When we talk about the status of cannabis legalization in New Zealand, we come to know that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 considers cannabis an illegal drug. Individuals who use or supply cannabis get punishment according to their laws and regulations.
Considering the prospects of cannabis, Helen Clark Foundation has released a report. This report stands as an advocate for legalizing and regulating cannabis. Furthermore, there is going to be a referendum next year that will decide the future of cannabis in New Zealand. Hence, the people of New Zealand have the opportunity to decide which direction to follow.
It is an obvious fact that the effect on people’s behavior is least by the fear of criminal sanctions. They do whatever they like or want to do. Despite the fact that cannabis is illegal in New Zealand, reports from longitudinal studies indicate that 80% people living in New Zealand have tried cannabis at least once by the age of 25.
Therefore, the approaches of prohibition have not eliminated and will not eliminate cannabis usage and supply in New Zealand or any other country where its consumption is exhibited.
Less harmful than alcohol and tobacco
According to the British scientist David Nutt, former chair of the Advisory Council, on the Misuse of Drugs, the use of cannabis is really less damaging to human health as compared to other drugs like alcohol and tobacco.
This is the reason many countries have legalized the usage and supply of cannabis. Uruguay, Canada and many other states in the United States Of America have legalized the use and supply of cannabis.
Without the legalization of cannabis, considerable ethnic disparities in prosecution and arrest for cannabis-related business are also likely to continue.
Certainly, the current system in the New Zealand relating to drugs is terribly unfair for the Indigenous people, Maori. They carry an unequal and unjust burden of the convictions and sentences for drug-related offending. The Indigenous people, Maori are almost 15% of the total population of New Zealand. Yet Maori between the ages of 17 to 24 make up 37% of all the prosecutions and convictions for drug possession which is totally unfair to them.
But the positive sign is that the ruling party of the New Zealand is eager to lessen the number of prisoners. They can achieve this objective in a moderate way with the legalization of cannabis in the country.
This is the right time for the people of New Zealand to admit and accept the prevalent consumption of cannabis in the region and to regulate and legalize it systematically. They achieve no productive aim by declaring its status illegal. There is a dire need of cannabis legalization.
There would be many benefits if the New Zealanders vote in favor of the cannabis legalization in the upcoming referendum. It would not only be a positive sign for the social justice but also for a balanced society. It would also play a vital role in diminishing the country’s large prison population. Cannabis related health issues would also be resolved.
Overview – How cannabis laws in Israel steadily improved over time
When it comes to cannabis, both recreational and medical, the last place you’d expect acceptance is the Middle East. That’s not an unfair generalization; decades of war, fundamentalism and traditional mindsets certainly pushed the needle backwards. However, as it turns out, cannabis does have a notable bastion of support in the non-Arab Middle East. Specifically, we need to examine the complex, very recent decriminalization of cannabis in the country of Israel.
That may sound shocking, but within the past decade the nation’s pro-cannabis movement really scooped up several victories. Up until 2019, both medical and recreational cannabis were illegal. Now, the country’s ruling legal body, the Knesset, is poised to completely decriminalize the substance soon. A recent poll showed that Israelis make up the third largest consumers of recreational cannabis in the world. So how exactly did this happen with such a short span of time?
Changing attitudes of the public and lawmakers resulted in more lax perspectives on cannabis
Before 2017, most polls showed mixed responses to recreational cannabis usage. This data showed younger demographics favoring the drug’s legalization because of newer, more progressive outlooks. The pro-cannabis movement simply resulted, up until then, in peaceful activism. This year, one group even went as far as to parachute down free weed in a public park. The stunt garnered much publicity worldwide, with the group taking responsibility vowing to continue their work. Meanwhile, a well-known pro-cannabis political party, the Green Leaf Party, lobbied for total legalization of marijauna.
