Although the last decade’s science has proven that Cannabis has tremendous environmental, economic and health benefits, the plant has an illegal status federally. Since the seventies the consumption and possession of cannabis is banned under federal law. Under to the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis is categorized as a Schedule 1 drug.
Through the years of the War on Drugs several arguments were used to support this prohibition. Here’s a list of the most important ones:
Politicians for many decades keep on reiterating that cannabis makes its user dependent on weed. On the other side marijuana activists present cases arguing that marijuana is not as addictive as claimed by government sources. Many different research studies has shown that recreational marijuana users tend to drink less alcohol, and recently people use (after their doctors’ medical advice) cannabis in order to fight other kinds of addictions (opiates and alcohol). In any case, alcohol is by far much more addictive.
Prohibitionists keep on saying that legalizing cannabis will make the black market grow. This does not make any sense at all as it is proven in practice that the main reason for the existence of any black market is the prohibition itself. Within a legal framework, there would be no space for a black market to make a profit. Once licensed producers take over the supply of controlled cannabis at reasonable prices, the illegal market will get reduced gradually.
Parents and politicians are afraid that legalization of cannabis would make cannabis easily accessible to adolescents. This concern is unfounded, as a recent survey, proves that the use rate of cannabis was higher (12%) before the legalization in Colorado in 2016, after which it dropped down to 9%. This happens because, under a the new strict rules of a legal cannabis market, the licensed Cannabis producers and dealers have to follow certain rules and procedures (check I.D. cards etc.), something that was unimaginable in an illegal market.
There is a constant debate what would happen if cannabis is legalized. Many people worry that stoned drivers would be a public danger on the streets. But the reality is different. Not only do studies prove that cannabis impairment is far less severe than that of alcohol, additionally wherever the law has change in favor of cannabis there has been no significant upsurge in traffic accidents. Moreover the accidents caused from drunk drivers have also been reduced as cannabis legalization resulted a decrease in the consumption of alcohol.
Although several studies and much research has been done over the last many decades, proving the medicinal benefits of cannabis for many different ailments, lawmakers still seem unconvinced of the real medical value of marijuana. The long ban of more than a century has got the people comfortable with the status quo. Cannabis activists and logical people in general have been trying to present facts and cases to emphasize that prove the positive impact that cannabis has on health.
There are proven damages caused even from a legal substance, as alcohol is way more severe than cannabis in every way. Even still, the prohibitionists are spreading the fear that cannabis would cause people to have accidents, memory losses, psychological problems etc. Of course all those people refuse to accept the fact that many studies say that those who use cannabis learn to self-regulate in a natural way and at the same time become more tolerant of cannabis.
There’s no doubt that world politics are financed by big lobbies that have to protect their profits. Those lobbies are working for business sectors that include pharmaceutical companies, the alcohol industry, petroleum companies, private prisons and others. All those players’ profits are threatened by a potentially legalized cannabis products, so there’s no surprise that politicians are not supporting the reforms towards a framework regulating cannabis in a legal way.
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