Some Unexpected Consequences Of Cannabis Legalization
3 min

Some Unexpected Consequences Of Cannabis Legalization

3 min
Legislation News

With legalization comes legitimate study. Unsurprisingly what were once considered ridiculous claims by lazy stoner fringe dwellers are now proving to be statistical facts.


It had been a medicine, harmless recreational material, multipurpose industrial resource and a respected entheogen for thousands of years in most countries of the world. Only praise could be found until the early twentieth century when a prohibition driven by sinister corporate greed and shady government departments was slammed on humanities friend, the cannabis plant. The lies with which four generations of humans have grown are being broken and exposed as farce and grossly unfortunate historical aberrations. With legalization comes legitimate study. Highly credible contemporary proof through statistical facts are blasting the "evil weed" myth out of the water.



What's that smell? That sweet cannabis smell? That's the smell of vindication. Unsurprisingly what were once considered ridiculous claims by lazy stoner fringe dwellers are now proving to be statistical facts. All across the globe the old resolve against cannabis is crumbling as it is demystified by legalization. Positive data is accumulating as medical cannabis is introduced into an increasing amount of countries around the world and legitimate peer reviewed research is debunking commonly held myths. Encouragingly, what was once a biased media is now reporting the positive aspects of legal medical and recreational cannabis such as Colorado generating over 6 million dollars in tax revenue in the first year of legalization and the industry creating over 15,000 jobs.


Legalize cannabis




Sick leave


In the demographic that are generally medical marijuana card holders there has been a drop in sick leave by 8-15% in states where medical marijuana is legal. The particular survey did not target users directly, but the results are comparative to states that do not have legal medical weed where the numbers remained the same. This suggests that in states where cannabis is legal, use by employees increases productivity and decreases sick pay costs to employers.



When cultivated from medical cannabis seeds, cannabis is known as an effective clinical alternative in the management of conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, depression, several forms of psychosis, nausea, sleep disorders and muscle spasticity. Interestingly, analysis of 2010-2013 prescription data from Medicare Part D in the US indicates that in states where medical cannabis laws are implemented, prescriptions drop for synthetic pharmaceuticals that treat such conditions. For example, painkiller prescriptions dropped by 1,800 daily doses per year per doctor. Correspondingly this amounts to a saving of over 165 million dollars in Medicare spending during the same period. Although this evidence is anecdotal, it is given weight when prescriptions didn't drop for other regularly prescribed medicines such as insulin or antibiotics.


Medical Marijuana



Painkiller deaths


Where reasonable medical and recreational cannabis laws are introduced there has been a 25% reduction in deaths from prescription painkillers within the first year. Opiate-based pain killers are highly addictive and dangerous substances. There has never been a death from cannabis overdose. There is a reduction in financial hardships from paying fines. Minimising trauma and the stigma of a prison sentence for the individual and families is a positive step for a caring and open-minded society.


In Colorado, court time spent processing cannabis charges has dropped from 11,000 cases to less than 2,100 cases. Correspondingly, precious police time is freed up from pursuing frivolous misdemeanours and there is less expenditure on prison for marijuana crimes.

With less prescription overdoses there is a reduction in emergency services responses and reduced spending on rehabilitation projects for recovery from prescription drugs addiction.


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Teen use cannabis


Cannabis is big business and big business is big money for advertising and marketing. There can be danger in glamourising cannabis for the youth market. Legalization is demystifying cannabis which has led to a decrease in teen use in states where it is legal. Taking away the forbidden fruit factor and arming teens with knowledge is developing a culture of responsible cannabis use amongst the pre-twenties. This may be due to cannabis being perceived as medicine rather than as a recreational drug.

On the other end of the scale there has been a statistical increase in use by middle aged men. Whether this reflects an actual increase in use or just admitting previously denied use because of reduced stigma perceived by an educated public is unknown.

There are some things we can be sure of, cannabis legalization is changing the economic and social landscape. Knowing in what ways exactly is a long-term process. A clear picture is yet to be painted as we wait until enough data is collected and collated. One thing is sure, humans have had a long symbiotic relationship with cannabis. Except for the past eighty years cannabis has always been present and unquestioned as a faithful medicine, industrial wunderkind, harmless recreational plaything and entheogen. The contemporary history of cannabis is a sad one of lies, corruption, greed and insane politics. Recognizing that there needs to be a global overhaul of federal cannabis laws, some states and countries are suing their respective representative bodies over the right to cannabis legalization. Reclassifying cannabis away from schedule one will allow for an abundant and cheap prescribable medicine. Undoubtedly the brave new world will see cannabis legalized globally and it will take its rightful place as an indispensably useful plant for humanity.

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