History of CBD and Cannabis: New York
In August of 2019, New York officials began the lengthy process of cleaning the records of over 160,000 non-violent drug offenders living in the city limits. A new state law has managed to reduce the penalties of cannabis-related crimes, finally allowing communities of color disproportionately impacted by cannabis to slowly rehabilitate.
Though some may find the recent turn around surprising, most experts believe this is all part of the growing social pressure for cannabis-related arrests to be completely deprioritized.
After all, research shows that many cannabis and CBD products may boast highly effective mental, physical, and emotional health benefits. Moreover, the paranoia fueled during the seventies’ War on Drugs has slowly diminished over the past two decades.
Cannabis, CBD, and New York
In 1914, officials first began to restrict seller supply of marijuana by requiring prescriptions from certified physicians. This followed a nationwide effort to hamper down the growing popularity of cannabis in the Eastern and Midwestern states. Just ten years later, cannabis was completely outlawed throughout the entire state.
Since then, law enforcers have become increasingly dedicated to scrubbing the streets completely clean. Underground cannabis operations were completely wiped out of the boroughs by the fifties, followed by huge campaigns to penalize those in possession of small amounts of cannabis.
In the thirties, Mayor LaGuardia created a committee solely dedicated to investigating marijuana drug rings throughout the city of New York. Just five years later, the committee declared that cannabis wasn’t a “gateway drug”; in fact, marijuana was not found to be correlated with addiction, dropout rates, or insanity.
Unfortunately, the report infuriated pundits at the time, resulting in statewide restrictions and more severe penalties. By the seventies, Governor Rockefeller signed legislation that increased the penalty of marijuana possession to fifteen years in prison and huge fines.
Just a few years later, decriminalization efforts began as minority communities grew more targeted. Possession of less than 25 grams resulted in a petty $100 fine and no criminal record; however, public use still resulted in a misdemeanor charge. This change did little to affect actual arrest rates and over 80 percent of those incarcerated were black or Latino.
In response to rising political pressure, the NYPD was directed to issue fines rather than prison sentences for public marijuana use. The mayor stated that arresting non-violent drug offenders was the city police’s lowest possible priority.
Currently, attempts to completely legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use are ongoing. Legislators are now overwhelming on board for legalization; however, municipalities are still conducting consumer research in order to study how best to implement a legal cannabis industry.
In the meantime, consumers have more access than ever to THC-free CBD products. Despite frequent raids on sellers, CBD vendors have largely remained as popular and powerful a member of the community as ever. Experts believe that health regulations will continue to get more restrictive on CBD products in an effort to adhere to department of health codes.