The Twenty-first Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on this day 81 years ago. It repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, which declared nationwide prohibition of alcohol. This amendment is different than all other 27 amendments because it is the only one to have been approved by individual Congressional Conventions for each state.
This is very relevant to the cannabis industry because it parallels the way in which marijuana legalization has been spreading. Though there is no constitutional amendment banning cannabis, it is still illegal under federal law. It is crucial to look to the past to understand the future in circumstances like these.
The U.S. government as a whole has failed to publicly address the fact that the War on Drugs has been a huge failure on all fronts, much like the Eighteenth Amendment was. Regardless of legality, citizens have proven that they will continue to produce and consume marijuana, just as citizens proved that they would continue to produce and consume alcohol while it was federally prohibited.
As the cannabis industry continues to innovate and educate, the legalization movement will continue to grow stronger by the day. For passionate human rights activists, cannabis users, and even non-cannabis users, federal marijuana legalization is not an “if”, it is a “when.”
This is a day we reflect on what happened in the past and see what we have to look forward to in the future if we all continue to empower the movement.
Anyone seeking involvement in the cause should check out NORML.org. They are a fantastic organization and have local chapters in nearly every state in the U.S.