving on, thirty-seven states have defied federal law to legalize cannabis consumption. Of them, nineteen limit consumption to medical use only. The remaining eighteen allow both recreational and medical use. There again you find plenty of contradictions. State laws contradict because, under our federalist system, states have the right to regulate things not covered by the Constitution as they see fit.
Enough Is Enough in the Netherlands
We are all pretty familiar with the rules here in the States, so let’s look outside our own borders. Let’s look at Amsterdam, one of the most well-known countries for cannabis tourism. Lawmakers in the Netherlands have had enough. They want to start putting the kibosh on cannabis tourism because they say it has gotten out of hand.
In Amsterdam alone, there are 166 cafés and lounges that cater to cannabis-loving tourists. The federal government says that cannabis tourism is so heavy in the Netherlands that there isn’t enough product to go around. That makes the locals very unhappy. As a result, local authorities have put a plan in motion to reduce those 166 establishments to 70.
How can it be that a country that derives a large portion of its tourism income from cannabis suddenly decide it no longer wants that income? It doesn’t make sense. Yet here we are.
Contradiction Creates Confusion
Cannabis is one of those substances that has the unique ability to cause contention merely by its existence. The resulting contention creates contradictory laws. And unfortunately, the folks behind Utahmarijuana.org say that contradictory laws lead to confusion among medical and recreational users. They never quite know where they stand at any given time.
None of this is intended to convey a position for or against cannabis. It is simply to say that policymakers need to get their acts together and figure out, once and for all, what they want to do with it. Continuing to kick the can down the road only creates more contradiction that activists are happy to point out.