Why CBD-Only Laws Could Be A Threat To Cannabis Legalization
The cannabis legalization movement has picked up a lot of momentum over the last few years. Research into the effects of cannabis and its potential uses has garnered an increasing amount of public support, to the point where some places have now even decriminalized/legalized it. To begin with, the more conservative elements of society simply ignored it, thinking it would fizzle out and be dismissed as the ramblings of hippies. They were wrong, and now they are scrambling to enact some form of damage control, inhibiting the progress of legalization where they can – often in very sneaky ways.
THE POLITICAL GAIN
One such example is the implementation of CBD-only law. On the face of it, it is seen as a win for the legalization movement, as it opens up access for patients who need it. However, for a conservative politician, it is a gold mine. It allows them to appear sympathetic to medical patients whilst at the same time “hard on drugs.” For them, it is the ideal way to make the subject of legalization go away. When CBD is legalized, parents with sick kids stop featuring on the news, and public interest begins to fizzle out, thinking “job done”. Only long-term advocates remain saying “we want the weed that gets you high,” which is much easier to dismiss.
What makes this even worse, is that many CBD-only laws that are passed, especially in the US, have been made to be purposefully obstructive to the patient. For example, Florida has an extremely restrictive CBD-only law that is now mired in lawsuits. Despite being put into place back in 2014, not a single patient has been able to access CBD. When politicians are confronted about it, they can turn around and say “we listened to you, it is legal,” diffusing much media interest.
It is one of the biggest setbacks to the medical side of legalization. Sure, CBD laws are excellent when it grants the access required. However, more often than not, it makes things harder and more complicated than they already were.
LOSING THE WHOLE SPECTRUM
Another danger of CBD-only laws is that you lose the entourage effect. When it comes to the medical benefits of cannabis, it is CBD that takes the limelight. However, it is not the only cannabinoid that can be of potential benefit, with THC, as well as the many other cannabinoids, having all been shown to help with certain conditions. What’s more, research tends to find that cannabinoids are much better at treating ailments when they are all used together, with each type of cannabinoid playing off the others’ strengths. This is known as the entourage effect, and by limiting cannabinoid based treatment to CBD-only, you cut its potential efficiency when compared to treatment involving the whole plant content.
THE OTHER ASPECTS OF LEGALIZATION
The setbacks CBD-only laws cause for the legalization movement as a whole go beyond the realm of medical concerns. The legalization movement, at its core, is also about taking power out of the hands of criminals, and giving it to the people. The legalization of cannabis creates a much safer environment for us all, dealing a huge blow to the black market and keeping millions, if not billions of euros out of organised crime. It allows for safe regulation, increased education, the creation of jobs, a new and profitable industry, and reduced police spending. It is a complete win-win. Yet, when CBD-only laws are implemented, none of this is achieved. People must still go to a dealer to get weed, exposing them to organised crime, potential violence, and possibly harder drugs. Money is still disappearing into the black market instead of being put into the economy, police still have to spend loads enforcing the law, and a potentially gigantic industry falls to the wayside.
So as you can see, while CBD laws may seem great at face value, they hold underlying dangers. In the long run, CBD-only laws could snuff out much support for the legalization movement, causing more harm than good – especially if they mire patients down in red tape.