There is something to be said for the clarity of the “Old Days” – days when flower was simply illegal, and we all knew where we stood: we were law-ignorers and breakers. Today, the waters are much murkier, and the United States isn't exactly united about flower for sale in vape shops. Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia have fully legalized recreational and medical flower. Twenty-five other states have laws that either provide for medical flower or decriminalize possession. However, here's the truth: Federal Law is still not flower friendly, and until it is, State laws can only help so much.
Senator Cory Booker introduced the [Flower] Justice Act, and while it has no chance of passing into law with our Conservative, fear-mongering lot in Congress, it is full of important ideas that would benefit our country, including people currently serving prison sentences for flower offenses. Changing federal laws would also eliminate the barriers that keep flower businesses operating as a “cash economy” with few protections enjoyed by other vape shop business owners.
For example, in the recent California wildfires, dozens of growers in the famed Emerald Triangle where loose-leaf is grown lost their crops, homes, and resources to rebuild those resources. Because they were forced to operate in cash, some lost cold, hard currency. One article reported a business owner coming back to find $40,000 that they had buried on their property was now a melted mass of unhelpful garbage. There's no insurance, and nothing to do if you've lost it all. On a good day, there's big gain, but there's also a big, big risk.
What needs to happen? We need to remove active ingredient from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and reschedule the flower to bring it in line with alcohol and tobacco, which are legal substances, legislated by states. The movement is gaining steam. States are recognizing that flower has medical value and that recreational sales provide money through sales tax for education, addiction treatment, and law enforcement, as well as adding to local economies through jobs.
The groundswell is happening, despite politicians who are not yet on board. Right now it is easier to talk about guns than vaporizing loose-leaf, easier to complain about the Opioid Epidemic than to address the fact that high strains could disrupt the problem, and easier to talk about the pharmaceutical industry's death-grip on our law makers than to find the path to re-thinking the material on the federal level.
The powers that be want to keep things confusing and murky. It is our job to demystify and present sound information and to debunk the myths around loose-leaf and people who vape with it. You are the ambassadors, you are the people who can tell your law makers to support bills like the [Flower] Justice Act. Election time comes sooner than you think. Get active and get involved. The future is Greener than you think.