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Why April 20th?

"It'd be a lot cooler if you did." - Wodderson

April 20th marks the annual celebration for all things cannabis, but why?

There are plenty of myths surrounding 4/20 and its origination:

  • California Penal Code 420. Nope, the state’s 420 code actually applies to obstructing entry on public land.

  • Police radio code for marijuana. Nope, San Francisco Police have code 420, but it’s for a “juvenile disturbance”.

  • Adolf Hitlers birthday.

  • Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, because 12 multiplied by 35 equals 420.

The most creditable of the myths is - Marian County, California 1971 – San Rafael High School campus “Waldos”.

This year’s celebration might be even more enthusiastic in Michigan considering Michigan GOP is pondering legalizing marijuana through Legislature prior to the statewide ballot this fall. According to The Detroit News Article posted yesterday, “The move would quell GOP fears the ballot measure would boost Democratic voter turnout in November since legislative approval would ensure pot legalization would become law. A January poll showed majority support for pot legalization among surveyed likely voters in November.”

Presently there are 29 Legal Medical Marijuana States & DC and 9 Legal Recreational Marijuana States & DC. lists each state, year passed, how passed and the possession limit. Michigan is one of the states with Legal Medical Marijuana and passed on November 4, 2008 by a yes vote of 63% allowing up to 2.5 oz usable; 12 plants. This was approved for treatment of debilitating medical conditions, defined as defined as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, nail patella, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, epilepsy, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD.

On February 8, 2013 the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that dispensaries are illegal and that marijuana patients in Michigan will have to grow their own marijuana or get it from a designated caregiver. The designated caregiver is limited to 5 patients.

Latest update: HB 4209, HB 4827, and HB 4210, signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder (R) on September 20, 2016, creates a state regulatory structure for five license categories: growers, processors, secure transporters, provisioning centers, and safety compliance facilities.

The debate of medical marijuana is ongoing. While some states in the U.S. have active medical marijuana laws, the federal government continues to classify it as a Schedule I controlled substance. This makes it illegal to possess and has limited medical studies into the potential benefits of cannabis. Medical marijuana remains controversial, but it is a continued topic of discussion as a legitimate recommendation for a variety of medical symptoms.

It’s going to take more moves by policymakers and the U.S. government for it be accepted and sold nationwide.

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