2014 Marked Year of Green for America

As we welcome the new year, let’s not forget that 2014 might as well be considered the year of green for America.

It is no secret that marijuana has gained social and political acceptance this past year, more than any other. Following Colorado and Washington in 2012, voters in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., passed recreational marijuana laws in the 2014 elections. So, now that 2014 has come to a close, we can confidently say that four states, plus the District of Columbia, allow recreational marijuana, and 23 states, plus the D.C., allow medical marijuana.

This legalization trend is unlikely to stop in coming years, rather it’s projected to continue. Aside from the sheer number of legal states added this past year, take a look at the blunt facts which indicate that 2014 was truly a monumental year for marijuana.

 

Legal Hemp

In 2014, President Barack Obama approved a provision in the Federal Farm Bill that reads: “The amendment authorizes an institution of higher education or State department of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes if the laws of the State permit its growth and cultivation.”

After the passage of the Federal Farm Bill on February 7, 2014, Kentucky enacted the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program, which allows universities to research and develop hemp, as well as farmers to initiate hemp pilot programs. Whether or not you are a marijuana activist, the benefits of industrial hemp are unmatched, and it is difficult to oppose the growth of such a versatile, sustainable material. It can be used for fuel, food, clothing and much more.

 

Recreational Marijuana Sales

Nearly one year ago, on January 1, 2014, the nation’s first legal recreational dispensaries opened in Colorado. MSNBC reported that marijuana sales in the past year have boosted Colorado’s economy, bringing $60 million in revenue by the end of 2014. Moreover, teen marijuana use in Colorado has decreased from 24.8 percent to 22 percent. In the state of Washington, marijauna sales generated $16 million in taxes by the end of 2014. According to ArcView, the legal marijuana industry was worth about $2.3 billion this past year and may grow to $10 billion by 2018. 

 

“Vape” Named 2014’s Word of the Year

Yes, the Oxford Dictionary named “vape” 2014’s word of the year. Vape, a verb, is defined as follows: “to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.” Another similar device, in this context, could certainly represent a vape pen used for consuming marijuana concentrates. Also, “Budtender,” one who tends to customers in a cannabis shop, was also added as to the Oxford dictionary in 2014. This clearly signifies marijuana’s place in mainstream culture.

 

CBD

The benefits of CBD were recognized in 2014. This compound, as opposed to THC, does not produce a “high” effect. Therefore, its medicinal properties are beneficial, particularly for children, who may need to use marijuana for medical conditions, but do not want to feel high. It has been proven that CBD helps reduce the amount of seizures caused by epilepsy, as made famous in the case of Charlotte Figi, whose seizures had been reduced significantly through the consumption of a strain called Charlotte’s Web.

Charlotte’s Web, a medical marijuana strain first cultivated in Colorado, is high in CBD and low in THC. The successful treatment of Charlotte has prompted the implementation of CBD laws in many other states. By the end of 2014, CBD oil was made legal in Alabama, Utah, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and New York

 

Celebrities Embraced Marijuana

At the 2014 Emmys, many famous faces embraced and advocated for the legalization of marijuana. Even the face of our nation, President Barack Obama, made a statement to The New Yorker: “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” While Miley Cyrus’ Instagram may be littered with marijuana-related pictures, Wiz Khalifa went a step further and entered into a partnership with RAW rollings papers.

 

Banks

In the years preceding 2014, marijuana businesses had difficulty obtaining official banking services. However, that changed this past year, as banking relations with marijuana industry leaders is now okayed on the federal level. However, trouble and uncertainty still exists within this relationship so The Fourth Corner Credit Union took the initiative to apply for a banking charter in Colorado. The state’s banking regulators approved Fourth Corner’s application on November 19, 2014, and now it awaits  a master account from the Federal Reserve. If granted a master account, Fourth Corner has a chance to lessen the burdens experienced by cash-based cannabis operations.

 

No More War on Medical Marijuana

In 2014, the cromnibus, which included an amendment halting the Department of Justice from prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries and patients, was passed by Congress and later signed by President Obama. Rep. Sam Farr, co-author of the House measure, said in a statement, “this is great news for medical marijuana patients all across the country.”

Farr also added, “This amendment protects patients while the federal government catches up with the views of the American people. Patients will have access to the care that is available in their state without fear of federal prosecution. And our federal dollars will be spent more wisely on fighting actual crimes and not wasted going after patients.”

 

Grandmas Smoked Marijuana

2014 gave us a video that allowed 18 million people to thoroughly enjoy watching grandmas smoke marijuana for the first time, and it was hilarious. Three grandmas gathered in Washington state to indulge in some pot smoking because … why not? After all, it’s legal there.

First, the grandmothers looked at a bong as if it is some sort of alien object. No ladies, that bong is not for potting your flowers, it is used for smoking marijuana. Then, they playfully helped each other out, as one grandma so kindly lit another’s bong saying “do it like you mean it.” Afterward, they ate snacks and played games, like any true stoner would. You go grandmas!

Watch the video here:

 

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