As the 420 rally came to a close in Denver this past weekend, the support for marijuana use – both medical and recreational – appears to be growing across the country. As many as 80,000 people are estimated to have been in Denver this past weekend to celebrate 420 on April 20. Participants were more varied than most people would imagine – from young college students to middle aged businessmen to elderly women campaigning for MMJ reform on behalf of senior citizens.
Visitors flocked to Denver from all over the United States to participate in 420. Dina Compassion, a manager of a Denver dispensary, spoke to CNN about the people she met this past weekend. From people suffering from PTSD and epilepsy to cancer survivors to parents of sick children, these visitors did not fit the stereotypical picture many people have of marijuana advocates. Now that the fight for marijuana use – both medical and recreational – is over in Denver, Compassion believes Denver to be the rallying place for marijuana support across the country.
Many changes have occurred across the country concerning marijuana in the short course of a year. Colorado sold recreationally marijuana legally for the first time ever in January, generating roughly $14 million dollars in the first month. Medical marijuana legislation continues to be a source of contention – yet also joy – across the country. As many states reconsider and rewrite their legislation on MMJ, funding for MMJ studies has increased in many states. These studies help doctors to better assess the risks and benefits associated with medical marijuana. In turn, they can more accurately prescribe MMJ to patients who need it.
Most interesting, however, and perhaps most important, is the public perception of marijuana. As legislators, doctors, and community leaders advocate for MMJ, more and more Americans seem to favor the legalization of marijuana. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been offering his insights on MMJ since last August when he began a series to explain why he changed his mind about weed. A Gallup poll reported 58 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized. In addition, 69 percent of Americans feel alcohol is more of a danger to a person’s health than marijuana.
As the political landscape continues to change and shift across the United States, the prospect of MMJ continues to grow for people everywhere. Until then, Colorado offers itself as a prime example of the benefits of the legalization of marijuana.