Recent data shows that recreational cannabis has now been legalized in 21 states, three U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia among them. In addition, more nations have considered legalizing it given its medicinal applications and use as the research carried on. Apart from the USA, Canada, Georgia, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay, and several other nations have given a green flag to the use of cannabis for medical and/or recreational purposes. Green is to go for the cannabis market, and with the regulatory landscape being positive for cannabis, we can expect some significant developments in the near future. But why wasn’t it done before? The questions take proponents and opponents to debate the Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuanas.
Marijuana, or cannabis, is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat various medical conditions. It contains over 100 different chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, affecting the brain and body differently. Some of these compounds are responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive effects, while others can relieve various ailments.
Its derivatives have been in use to treat various diseases and symptoms. You can find tons of studies and evidences that clearly indicate that cannabis can help treat several conditions. You should take note that research into the potential health benefits of marijuana is still ongoing, so other uses may be discovered in the future.
In addition to medicinal purposes, many people also use marijuana recreationally. You won’t be surprised to know that around 68% American adults in 2022 said that marijuana should be legalized. All credit goes to its beneficial properties.
But if taken in uncertain amounts, cannabis can also turn from boon to bane. Therefore, it is important to remember that the effects vary depending on the method of consumption and the strain of marijuana being used. Additionally, it is important to understand the laws surrounding marijuana before using it as some states do not allow recreational use. That’s the main reason of the conflict between whether to allow its legal use or not in many countries.
There are many positive viewpoints on legalizing marijuana, as it can have many beneficial effects. For instance:
With cannabis control policies implemented, governments can regulate the medical marijuana market in numerous ways. First, it would create a system of taxation and regulation, allowing for more transparency and accountability. This system could also provide patients with more accessible access to safe and quality-controlled products by setting standards for cultivation, manufacturing, testing, labeling, packaging, and advertising.
Additionally, legalization would reduce the illegal production of marijuana, removing some of the risks associated with unregulated products that can have unpredictable levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or other contaminants. This could help lower prices as the cost of cultivating and selling cannabis becomes more standardized due to regulation. By legalizing cannabis nationwide, governments can also get involved in research related to medical marijuana to understand its effects and potential benefits further.
Cannabis has long been used to treat medical ailments, with documented use going back thousands of years. In more recent times, studies have provided evidence that cannabis can be a powerful and effective medicine for a variety of conditions. For example, research has demonstrated the potential benefits of cannabis in treating chronic pain, neuropathic pain, anxiety and depression, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anorexia nervosa, glaucoma, nausea, and vomiting.
In addition to its medicinal uses, research also suggests that cannabis may have other therapeutic applications, such as helping to reduce inflammation and improve sleep quality. And legalizing is a kind of initiative make the cannabis-based medicines easily accessible to everyone.
By providing an alternative, legal source of cannabis, the need to engage in illegal activities to acquire it would be eliminated. This could reduce the incentives for criminal organizations to produce and distribute marijuana illegally, thereby reducing their profitability and the amount of violence associated with those activities.
Furthermore, legalizing cannabis may decrease the number of people involved in distributing drugs, such as those working for organized crime networks. With fewer people engaged in these activities, there would be less competition between drug dealers and, therefore, less violence associated with them.
By regulating the production and sale of cannabis, governments can ensure higher product standards, improved safety protocols, and proper labeling requirements. This could lead to much safer products with fewer contaminants and more accurate potency information on labels. Dispensaries would be able to provide consumers with detailed strain information so they can make informed decisions about their purchases.
The legalization of cannabis also paves the way for increased research into its effects and potential medical benefits. With more research available, healthcare providers will have access to reliable data when recommending medical use for patients.
Proper regulations and restrictions in place can lead to a decrease in the abuse of the drug. For example, a regulated market for legal cannabis products would ensure that only those over a certain age can purchase it and that there is no black-market activity.
Additionally, with taxes placed on legal sales, governments could use this extra income to fund education programs about the dangers of using cannabis beyond medically necessary circumstances. With better access to accurate information about cannabis, potential users may be more likely to make an educated decision when considering if they should or should not partake in recreational use. Furthermore, providing better access to medical marijuana treatments through legalization will help minimize potential recreational use.
