As the nation celebrates this decades old holiday of April 20th, or 420, It is important to take a moment and recognize just how far this industry and the legalization movement have come since the passage of Prop 215 in 1996, and how far we still have to go to in order to fully implement equitable and fair cannabis laws nationwide.
The offices of MJ Legal will be celebrating our 5th 4/20 holiday as a firm. When we started this journey in 2014, Cannabis was still completely unregulated in California, with no legislation to fix these problems in sight. Dispensaries and grows operated in a legally ambiguous and untenable manner, and local governments were losing millions of dollars due to lack of regulation and taxation of the cannabis industry. Today, we have had the pleasure of helping dozens of different cannabis businesses through the appropriate permit and licensing process, with many more permits pending. The entire legal and regulatory framework supporting the cannabis industry is rapidly developing, and it won’t be more than a few years until California’s cannabis industry is mature and fully regulated across the state.
As Californians celebrate cannabis on this day, we should all remember the progress we have made to make this possible, and take pride and satisfaction at what has been accomplished. However, we should also remember that there are other parts of this country where the act of using or possesing cannabis is still a serious criminal act, and that people’s lives are impacted everyday by cannabis prohibition. Until all Americans can exercise their rights to use cannabis without fear of criminal prosecution, the anti-prohibition movement must not waiver in its resolve to promote new laws and policies promoting legalization and decriminaization in all 50 states across this nation.
Ajay S. Narayan
Attorney/Founder, MJ Legal