By 2018, views towards cannabis shifted into more cautious perspectives. Polls showed increasing numbers of adults across older demographics expressing ‘uncertainty’ or ‘approval with limitations’ over previous years. Furthermore, several prominent economists successfully pointed out that global demands for cannabis could make for lucrative export potential. Eventually, upon legalization of medicinal cannabis, several international companies moved their centers to Israel. Furthermore, agricultural specialists since the shift began to notice that Israel’s climate and soil provide a fertile setup for large-scale cannabis crops. Lastly, the Israeli military, highly influential in national politics, expressed its approval of the drug, which it used to treat PTSD in its soldiers.
The exact legal status of cannabis in Israel is complicated, but shows potential to improve with time
Up until 2017, cannabis use for recreational purposes was considered illegal. However, few convictions occurred and the consumption of recreational cannabis generally overlooked. However, support from high-profile politicians like Netanyahu’s government resulted in plans to decriminalize the drug. In Israel, all bills proposed by the ruling government need approval by the Knesset to take effect, similar to the Supreme Court in other nations. The resulting pro-cannabis law came into effect on April 1, 2019, whereby possession of up to 15 grams was tolerable. Furthermore, in cases of public usage, the first two “strikes” would receive no prosecution but subsequent strikes possible fines or incarceration. The law is not perfect, but certainly fares better than those of more intolerant contemporaries like in the United States.
The Knesset responded to public demands accordingly. As of now, medicinal usage is completely legal, with many pharmaceutical brands operating in the nation. Recreational cannabis, meanwhile, is decriminalized. In June 25, 2020, the Knesset began work on a new, more lax law on cannabis law. When successfully passed in the upcoming months, it will legally allow up to 50 grams of cannabis in possession. Until then, pro-cannabis parties and groups continue to advocate the legalization of regulated cannabis.
For more on cannabis laws worldwide, stay tuned!
An Overview of Marijuana Laws in Florida
The laws on marijuana are evolving all over the US. Being closely related to the public now it is important that everyone knows the little intricacies in them. The recent US elections allowed many states to finally legalize marijuana. However, other states like Oklahoma, California, and Florida also keep updating their rules to cater to newer problems. In this article, we’ll take a close look at marijuana laws in Florida.
The state laws on weed in Florida allow for medical marijuana use however, they prohibit recreational cannabis use. In addition, medical users need a prescription from a proper physician before legal consumption. Once you have a prescription you can consume marijuana in any form. You can either smoke it or choose some edible way to treat yourself. The laws concerning marijuana got update in 2019 recently and the lawmakers still did not legalize recreational use. However, many cities in Florida have take steps to ensure that recreational use gets treated as a civil offense and not as a crime.
Florida has an interesting history in terms of marijuana legalization. The state rejected the medical use vote back in 2014. However, they did approve it just two years later in 2016. Another interesting fact about medical cannabis in Florida is that initially, only oils and edibles were legal. The preliminary medical cannabis laws in Florida considered smoking a crime.
Smoking marijuana was declared legal in 2019, the lawmakers finally approved smoking as well as any other way for consuming marijuana medically. In addition, contrary to historical laws many cities recently decriminalized illegal marijuana possession.
Recreational marijuana is strictly illegal in Florida. The state has defined a framework for only allowing people with certain qualifying conditions to get legal marijuana. Although some local cities have declared consuming marijuana without a license civil offense, many still consider it a crime. This means that smoking cannabis without a medical card can lead to a fine as well as criminal charges in Florida.
Medical Marijuana Regulations:
Florida Marijuana Laws are defined by Florida Revised Statutes 381.986 law. The law defines all the medical conditions qualifying for medical marijuana use. A physician may approve a patient for medical use after examining one of such conditions. The marijuana law defines regulations for a user registry, caregiver possession, and treatment centers for purchasing consumable marijuana.
Edibles containing marijuana are legal in Florida. Any person approved of using marijuana can lawfully consume any edible. Florida cannabis laws allow for edibles since 2016. However, the state did not allow for smoking cannabis until 2019.
