If you are a resident of United States, then 8 November 2016 should have been a big day for you. Well, not because of the election hype that was going on but citizens voting to legalize the use of marijuana. Cannabis, once, used to be one of the most common illegal drugs in the U.S. but not anymore. As of now, the states listed below have legalized the use of medical marijuana:
States Where Medical Marijuana Is Legalized
District of Columbia
However, make a note that though these states allow marijuana in different forms, it is federally measured as a Schedule-1 substance. It is also unclear if Donald Trump may change the approach. Yes, marijuana is authorized now, but this doesn’t mean you can walk to the closest CVS and get an ounce so soon.
The majority of the stores still require approval to trade non-medical marijuana to the consumers. This probably might take time, at least until 1 January 2018. The rules will differ by state. Hence, check the local news for further information on the new laws.
10 Reasons That Made Medical Marijuana To Legalize In The U.S.
So, what actually made the citizens legalize marijuana in the U.S? Here are ten reasons that will give you better insights:
1. Much More Than A Party Drug
Cannabis is one of the naturally occurring herbs, which not only brings happy moods after it is consumed but also acts as an important medicinal herb. Of course, it is often misused and one of the primary reasons for consumers to land up in prison, this doesn’t mean it can be banned. The major problem with marijuana is that it is stigmatized so much that people perceive it only as an abuse factor and nothing more. However, the fact is that it is much beyond than a party drug. Just because it is used like an inebriant, it doesn’t mean it lacks therapeutic values.
Many different studies have already demonstrated the positive benefits of using marijuana. It is reported to help in treating glaucoma (one of the leading causes of blindness). According to the 1971 research published in the Journal of American Medical Association, marijuana considerably lowered the intraocular pressure by 25% to 30%. Another study in 2012 revealed that using marijuana could improve an individual’s lung health.
2. Eco-Friendly And Easier To Grow
Cannabis has the ability to clean up all the toxins underground. This natural process is called phytoremediation. It helps in keeping the soil fertile and healthier. Moreover, the fiber from these plants can also be used to manufacture paper-based products like cardboards, computer papers, and envelopes. So, one doesn’t have to chop down a few forest trees.
Unlike other crops, growing and maintaining a cannabis plant is a lot easier. Even though it is confusing in the beginning, the process of cultivation becomes simpler when you exactly know how to. The best part about marijuana plants is that they can be grown in any climate and in any zone. They are mold-resistant, frost-tolerant, and don’t require chemicals or fertilizers. As long as the roots receive all the nutrients, they will keep growing.
3. Safer Than Tobacco And Alcohol
How did the society even legalize the world’s most damaging substances – tobacco and alcohol when marijuana was far better? Shockingly, more than 50% of the global deaths happen due to these two every year. Moreover, use of tobacco and alcohol lead to various fatal illnesses. However, if marijuana is considered, it is non-toxic. In fact, it has been used more than 7000 years now, and there has rarely been a deadly case of marijuana overdose. The biggest harm was imprisonment, arrest, and prohibition.
4. Prohibition Will Only Put The Kids At Risk
Psychologically, most minds tend to take up an activity that is illegal than what is legal. According to survey reports, about 80 – 91% of the high school students find it extremely easy to get access to marijuana. This is because most weed dealers do not check ID and they don’t lose their license if they are caught selling to kids.
Nothing is going to stop a strong-minded kid from finding that link. Since it is always the kids who sell and encourage the use of weeds to other kids, legalization is the only safe option here. The sales will become more secure. Moreover, making it available at the adult-only stores will lessen the potential for illegal sales. In fact, in 2015, with four states being legalized marijuana, it was the first ever year where the easy access to weed dropped below 80%.
5. Was Used By Ancient Civilizations To Treat Ailments
The cultivation and use of marijuana are not new. It is one of the world’s oldest crops. In fact, it dates back to the pre-historic times (about 7000 years ago) when ancients used hemp crops for food, paper, oil, and fiber. The ancient Chinese used these plants to treat rheumatic pain, malaria, constipation, and other female disorders. Eventually, it spread to Europe, India, and the Middle East.
6. Treats Various Health Conditions
Medical marijuana is becoming a lot more common and popular these days, especially in the United States. Patients who are approved to use it, usually get it from a supplier who is licensed. Medical Marijuana can be eaten, vaporized, smoked, and even consumed in liquid form.
Doctors often prescribe it for pain, which could include spinal injuries, severe migraine headaches, etc. Nevertheless, cannabis is also helpful in treating the aftereffects of patients undergoing chemotherapy, which usually include appetite loss and nausea. Besides these, a few doctors also recommend marijuana for anxiety, depression, PTSD, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.
7. Will Open Up The Opportunities For Industrial Hemp
The demonization of cannabis is entrenched so much in the U.S that the laws even end up prohibiting the non-psychoactive varieties, often called the “industrial hemp”. It is truly insane to ban a plant just because it appears to get a person “high.” It is more like saying – “ban powdered sugar because it looks like cocaine!” Hope, you get that!
Though the federal government has now passed regulations to allow the cultivation of industrial hemp, these were once year-round crops, which our Founding Fathers cultivated profusely and freely. So, there is no harm in legalizing marijuana. It will only open up the possibilities of using hemp for building materials, fuel, food, fiber, medicine, and other revolutionary energy advancements.
8. Will Help The Economy In A Great Way
Marijuana not only has positive effects on the body but also on the economy too. Like medicines, legalizing the use of marijuana will substantially increase the nation’s profits. When marijuana was first legalized in four states, Colorado alone managed to pull a revenue of $25 million in 2014, and the value doubled in 2015. So, just imagine what if the whole U.S. legalized?
Nerdwallet already analyzed a rough approximation of the tax revenue the country could get if all the fifty states allowed marijuana. According to the estimation, the country can make a revenue of more than $3 billion a year.
9. Not Just For Getting “High”. It’s Beyond
Dangers and myths about cannabis have always been revolving. It is often claimed to be a life-ruining plant. But, whoever has tried marijuana has claimed it untrue so far. These are just the runaway myths intentionally created by some propaganda campaigns to mislead a lot of information. So, people who claim that marijuana is all bad or has all negative effects on health are either clinging to all the outdated information or are unaware about the plant.
Sure, you would have heard some terrifying stories how people consumed an entire edible cannabis or smoked in excess and called the emergency number 911. Now, this is why educating yourself about marijuana is vital. While consuming excess of it can turn miserable in a few people but the fact is that it is still a hundred times safer than tobacco and alcohol.
As consumers, we still need to learn a lot about cannabis, but one thing is guaranteed, no one has died from inhaling a few vapors of it. The most important thing is to learn to use it correctly if one truly wants to unveil its advantages rather its drawbacks.
10. The Black Market For Marijuana Will End
It is now possible to destabilize the black market once marijuana is legalized. Remember the days when Mexican cartels used to supply illegal cannabis and made huge illegitimate profits? It will soon end. Ever since cannabis was legalized in the first four states in 2014, the money confiscated by the patrols at the borders was dropped by 24% in 2015. Also, the cost of Mexican cannabis has gone down to $30 from $90 for an ounce.
Hence, legalizing marijuana will only bring proper regulations, warning labels, infrastructure, taxation, research, and peace of mind for consumers.