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420 Day!

420 Day began in Marin County, California with 5 students from San Rafael High School. They would meet by the school's statue of Louis Pasteur to smoke. One of those students' brother eventually ended up working for the band the Grateful Dead as a roadie, and from there the term was popularized by the band. Although it has become known as a "Stoner's Holiday," these days 420 day can mean much more.

18 states plus the District of Columbia have now legalized marijuana for recreational use. On April 1, 2022 the house voted to decriminalize marijuana. Decriminalizing Cannabis is about more than allowing people access to cannabis for recreational use. Among other things, this bill will expunge the record of people convicted of non-violent cannabis offenses, which has disproportionately affected the trajectory of the lives and careers of people of color. This takes us one step closer to legalization. Legalization of cannabis means that all legal prohibitions against cannabis will be removed, and the general adult population will be able to purchase and use cannabis at will. As mentioned earlier, there are already several states that have undergone this process, and hopefully many more will be soon to come.

Scientists and doctors are increasingly becoming more aware of its benefits medicinally. The science and medical communities have discovered that we humans all have what's called an Endocannabinoid system. This system is located throughout our brains and bodies, and is critical for almost every aspect of our moment-to-moment functioning. Each of us have cannabinoid receptors in the brain that regulate activities such as learning and memory, emotional processing, sleep, pain control, and inflammatory and immune responses. Cannabis (marijuana) works directly with this system and these receptors in our brain to help balance these areas.

Overall, my hope is that we will make strides in decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis, because of its opportunity for medical use for so many different ailments. When I first started reading and researching this subject, I was amazed at the variety of illnesses that can be treated successfully with this plant that's been around for thousands of years! I personally have used CBD under a doctor's supervision and found it to be very helpful in dealing with stress and anxiety. My prayer is also that our government, medical, and scientific communities can work together to find a way to do this safely, so that no harm is done. If we can remove the stigma associated with using this plant, it seems that the sky is the limit!

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