Legality Of Cannabis In Massachusetts, U.S. In Question, While Mexico Moves Forward

Holly Chavez

The legalization of cannabis in the United States for medicinal and recreational drug use has hit another roadblock in Massachusetts, and studies are indicating that Colorado drivers who use marijuana are getting into more accidents. Due to these issues and enforcement warnings from the federal government, it's becoming increasingly clear that activists have a long way to go to reach their goal of nationwide legalization of cannabis.

To the north, Canada has allowed medicinal marijuana usage since 2001. More recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a bill that would make marijuana legal throughout Canada for recreational drug use. Other nations that allow legal recreational usage include Uruguay, Portugal, and Jamaica.

Although the Massachusetts House didn't attempt to change the overall legality of cannabis within state borders, they did pass a revision that will make it much more expensive for people to legally acquire the formerly controlled substance. Voters approved legal regulation and taxation of marijuana at a rate of 12 percent.

If the revision passed by the House is approved by the Senate, this tax will dramatically increase to 28 percent. This is seen as a backslide by protestors because it may make legal marijuana too expensive for proponents of recreational drug use, which could help fuel the state's illegal drug trade. Additionally, making cannabis extremely expensive is another way to control it and keep it out of the hands of many residents. It's not hard to wonder if a push to recriminalize marijuana in Massachusetts will come next.

This research paints an interesting picture, but not everyone is convinced. A Colorado state trooper told CBS Denver that the data to support the claim linking higher accident rates with legalized marijuana isn't conclusive.

"When it comes down to it, it's one more thing that we're looking at. But marijuana is not new."

In other words, the federal government can go into a state with legalized marijuana and arrest users and growers. Back in February, the Trump Administration issued a warning that they may soon be targeting states that allow people to use marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

The United States healthcare industry brings in more than $3.8 trillion per year, though, which is often seen as one of the biggest roadblocks for the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana.

[Featured image by Elaine Thompson/AP Images]