If you are a user of marijuana, recreational or medicinal, then you might be tracking the progress of weed legalization globally. Over the years, public opinion has heavily shifted on the matter as scientific research has found and published medical and emotional benefits of cannabis that were unknown earlier.
By early 2015, 27 US states and the District of Columbia legalized or decriminalized marijuana. Four states including Washington DC have also approved it recreational use.
Surveys and polls find that that on average, more than 58% of Americans support legalization. However, as an alert global citizen, we must ponder over some questions.
What will the repercussions of such a massive transition be? Will there be more abuse or will it go down? Will we have the same state controlled logistics as there are with alcohol?
How will the youth react? We know that weed is not addictive but the pleasure is! Will youths fall prey or regulated sales will help to achieve the desired Tesla universe results we are trying to foster!
To find answers, one should look at places witnessing legalization and decriminalization.
You can take Colorado for instance. They have an upscale marijuana trade. This is also the scene in California where marijuana was decriminalized in 2010. The results, contrary to what skeptics say, are astonishingly positive.
Marijuana is sold in boutique like stores in Colorado with an upper middle class clientele. Sellers affirm that these buyers are excellent at regulating themselves and there are no cases of overuse or abuse.
Earlier, poor people were legally fined heavily for marijuana related issues. This unfair practice has decreased after legalization.
California is also witnessing positive results. It was found that the number of marijuana related arrests declined after legalization. Not only that but cases of offences dropped across all categories of youthful offenders across drugs.
Some startling results were found in societal behavior when states like California and Portugal reduced possession of all kinds of drugs to minor misdemeanors and not crimes.
Since then, Portugal has witnessed a whopping 90% decline in drug related offences. Cases of overdose have also dropped in huge numbers. As such policies allows drugs to be accepted in more socially plausible way, users find it easier to regulate use and gain real value, refraining away from overuse and related offences.
Cannabis Legalization Is Also Helping Economies Become Stronger
Places that have legalized marijuana are witnessing an upsurge in gross revenues, tourism and overall purchasing powers of the populace. Can you imagine that Cannabis Friendly cafes in the Netherlands are making USD 3.2 billion every year? This means USD 600 million in taxes for the Dutch government.
All these factors make me think that weed legalization through proper PR funnels is an ideal way to take the human society through the next evolutionary leap. Not only are the medical findings boosting its reputation, the recreational and mental benefits without the addictive overheads make it very attractive and socially acceptable.
Colorado is showing similar signs of economic boosts. Economists estimate that on average a dispensary creates 140 jobs with an average payout of USD 17/hour resulting in USD 30 million of economic activity. No body can deny that’s impressive.
Organized Crime Can Finally End for Good
As you legalize a drug, the entire illegal cartel around it is instantly broken into shambles. The substance becomes less valuable for illegal traders and consequently leads to lesser drug related violence.
Moreover, there is added safety control if the government legalizes and controls the supply of the substance. If you are buying weed off the street then there is no way to gauge the authenticity of your purchase. With current legalization efforts creating a framework for a safety control system we can work together to get rid of the risk coming from smoking inferior and mixed marijuana.
Legalization Helps Wider Access for Medicinal Use
It is inadvertently clear that medicinal marijuana can help with diseases like cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, anorexia and what not. In many states, including Massachusetts, California and New Jersey, it is legal to use medical marijuana under certain guidelines. This means more people will be free to use the drug for its believed health benefits. There are sites that publish well-researched and informative articles to educate the masses on weed consumption and weed production. You learn about growing marijuana at home, vaporizers, medical recipes and more.
Medicinal use of marijuana has proven effective and cheap for many around the globe. However, many people who cannot afford expensive treatments are devoid of these benefits because it is not legal in their region. That is unfair.
In a nutshell, I believe there is a latent advantage to society in decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis and other drugs. Societal acceptance allows for more manual constraint and self-control. It is a natural boost to diversified healthcare and also boosts the economy for the better.
Therefore, I believe it can help, do you?