That marijuana is treated as a dangerous substance and therefore being outlawed is nothing new. But if you take a closer look at the arguments against cannabis you’ll notice it’s a lousy case, a simple smoke screen to keep the argument going while the prohibition is upheld.
The sole reason marijuana prohibition still prevails is due to corporate interest, as with so many other issues, to retain and maximize profits. But first, let’s take a look at what our social narrative says about cannabis.
Why Marijuana Is Supposed to Be Bad For You
- It’s a stepping stone drug
Cannabis use leads to trying stronger and more harmful drugs. Seems valid right? But no. There are people who are simply interested in all drugs and not only in marijuana. They seek the highs and thrills of various drug types, marijuana being one of them. So, it’s not that marijuana leads to other drug use, but that other drugs are ‘experimented’ with anyway.
Then you have the way marijuana is currently distributed. Since is still mostly illegal the only way to get some is via the black market, i.e. a dealer. Drug dealers most of the times don’t stick to only marijuana sales, but also more expensive and lucrative drugs. In this way the marijuana enthusiast is exposed to other drugs, which means it’s the current environment that potentially leads more harmful drugs.
- Stoned driving increases automobile accidents
This is such a hypocritical point. Statistics show that a staggering amount of traffic accidents are related to driving while under the influence of alcohol or certain medication. Instead of banning the substance we restrict driving while being induced by it. Why should this be any different for marijuana?
- Marijuana use is just morally wrong
Morals are subjective and change and develop over time. It used to be that women were not allowed to work certain functions and vote. Gay marriage was not possible not so long ago. And if we are talking about morals, why deny the benefits this plans give to not only individuals, but also to society as a whole. Isn’t that a moral crime by itself?
- Legalization would increase marijuana use among children
How would you see this happening? Marijuana would be sold at the local candy shop or toys store? Or at amusement parks? This argument is classical scare tactic and emotional manipulation. First off, it assumes marijuana is harmful, which it is not. Second, by legalizing and regulating sales you maintain control on the output.
- People with drug related arrests are more likely to commit serious crimes
This is law enforcement rhetoric at its finest. Even crime fighting is a business. When the police gets a directive to sweep the streets of a crime it get additional funds. To keep the funds flowing the crime must be seen as menace to society and in effect maintained. When new legislation is written politics in effect write up a new crime.
In addition to this, this argument resembles that stepping stone argument. But in this case civilians who are to commit more serious crimes don’t do so because of marijuana use. It’s the person on the criminal path who happens to also use marijuana. Now it’s easy to blame marijuana, because the war on drugs becomes real now. This means more funds.
- Marijuana causes physical damage and health problems to users
Make no mistake, marijuana has many health benefits, which are slowly being acknowledged. For marijuana abuse however, this is technically true. But so does drinking, smoking and eating excessively. Also, many medications have harmful side effects and need additional pills to counter that effect. All use brings some form of risk with it.
When physical and health problems occur by drinking, smoking and eating you are stuck with it for a long period of time, if not permanent. In the case of marijuana it is not. Problems as a result of marijuana abuse are reversible and only short term once you stop the abuse. The most important fact is that there is no single recorded instance where someone died from marijuana overdose.
Marijuana Use and Abuse
Countering every single argument for marijuana prohibition is very dreadful. Why not just legalize it and be done with it. The reality is that the world doesn’t work that way. It’s seems to be a necessary phase in order to move forward.
This doesn’t mean, however, that there is no downside to marijuana use. And if we are about the legalize it we have to be very honest with it. Cannabis is still a mind-altering substance. While this plant is mainly beneficial, like any other substance, even marijuana can be abused.
Abuses might lead to social exclusion, neglect of personal hygiene, short-term memory loss, limited rational, logical and mathematical capacity, decrease of lung capacity and, simply said, not giving a fuck. Remember, problems as a result of marijuana abuse are reversible and only short term once you stop the abuse. But then again, you must first stop the abuse.
Legalization of Marijuana Leads To..
- Decrease in government law enforcement spending
Instead of throwing vast amounts of money to something as harmless as marijuana only to outlaw it, why not rather use the funds to drug awareness programs. If we look at the period alcohol was prohibited it provided a strong base camp for organized crime. The same holds for marijuana distribution at this time. If we really care about the well-being of our children this ignorance most stop.
- Increase is local community satisfaction
Marijuana cultivation has moved into the shadows because of prohibition. This means grow ops are unregulated and there’s a great chance the average neighborhood houses a marijuana farm. Of those, change are some people are incapable of take the necessary precautions to avoid problems. This might lead to unnecessary water flooding and tapping of illegal electricity.
- Increase in tax revenue
Outlawing marijuana has no effect on supply and demand. The cannabis industry is flourishing more than ever. Outlawing requires government funds, i.e. tax payers’ dollars. Legalization results in tax revenue on sales which are now go unnoticed.
- Better access to medical marijuana
There are cases where medical marijuana is more effective and less expensive. And that already a given with the limited research we now have.
Current Developments 2017
During the Presidential campaign Donald Trump stated he would legalize medical marijuana because it has become such a big thing. Now that he is the President of the United Stated his administration vowed to crack down on marijuana and declared greater enforcement of federal law. Marijuana is still illegal at federal level and classified as a schedule 1 drug, next to Heroin and other synthetic drugs.
What this says is that there are still people in place of government positions that have an interest in, and might even benefit from, marijuana prohibition. But there is nothing to fear.
Worldwide people are ready for change and it shows. Uruguay is the first country that has fully legalized marijuana, there are a couple of states in the US that regulate medical and recreational use and in Europe positive results are shown with decriminalization.
Let’s see what’s next. In the meantime we uncover the truth about marijuana.
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