Prior to the 2016 presidential election in America, 25 states had legalized the use of medical marijuana. At the time of writing this blog, the count is up to 29. It is apparent that the United States is on a steady path to legalizing cannabis for medical purposes throughout entire nation, even though there is not yet a universal legalization or federal law in place to allow its legal use across all the states. Since medical marijuana is becoming rapidly more acceptable as a form of treatment for various ailments in the United States, however, it raises the question: how is medical marijuana perceived globally? Are other countries as open to it as the United States or are they stricter in their tolerance?
Other countries that tolerate the use of cannabis for medical treatment include Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Regarding the production and sale of marijuana for general use, the states of Colorado and Washington, as well as the nation of Uruguay, are very progressive in challenging the status quo on marijuana regulations, but other nations are more critical of its cultivation and sale, with international laws passed by the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board in place to penalize citizens who violate marijuana use.
It is important to realize that the pro-marijuana legalization movement did not begin in America, with countries like the Netherlands and Portugal experimenting with decriminalizing the drug as far back as 1976. Many other countries are moving toward the decriminalization of marijuana in various degrees, especially for medical use. In 2016, Canada and Uruguay completely legalized and regulated the use of all marijuana as a method to remove the stigma surrounding it and cut back on the war on drugs. Ireland, Australia, Germany, and Jamaica have legalized the use of medical marijuana. In Colombia, the cultivation, consumption, import, and export of medical marijuana is completely legalized, while in Chile, residents are even allowed to grow their own cannabis for medical, recreational, or spiritual use. Many African countries are more ambivalent about medical marijuana use, but are moving in the direction of legalization nonetheless, with court cases that would legalize weed sales pending in South Africa, and enforcement of regulations lax in other African countries.
As a medical marijuana distributor, this global shift in attitudes toward the legalization of marijuana is promising, as Phoenix Life Sciences aims to expand into international markets and encourage physicians to confidently prescribe medical marijuana as a restorative medicine. As medical marijuana becomes more readily accepted on a global scale, distributors will have more freedom to focus on the quality of their products and ensuring customer satisfaction. Customers, in turn, will have greater freedom to choose their treatments. Growers and sellers without access to capital can operate outside of the black market.
Phoenix Life Sciences is in the process of building an international distribution center on the island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, and I eagerly await the day when no territory is off limits to experiencing the life-saving potential of medical cannabis.