Legal Marijuana in Tampa:
Although the state laws clearly declare illegal possession of marijuana as a crime. The City of Tampa has created a system that allows law enforcement to issue civil infractions for marijuana offenders. The current laws state that the violators will face criminal charges under the state law. The new system was voted by a majority of 5-1 by the city council. It allows for up to 20 grams of possession. The offenders face a fine of 75$ on the first offense which escalates with further offenses.
Qualifying Medical Conditions:
The medical conditions qualifying for medical marijuana use include Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis as well as terminal medical conditions like chronic pain. Marijuana remains extremely beneficial for treating chronic pain in patients. It is the most common condition sted by patients qualifying for a medical marijuana card. Moreover, any person who fakes any of the symptoms to get access to medical marijuana faces a misdemeanor charge in Florida.
Medical Marijuana For Non-Adults:
The cannabis-based medical treatments are not limited to just the adults in the state of Florida. Minors can apply for a medical marijuana license in the state for legal use. However, in order to get the license, they must meet the qualifications for severe illness. In addition, a minor seeking for medical cannabis prescription needs to see two qualifying physicians for approval. . The doctors have to evaluate the patient’s condition and give their medical opinion. Moreover, the Parents of the minor also need to give their consent for the treatment.
Penalties for Illegal Possession:
The illegal possession of marijuana is punishable by law in the set of Florida. The punishment however depends on the amount of cannabis in your possession. The possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. However, with higher amounts of cannabis on the charged the punishments also become severe. the highest punishment for marijuana possession in Florida is imprisonment for up to 30 years.
Driving after Consuming Marijuana:
Driving after smoking marijuana is a serious offense no matter the state. It is not only dangerous to the person driving the vehicle but can also lead to serious damage to others around them. Consequently, even if you do have a medical cannabis card you can not drive after smoking marijuana. The charges are similar to drunk driving over the limit of allowed alcohol in the body. Moreover, in case of any personal or public damage, the person bears full liability. Florida has strict laws in terms of driving under the influence just like any other state in the US.
Common Defence Statements:
Marijuana consumption without state approval is a serious offense. You should always consult the local law-enforcing authorities in case of any confusion. However, if you do get caught in a bad situation with no exits. We have a few common defenses to marijuana charges by Florida citizens. If there is no physical evidence you can outright deny marijuana possession. When the police have a weaker case on the accused they often say that the defense cannot prove they had marijuana on them.
Moreover, in case you have a medical card you can outright claim your right to use cannabis. In addition, it is legal for caregivers to carry marijuana for their patients. Even when you get accused of marijuana possession. Showing that you are taking steps to get a medical card can help a lot with the case.
State Laws for Marijuana are extremely important in marijuana legalization for states. They are of utmost importance and determine the future of cannabis markets. These laws also determine how much revenue the state might generate from its legalization programs. However, most of all it is important that newer states working on legislation implement laws derived from the examples of states that have done it before. In this way, they can build on the mistakes and make a better cannabis environment.
An Overview of New Jersey Marijuana Laws
Despite being called the garden state of America, New Jersey is nowhere near accepting public marijuana consumption. While there is a medical program in place in New Jersey. Marijuana Consumption for recreation is strictly prohibited. The law treats marijuana like any other illegal drug in the state. The possession, distribution, and cultivation for any other reason than medicine is a crime. In addition, there are even harsh penalties on growing or distributing hashish and other cannabis concentrates.
The new year brings in a lot of policy changes across the states. Many states revised their state on marijuana recently. Moreover, several new laws are now in place to prove cannabis regulation. There are states working on decriminalizing marijuana. This means that with recent law changes people in illegal possession of marijuana will face lower penalties as well as no criminal charges.
