What were some of the top cannabis stories of 2022? It was a big year for legalization efforts, but full-scale implementations are still needed. While Germany looked to legalize cannabis, it didn’t happen in 2022.
Likewise, despite beliefs that Biden and the Democrats would legalize cannabis or, at the very least, pass some cannabis banking regulations, nothing came of it.
Cannabis didn’t fare much better in Canada, where authorities launched a full-scale war on medical cannabis and legacy medical providers. All the while, Canada’s actual healthcare system crumbles (you’d think Health Canada bureaucrats would have something better to do than target medical cannabis patients).
Canada proved in 2022 that they are not the country to follow. Whether it’s in leadership or cannabis legalization. Any country with the British Crown as the head of state needs to reexamine its priorities, as we saw in Bermuda, where the short-lived UK prime minister blocked a legalization effort.
Despite the bad news, this year, we saw promising studies that suggest CBD helps fight COVID-19. You’d think every news channel would blast this information 24/7. But alas, you cannot patent CBD and make $40 off every shot as Pfizer did with their mRNA gene therapy vaccine.
Overall, 2022 could have been a better year for cannabis.
Germany to Legalize Cannabis
Germany is currently run by a centre-left coalition government that is adamant about legalizing cannabis. Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the American legal states for inspiration (when he visited Canada, he and Trudeau did not discuss the legal industry).
Details of the German plan were made public earlier this year, with talk of legalizing the purchase and possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis and allowing Germans to cultivate two plants per household.
Unlike Canada’s legal regime, the German legalization plan would permit cannabis shops that double as consumption centres, like a “coffee shop” in Amsterdam.
The Crown Said No to Legal Cannabis in 2022
Bermuda is a North Atlantic archipelago that consists of 181 Islands. They are technically a British overseas territory but have elections and make their own laws. The United Kingdom could technically involve itself with their politics, but this rarely happens.
That is until short-lived British Prime Minister Liz Truss intervened after Bermuda’s democratic government voted to legalize cannabis.
The UK cited international clauses that prevent cannabis legalization. But that didn’t stop Canada from legalizing (where the UK could have also intervened as Canada is a commonwealth nation).
The silver lining is that this unprecedented intervention into Bermuda’s affairs may push the country toward independence.
“If Her Majesty’s representative in Bermuda does not give assent to something that has been passed lawfully and legally under this local government, this will destroy the relationship we had with the United Kingdom,” said the Bermuda Premier David Burt.
Biden’s Cannabis Pardon Helps No One
Alleged US President Joe Biden made headlines this year by announcing federal cannabis pardons. The problem, of course, is that no one is currently incarcerated in federal prison for simple possession of cannabis.
The White House says it’ll help 6,500 people, but they haven’t expunged any records or released anyone from prison.
Biden’s announcement was superficial and more about optics than helping the hundreds of thousands of young, black men in prison for simply “trafficking” a nontoxic, natural herb.
Like every other president, Biden has no problem using executive orders to undermine the traditional separations of power. He could legalize cannabis tomorrow. But he doesn’t because he’s a corporate shill.
Health Canada Wants to End Medical Cannabis in 2022
Speaking of abuses of power, Health Canada wants to end medical cannabis in Canada. Although officially, they are in “survey” mode, where they take in responses to form an opinion, it’s obvious their direction.
“I know for certain that Health Canada and their lawyers have been preparing for years to argue that now there’s no need for a distinct medical program,” Ted Smith told CLN back in November.
Since the 1990s, medical cannabis patients have been fighting for their rights. And the government of Canada has fought them each step of the way. From trying to take away their ability to grow their own (and only purchase from large corporations) to the current suggestion that medical reimbursements are unnecessary.
Health Canada wants you to believe that the 10mg THC limit in the recreational regime is adequate for medical patients (some require 100mg+ a day).
In other words, 2022 continued the trend of Health Canada bureaucrats treating healthy adults like children and ignoring (or rejecting) the pleas from actual medical patients.
Medical Cannabis Activism in 2022
With a medical cannabis regime opposed to patients’ well-being, many have taken matters into their own hands.
Whether it’s the government harassing the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. Or the police arresting Neil Magnuson for doing something productive to combat the opioid crisis (as opposed to the platitudes and empty sound bytes from politicians and “public health.”)
While these two events were local to Canada’s cannabis community, the Freedom Convoy was not. But either way, 2022 proved to the world that Canada does not tolerate dissent.
As Italian Fascists under Mussolini were fond of saying, “Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”
If you experienced harassment from the government for daring to provide opioid addicts and medical patients with high-quality cannabis (or saw your bank account frozen for simply donating to a peaceful protest), then you know how genuinely fascist Canada has become under Justin Trudeau.
CBD Prevents COVID?
Not everything cannabis-related was bad news in 2022. More American states legalized cannabis during the midterms. But ultimately, the best cannabis news to come out of 2022 was the connection between CBD and COVID.
In a series of studies by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, researchers tested the effects of CBD and other cannabinoids on SARS-CoV-2.
They found CBD seemed to have a protective effect against COVID. When they introduced the virus to human lung cells full of CBD, they couldn’t get it to take hold and replicate.
Research supported these findings with both human patients and controlled trials on mice. Despite this, researchers warn that CBD is not a replacement for masking or vaccination.
But vaccines don’t stop infection or spread. And we know masking has no scientific basis whatsoever. This leads to only one conclusion: if authorities are serious about combating COVID-19 in 2023, then they’ll mandate CBD supplements as they did with the mRNA gene therapy.
What to Expect in 2023?
It’s hard to say what 2023 will bring for cannabis.
If the US midterms are any indication, the Democrats will keep dangling the cannabis legalization/banking reform carrot as they did with student loan forgiveness. Promise the world but deliver nothing.
Health Canada is likely to keep harassing Canada’s medical cannabis community. But if the past is of any indication, this community will not take it lying down.
Countries like Germany will likely see cannabis legalized in 2023. But how they decide to deal with European rules and international law on narcotics remains to be seen. Germany may take an isolationist approach, keeping its cannabis industry 100% domestic and sheltered from global markets.
As for COVID-19, except for China and Canada, the rest of the world has moved on. Even if clinical trials further cement CBD’s role in combating this virus, it’s unlikely to make headlines since, as mentioned, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson can’t make billions patenting and selling a natural herb.