Recently in the United States, there’s been a large push toward legalizing the possession and use of cannabis and marijuana. While many people are excited by this change, some people aren’t so happy about the decisions being made.
If you don’t have any first-hand experience with marijuana, you may only know what anti-marijuana propaganda has told you about the substance. So if you’re concerned about the growing legalization of cannabis, here are some things you should know.
Try to remember that marijuana is not the scary gateway drug some politicians and paranoid parents say it is. There are so many people you’d probably classify as upstanding and contributing members of society who use cannabis for different reasons. It isn’t reserved only for criminals or those who prefer lying around playing video games as is normally depicted on TV. You need to know the facts about marijuana to better understand its legalization.
Marijuana comes from the plant known as cannabis, which contains many different chemicals including CBD and THC. These are the two main chemicals used in the process of making actual marijuana products, and the two have many differences. The main distinction between the two, and one reason the plant has so many uses, is that THC produces the “high” that is often associated with marijuana while CBD does not and is often used for medicinal purposes instead.
There are different varieties and methods for taking cannabis products. Like most plants, cannabis has different varieties that have been bred for different uses. These different types are called strains, like the rs11 strain, and you can purchase products containing different strains or even plant a certain strain yourself.
Cannabis is used for both recreational and medicinal uses. Its popularity stems from its calming effects as well as the high that’s produced by THC. There are also a few different ways to ingest marijuana, like smoking via a joint, eating baked edibles or infused gummies, or even taking CBD pills. The variety of uses and forms of cannabis just add to the public’s interest in the substance.
There are plenty of benefits to legalizing marijuana, both on an individual basis and for society as a whole. The idea that cannabis is inherently harmful to society is purely a misconception, largely spread through fear-mongering by comparing marijuana to other, far more harmful drugs.
The legalization of cannabis, especially for both medicinal and recreational uses, can be extremely beneficial to the economy. Not only will legal marijuana production create thousands of jobs that will help those still unemployed after Covid, but it will also generate more tax revenue as the substance will be a legally sold product rather than being independently and illegally sold. Legalizing cannabis nationally won’t completely fix or perfect our economy, but it will certainly help in the effort to revitalize it.
A huge benefit to legalizing marijuana is the decriminalization of the substance. Many states have changed their laws regarding marijuana possession as a felony. Of course, most places still consider the possession of large amounts of cannabis as a criminal offense that garners prison time, but nowadays there are far fewer innocent people being wrongfully arrested simply for having a small portion of marijuana to help them relax. So widespread legalization would prevent even more unjust arrests and allow people to go about their lives without these charges on their record.
Cannabis use can be incredibly beneficial for individuals as well. Many people use CBD products to help decrease joint pain or manage anxiety. Both CBD and THC can also help people simply relieve stress, relax, or can even help people sleep better.
Risks and Regulations
It’s very important to do your research and know what kinds of restrictions are being put in place wherever marijuana is being legalized. While cannabis is far less dangerous than other drugs or even substances like tobacco, there are still risks just like with anything else.
Even if you have no plans to try marijuana for yourself, you should still know the basics of safe and responsible use so you can be aware in the event that someone close to you, like a friend or even your child, wants to try and you can be able to advise them how to do so safely. As with many other substances, there’s a legal age one can begin using marijuana. You must be 21 to use cannabis recreationally, or 18 if a doctor has given you their approval for using medicinal CBD. Know how to find safe and licensed dispensaries and never buy from someone without a proper license. And of course, never drive while under the influence of any substance, including marijuana.
You should always be aware of the law where you live, as the specific legalities of marijuana vary by state. Certain states have legalized only medicinal CBD, while others have legalized recreational marijuana as well. It’s also important to research the laws regarding how much you can possess and also the laws about growing and distributing cannabis, as these vary by state as well.
In general, the widespread legalization of marijuana is a mostly positive change as the substance has proven to have substantial benefits to both individuals and society as a whole. The risks of marijuana usage are far lower than legal substances like tobacco or alcohol, so it only makes logical sense to make it legal. Just make sure you know the benefits, risks, and laws surrounding cannabis if you or a loved one are considering trying it. And if you’re still against it, that’s perfectly okay. Just know that it’ll be for everyone’s benefit in the long run.