Coming back to the Jersey laws the state has a pretty comprehensive definition of marijuana laws. However, the legal language of official statements can sometimes confuse average individuals. Fear not because we have an accurate Summary of marijuana laws in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, it is a disorderly person’s offense to possess up to 50 grams of marijuana. The maximum penalty that a person might get for such an offense is up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. The possession of more than 50 grams is a crime in the 4th degree. It has some serious consequences including a maximum punishment of 1.5 years in prison and a fine of $25,000. The people who are allowed to use cannabis medically also need to adhere to set rules. Moreover, Possession within 1,000 feet of a school has even higher fines and community service requirements.
The state laws of New Jersey declare marijuana sale and distribution a crime. The punishment for the charge depends on the amount of marijuana in their possession. If the weight is less than one ounce, the offense is a 4th-degree crime punishable by up to 1.5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines. However, if it’s more than an ounce but less than five pounds there is mandatory punishment of imprisonment of three years as well as $25,000 in fines.
In addition, the distribution of marijuana between five to twenty-five pounds has a punishment of five years in jail minimum with a maximum of ten years, and as much as $150,000 in fines. The penalties increase further will increase in quantity from twenty-five pounds from 10 to 20 years in prison as well as $300,000 fine. Once again the law has worse punishments on sale near schools with up to a $150,000 fine and three to five years in prison.
Marijuana cultivation is an important factor to discuss while legalizing cannabis. In New Jersey, however, it is a crime to grow any amount of marijuana. Cultivation of fewer than 10 plants is punishable by at least three years in prison. With more severe charges leading to five, and up to $25,000 in fines.
In addition, cultivating between 10 and 49 plants has a minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 10 years, and a top fine of $150,000 according to the cannabis law of the state. Moving on Cultivation of 50 or more plants comes with a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of 20 years, and a fine of up to $300,000.
Hash and Cannabis Concentrates:
Cannabis concentrates have higher amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound, in them. Consequently, special restrictions apply to them, these restrictions apply on hashish, hash oil, and all other marijuana concentrates. A small offense like possession of fewer than 5 grams is a disorderly person offense subject to as much as six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. However, with more than five grams on you, you’re looking at $25,000 and a prison term of up to 18 months.
In terms of concentrate distribution. Making, distributing, or selling less than five grams of concentrate is a fourth-degree crime, this includes possession with intent to distribute. The maximum penalty for that is 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines. For an amount varying between five grams and one pound, the penalty is between three and five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. In addition, Manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession with intent is a third-degree crime. Once again the exact punishment varies with the amount of cannabis product on you.
For second-degree manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession with intent, the punishment is a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years in prison, and up to $150,000 in fines given the quantity between one to five pounds. For more than five pounds the offense is a first-degree crime and the top punishment is between 10 and 20 years in prison and $200,000 in fines.
Medical Cannabis Program:
Although there is no recreational cannabis law in New Jersey, it does support marijuana as a medicine. the state law allows for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes. According to the official statement patients with debilitating health conditions, physicians, primary caregivers are protected from “arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties.”
For someone to qualify for medical marijuana treatment in New Jersey, they must have one of the following qualifying medical conditions according to cannabis laws.
- Addiction substitute therapy for opioid reduction
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Chronic pain
- Chronic visceral pain
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV/AIDS (includes associated chronic pain and/or severe nausea)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Seizure and/or spasticity disorders
- Tourette’s syndrome
Or Any terminal illness if a doctor knows the patient will die within a year. There are, however, limits on the quantity of marijuana for medical users. they can not have more than two ounces per month. In addition, medical cannabis users also cannot grow their own cannabis at home. The cannabis they consume must be bought from State-licensed dispensaries. there are only twelve operating State-licensed dispensaries in new jersey right now however they might increase in the future. The patients also can’t give away their legal marijuana.
Marijuana Possession for Caregivers:
Primary caregivers can carry marijuana in New Jersey. You must be a person who assists a registered patient with their medical use of marijuana to qualify for it. The caregiver should be a resident of New Jersey and can’t be the person’s doctor. All caregivers must be at least 18 years of age. By the state law on weed.
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