Will COVID-19 Affect Future Marijuana Legislation?

While many of us are increasingly worried about the future of our country and its economy, others simply want relief — and relief comes in many forms. Some who have lost jobs as a result of the spread of the novel coronavirus want relief in the form of money. Others who have been infected with the novel coronavirus and become sick with the disease it causes, COVID-19, want a different kind of relief; i.e. pain relief.

And what better way to relieve pain than use marijuana?

Unfortunately, recreational marijuana is far from widely available in the United States. Those who cannot legally purchase the relatively low-risk drug are worried about the future of marijuana legislation as the country continues to shut down its services, with no end in sight. What will that future look like?

Well, right now things are great for marijuana businesses already up and running. Those same people who are stocking up on canned goods and toilet paper are rushing out to procure a month’s supply of weed.

And you might not need to worry about upcoming marijuana legislation at the state level, either. It seems the outbreak might actually accelerate the introduction of new recreational or medical marijuana laws.

Take South Dakota, for example. Advocates for medical and recreational marijuana had planned a massive campaign to ensure proposals could be added to the 2020 ballot. With the new pandemic still ongoing, this opportunity seemed doomed. How do you get the signatures needed if you’re stuck at home?

Thankfully, the campaign received the needed signatures long before the deadline. That’s the power of weed. Most advocates for legalized marijuana strongly believe that the drug will soon be made available — and more importantly, that it will be well-regulated and taxed to bolster state revenue. As with most controversial issues (think marriage between two men or two women), it will probably only be legalized because of the potential revenue for the state.

But we don’t mind. One step at a time, as long as those steps are taken in the right direction.

A word to the wise: COVID-19 is not the flu and some symptoms are entirely different. The most important difference revolves around the likelihood of fighting for air. When you smoke any substance, you increase the likelihood for diseases such as COVID-19 will be able to do more damage long-term. If you’re a recreational marijuana user or simply use the drug to manage pain, you might consider consumption over inhalation. Better to be safe now than sorry later.

This is especially the case since the underlying infection can occur without symptoms.