Cannabis Culture

Weed World Wisdom

Today, cannabis is viewed in an entirely new light compared to a few years ago and symbolizes some of the bigger shifts happening in society, such as a well-informed view on its many benefits and uses. This piece traces how cannabis culture has developed from the marginal to the mainstream, tracking its trajectory from a stigmatized substance to a celebrated wellness tool.

The Historical Perspective

Cannabis culture has been integrated into the cultures of many societies over centuries, deeply rooted primarily due to the medicinal, spiritual, and recreational values that the drug has. However, cannabis is also seen to undergo large-scale stigma and legality challenges, especially in the United States, during the 20th century. “The War on Drugs” hit on cannabis with a major setback, having been previously associated with tough criminal penalties and the marginalization of its user. Much misunderstanding and prejudice have been caused by such a strict legal environment and lack of permission for research activities.

The Shift in Perception

This is the point in time, at the turn of the millennium, when things started to change due to a few scientific discoveries and advocacy for medical cannabis. Scientists began to unlock the potential therapeutic benefits of the chemicals in cannabis, leading to a softening of public opinion and a reevaluation of the laws on the substance. States like California took the lead in the U.S. with medical cannabis legislation, creating a model for others to follow.

New Jersey’s cannabis policies have shifted dramatically and are in line with shifting public acceptance and legal reform. New Jersey, which was one of the strictest enforcers of cannabis use in the country, has dramatically turned in the opposite direction within the last decade. It legalized medical cannabis in 2010 and then, after only one more decade, legalized cannabis use among all adults in 2021. But by so dramatically changing the law, so much more than formal policies change: the state has also legalized cannabis for individual wellness and, of course, the state’s economy. The change in perspective in New Jersey will be representative for the whole country.

When more people started sharing their positive experiences with the use of cannabis to alleviate health issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders, the change in social attitude was signaled. It was not just medicinal; the acceptance of its use for recreation sparked off a cultural transformation in which cannabis started to be perceived more as a lifestyle product and less as a stigma.

 

Human impact

The legalization of cannabis has not only impacted changes in cultural attitudes but also brought unexpected additional revenues to state budgets. Where it is legal, cannabis taxation has become a new form of funding for schools and education in general, health and mental health services, and infrastructure. In Colorado, for example, one of the first states to pass recreational cannabis legislation, sales topped $1.5 billion in 2020, which represents a huge volume of tax and fee revenue from these sales. California, meanwhile, raked in more than $1 billion from cannabis tax revenue. New Jersey is going to see lucrative benefits, as well, where projections hint at millions a year in tax revenues.

The economic gains derived from these not only exemplify the double dividend of the legalization of cannabis—reducing the cost for enforcement purposes and increasing the income for the government, which can then be re-channeled to benefit society in countless ways—but also a fiscal advantage, which is quite compelling to states looking into the legal regulation of cannabis.

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New Jersey Locations

Route 70 Location

900 Marlton Pike W, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

Open Daily 10am - 8pm

Cherry Hill Mall

2000 NJ-38 Unit 1240
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002

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Moorestown Mall

400 NJ-38 Unit 1383, Moorestown, NJ 08057

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Burlington

2002 Mt Holly Rd # 1, Burlington, NJ 08016

Open Daily 10am - 8pm

Pennsylvania Locations

Bethlehem Main Street

523 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018

Bethlehem Micro-Store

1301 Linden St, Bethlehem, PA 18018

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