Marijuana legalization is a topic under scrutiny in countless different countries around the world and has become a constant concern for debate in this generation.
In the United States, there are already 24 states that allow the use of medicinal marijuana to date, wherein states like Colorado and Washington even promote the use for the medicine in a more recreational standpoint.
In Australia, a debate escalated in 2015 and has led to marijuana legalization which is of medical use in early 2016, but no formal plans have been put in place yet.
Many other countries are in discussions and things are happening fast, however there are so many grey areas still, so many undotted “i” that people still need to be careful when, where and how they access their marijuana. And if you are too careless… bad things can still happen.
In this article, we will discuss the Good things happening with Marijuana legalization movement, the Bad things and the downright Ugly truth about some impacts the prohibition is causing.
THE GOOD: Cures, Cash & Crops
The booming market for pot in the US has generated tens of millions in tax revenue and has been flagged as a potential major contributor to the country’s growth and development in the future.
The cannabis industry is claimed to be faster growing than any other industries have in history, faster than the smartphone market.
The Tax Foundation estimates the following in their report:
“If all states legalized and taxed marijuana, states could collectively expect to raise between $5 billion and $18 billion per year. While these amounts are not stratospheric, they are considerable and exceed additional enforcement and regulatory costs incurred by the states.”
Medical Marijuana has helped cure and aid many patients with different illnesses ranging from PTSD to cancer. The impact of marijuana in the healthcare industry has been very significant, especially in addressing the symptoms of other numerous illnesses.
Aside from its current medical benefits, it is still constantly being researched further for the potential cure of other illnesses—a potential development in the medical industry in the years to come.
The traditional thinking of isolation molecules to treat symptoms is being seriously challenged by discoveries how cannabis works as a medicine.
Marijuana legalization seems to highlight the need to examine holistic medicine a lot more and aim for prevention and wellbeing in the first place.
Medical cannabis is likely to disrupt the medical industry in a huge way as it is challenging the fundamental thinking behind western medicine.
Making cannabis available to the communities around the world seems to be doing further good than just keeping us healthy.
Available data from research carried out in States and countries where medical cannabis is legal, point not only to less reliance on prescription drugs, but also decrease in suicide and drug overdose.
Communities where Medical Cannabis is available also experience a drop in violent crime, alcohol consumption and a nearly 9% drop in traffic fatalities.
The benefits of legal cannabis seem to be overwhelming and we have not even considered the budding hemp industry.
Doug Fine, wrote an entire book titled, “Hemp Bound” on how hemp is creating the next agricultural revolution.
The legalization and broader acceptance of Marijuana in general has also been pointing the spotlight on the hemp industry.
Around the world in many countries farmers are given the opportunity to plant hemp, a high growing industrial variety of the cannabis plant with less than 0.3% THC. Hemp is grown and cultivated for its natural fibre, oil and seeds. It has also provided quality products for various industries such as food, shelter and clothing. We will see more and more of hemp products in the near future as it is an organic and more valuable alternative to the synthetic materials we already use in the market.
THE BAD: Arrests & Grey Areas
Although Cannabis is legal in some states medically and recreationally, we still cannot avoid the stigma that currently surrounds the legalization of Marijuana. In California alone, they still make 13,000 arrests a year despite legalization. These arrests stem from the legal and illegal possession and the distribution of cannabis across each state.
From 2010 to 2014, there have been 154,547 marijuana related arrest for felonies and misdemeanors due to the limited Marijuana laws that were set in place. The stigma brought about by this lack of information is a growing concern in the Marijuana community.
The Marijuana community together with different states like Washington, Colorado and California is addressing the concern of these Marijuana Laws by establishing AUMA (Adult Use of Marijuana Act). AUMA will attempt to differentiate a clear line between personal marijuana use and commercial activity, which is vital in understanding its proper use.
THE UGLY TRUTH: Contradictions & Suffering
The revolution for the legalization of medical Marijuana have had a great impact in the medical community. Medical marijuana has been used to aid different illnesses, especially those illnesses that lack treatment, like cancer and AIDS.
Because of the contradicting laws placed by the government about medical marijuana and the stigma that surrounds its legalization, there are still countless patients with limited, to no access to medical marijuana and the benefits it can provide.
Patients and families all around the world flee to places where medical marijuana is legal just to be able to compensate for the lack of treatment that their illnesses require.
Marijuana dispensaries that provide patients treatment for years are also threatened by marijuana laws set by the government that have no clear legal rights.
In spite of the obvious setbacks, some continue to fight on.
The oldest Medical Marijuana dispensary in Vancouver Canada, which provided medicine to more than 6000 patients, almost closed down its doors due to revised unclear legal marijuana laws for 2016. Because of the continued support of the Canadian Marijuana Community and with the help of Marijuana advocates worldwide, The British Columbia Compassion Club won its appeal over the Board of Variance, granting them permission to continue selling their products and services amidst the new motion.
In the last half century, the war on drugs and the prohibition has been ineffective. Prisons have been overcrowded with people who are not criminals but who were caught with simply possessing a little marijuana. Government funds for the war on drugs and prohibition spent on fighting the wrong battle. Instead of going after the mafia, the cartels and the import/export of hard narcotic drugs, the agency responsible spend government funds to attack Marijuana trades and go after Marijuana related incidents.
A WARNING TO ALL – Marijuana legalization is not ‘quite’ a reality … yet
We are well on our way to marijuana becoming legalized around the world.
However…In the brink of excitement for this new freedom, there are some people who get caught up in the grey areas of the marijuana legalization laws which leads to trouble.
Even though marijuana and its culture is beginning to become more and more acceptable, we should still be careful, know our limitations and just be overall responsible advocates of Marijuana.
How have you been impacted by the rise of the marijuana revolution? Has it been good, bad or ugly?
Share your thoughts at the comment box!