Support for marijuana reform seems to be growing all around America. As marijuana.net has suggested previously, President Barack Obama has been getting pressured on the issue an awful lot lately. Marijuana’s benefits are not simply a domestic issue and there have been interesting updates from around the globe.
Over the weekend, marijuana.net briefly spoke about a new trend in professional sports that refreshingly was not about inflating ticket prices, player salaries or owner profits. The NBA has already decided not to test its players for marijuana in the offseason and the Detroit Lions‘ general manager Martin Mayhew has indicated that he is not overly concerned with his players being arrested for marijuana. Building on this trend internationally, Australia’s Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports has recently said that marijuana should not be grouped with performance enhancing drugs such as steroids or Human Growth Hormone. Unlike the United States (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS etc.), Australia has one organization that represents many of the different professional sports. As Martin Mayhew suggested, the culture is changing and athletes in their prime are in their 20s. Altering the approach professional sports takes on marijuana seems to be very crucial moving forward.
We have already witnessed the pressure put on the United States and President Obama from our neighbors to the south to change marijuana laws. Now, mayors from British Columbia cities in Canada are also calling for a new approach to cannabis law enforcement. Eight mayors are now officially calling for marijuana legalization in order to reduce crime and violence associated with cannabis laws. The mayors are also seeking to generate tax funds from a regulated marijuana system.
In particular, Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver recently stated in a letter to the Canadian government, “As mayors of BC municipalities, we are fully aware of the harms stemming from the province’s large illegal marijuana industry, “Our communities have been deeply affected by the consequences of marijuana prohibition including large-scale grow-ops, increased organized crime and ongoing gang violence. It is time to tax and strictly regulate marijuana under a public health framework; regulating marijuana would allow the government to rationally address the health concerns of marijuana, raise government tax revenue and eliminate the huge profits from the marijuana industry that flow directly to organized crime.”
It is great to see a progressive approach from other countries even though the Netherlands seems to be trying to uphold their recent ban on allowing tourists to purchase marijuana. The plan is controversial and may cripple Holland tourism so it will be interesting to see if the ban remains permanently. If the ban on Amsterdam coffee shops hurts the Dutch economy, will the United States take note? Even with tough talk from the feds it seems that marijuana has gotten over the hump and moved into mainstream acceptability.