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Cannabis in the face of the public

 

Now that there is a growing number of cities allowing the sale of recreational cannabis, regulators are looking into offering adults a wide range of public areas to enjoy legal cannabis. This is a movement that will be huge for the future of cannabis! Regulating it like alcohol in public places will remove the stigma!

Misconceptions about crime breaking out, or cities becoming stoners if cannabis legalization is widespread, are far from the truth. Based on the first states that became legal in 2012, studies, surveys, and statistics have been published to provide a view into the effects that have been observed since legalization was implemented.

Public Crime

The legalization of cannabis has not shown to increase crime. In Colorado, cannabis arrests fell by nearly half from 2012 to 2014. In Washington state, cannabis possession fell by 98% between 2012 and 2013.  Between 2000 and 2010, Washington state spent $200 million on cannabis enforcement. Not only has crime involving cannabis scientifically dropped since the states’ legalization, but it is also saving the states a ridiculous amount of money. The Drug Policy Alliance stated, “By no longer arresting and prosecuting possession and other low-level marijuana offenses, states are saving hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Another comprehensive study published by a criminology professor demonstrated that legalized cannabis “was not a likely indicator of crime rates and that legalizing the industry can actually reduce homicide and assault rates.”

Drug Use

The legalization of cannabis has not increased drug use. According to research published in the American Journal of Public Health, Colorado’s legalization led to a decrease in opiate overdose of more than 6% in the following 2 years of legalization. Many want an alternative that does not come with the side effects that prescribed opiates cause. Often cannabis is highly effective at treating the same chronic conditions that patients are often prescribed opiates for. Giving the option to use cannabis decreases the probability of dependence and overdosing, “reversing” the epidemic. Cannabidiol has shown to reverse some of the brain changes that occur with heroin use, for example. This is because cannabidiol positively influences our biological systems that are linked to the negative components of addiction.

 

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Current

Let us start getting used to it. Denver has awarded the first social cannabis license, allowing vaping and edibles in a coffee shop. Massachusetts is also proposing regulations. This would allow cannabis sales and consumption in yoga studios, spas, restaurants, and even movie theaters.

As the cannabis movement progresses, it becomes more popular and more public. Take cannabis investments, for instance, they have increased by 600% in the five weeks of 2018. Largely driven by Canadian companies, investments increased internationally as pressure rises towards federal cannabis legalization in the U.S. Benjamin Thomas Wolf, former FBI agent has been publicly open about his stance on cannabis and is running for Congress as the “Cannabis Candidate,” for the state of Illinois. His campaign ad features him smoking cannabis in front of an image of the American flag. Now this is in your face!

Perhaps opening our minds to viewing the effects of legal cannabis with less paranoia, can allow us to understand the reality of improvements. Comparing other countries and its own legal cannabis long-term effects can also help understand. Let’s face it. The fact of the matter is that the cannabis industry has gain momentum and there is no turning back.

 

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