Although several benefits come with legalizing marijuana, there are also some drawbacks which should not be ignored. These include:
While there is some evidence that cannabis can help with the symptoms of certain conditions, it also has the potential to cause or worsen existing mental health problems. The psychoactive effects of THC and other compounds in marijuana can trigger anxiety, depression, psychosis, and other mental health issues in vulnerable individuals.
For example, people prone to paranoia or have a family history of schizophrenia may be more likely to develop these conditions when using marijuana. Additionally, regular use of marijuana can lead to an increased risk of developing psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar disorder and depression. Finally, adolescents and young adults are particularly susceptible to the psychological effects of cannabis due to their still-developing brains. Therefore,
Marijuana is growing in popularity among Gen Z and young adults, which could lead to increased use in youth if it is legalized. Research has shown that teen marijuana usage increases when a state legalizes cannabis for recreational or medical purposes. This is because legalization normalizes the drug and removes its stigma. When marijuana is seen as acceptable and widely available, teens are likelier to try it. Legalization can make marijuana easier to access by reducing its price and increasing availability through regulated dispensaries and retail stores. It could also increase exposure to marketing campaigns aimed at young people, further promoting an idealized image of the drug's effects. Teens may perceive marijuana as less risky if they see their peers using it or if it becomes widely accepted in society, leading them to experiment with it.
Workers under the influence of cannabis may be more likely to make mistakes or take longer to complete tasks. The presence of cannabis in the workplace can also create a less focused and efficient environment, which can lead to a decrease in overall productivity levels.
On the other hand, employers may find it difficult to discipline employees for using cannabis while on the job due to employment laws. This could lead to increased absenteeism and decreased employee engagement, both of which negatively affect workplace productivity. Furthermore, workers who use cannabis recreationally could suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop using it. This could lead to decreased attention span and impaired judgment in the workplace, further diminishing their productivity.
With legalization comes the possibility of cannabis being prescribed to individuals with chronic health conditions, such as pain and nausea. While there are numerous benefits associated with the use of medical marijuana, there are also risks related to drug interactions between cannabis and other medications commonly taken by chronic patients. When taking multiple drugs, it’s essential to know how they will interact, and what potential side effects can arise from their combination.
Cannabis contains various active compounds known as cannabinoids which have potent effects on the human body when ingested. These compounds can interact with certain medications, which can sometimes be unpredictable. For example, cannabis can influence how quickly a drug is metabolized by the body, potentially leading to an overdose or other adverse effects if not monitored closely.
Individuals may not be able to regulate their own usage and may become reliant on the drug for various reasons. This could lead to addiction or other unwanted side effects, such as cognitive impairment. Widespread use of cannabis could increase the risk of psychological issues such as anxiety and depression in specific individuals who are more vulnerable than others.
There is always the possibility that criminal elements may take advantage of an unregulated market and produce dangerous products which can cause additional harm to society. Increased access to cannabis could also lead to increased health risks associated with smoking or consuming it due to a lack of knowledge among consumers about proper dosage amounts and possible contaminants in the product. All of these factors could make legalizing cannabis a risky decision that lawmakers must weigh carefully.
The Bottom Line
While there are many potential benefits of legalizing marijuana, it is also important to consider the potential drawbacks. It is also essential to remember that any decisions regarding the legalization of cannabis should be made with caution and consideration for public health and safety.
There are a number of potential benefits associated with legalizing marijuana. These include generating revenue through taxation, reducing criminal activity, and providing more job opportunities in the industry.
Legalization is essential for medical use because it allows doctors to prescribe cannabis as a medicine, which can help alleviate symptoms of certain conditions or diseases.
While some potential benefits are associated with legalizing marijuana, there are also some potential drawbacks that should be considered. These include increased risk of addiction, impaired driving, and possible adverse effects on mental health.
It is possible that increased access to marijuana could lead to more abuse, especially among minors. That is why states need to have strict regulations in place regarding the sale and distribution of marijuana if they choose to legalize it.