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Marijuana Advances of the 21st Century
1. Decriminalizing and regulating marijuana will reduce minors' exposure to the drug and other, harder narcotics. For years teenagers have found it easier to get their hands on marijuana, than it is for them to get a bottle of alcohol. And that is simply because alcohol is regulated, readily available and as a result, not profitable for your local drug dealer to sell. Marijuana however, is profitable and is a great Segway for the dealer into pushing the, likely impressionable, teen into something harder, addictive and very profitable for him.
Another point, while we're on the topic of regulation, is that the dealer in this scenario could be selling something dangerous like synthetic marijuana, or even marijuana laced with something and the buyer, potentially someone in need of relief from an ailment, could be none-the-wiser and be doing a great deal of damage to their health.
2. Billions of dollars in profit from marijuana help to fuel drug syndicates and vanish from the US economy. This money could be used to generate a huge amount of tax revenue. In fact, Colorado, in only 3 months of legalization, has raised over $12 million in taxes as of March. That money, pre-regulation would have gone straight into the hands of drug lords and would have likely been used to fund their trade in hard narcotics. And this is only one state, a microcosm of the imminent potential. There are a slew of new cannabis related businesses that have gone public and whose stocks are being traded as the infamous "marijuana stocks", just another stimulant for the local economy.
3. Hemp. Enough said. Well, not really but it should be - let me fill you in on the amazing by-product that we get from the cannabis plant. Not only does hemp give us the strongest natural fiber known to man, but it also gives us building material, plastic, paper, you can even eat the stuff!
George Washington grew marijuana, he was intrigued by it's medicinal potential as recorded in his diary, but the even bigger appeal for him was hemp. He even made it mandatory for farmers to grow the plant at one stage. And it turns out that he was onto something: hemp stalks are now being developed into bio-fuel. This in itself could go a long way in reducing carbon emissions.
4. The medicinal benefits of marijuana. The plant has actually been used ever since its potential was realized around 2900 BC by Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi. He said that the plant contained both Yin and Yang. 200 years later Shen Nung, said to be the Father of Chinese medicine, noted the healing benefits of marijuana. It has since been used the world over to treat a wide array of ailments.
It wasn't really until the 20th century that all of a sudden marijuana became the evil plant that lead to insanity and certain death, a la 'Reefer Madness' (cringe). Regardless once again, its potential is being recognized and, with the advances in science that we now have at our disposal, there is more potential for medical marijuana than ever.
Huge Increase in Requests For Medical Wacky Weed
Is Legalising Marijuana Playing With Fire?
When marijuana is available legally for patients with medical conditions there can be a number of benefits if certain conditions apply: If the pharmaceutical drug options to relieve the patients symptoms carry more risks than marijuana; if the marijuana offers more therapeutic benefits than the pharmaceutical drugs and if the profits from marijuana sales are channelled into constructive enterprises that will benefit society as a whole.
However, legalising marijuana for recreational use is a whole different concept and one that has many people worried. The parties that are lobbying to legalise marijuana claim that legalisation will supposedly take the manufacturing and sale of marijuana out of the hands of drug addicts, drug cartels and other clandestine factions and into the domain of regulated manufacturers and retailers. Apparently, this will allow the taxes from sales to be directed into the public health and education systems, which would be far better than the current situation where only drug dealers benefit financially.
But there are several downsides to legalising marijuana for recreational purposes. One of the main issues is that legalisation sends out a message to impressionable adolescents that marijuana is perfectly acceptable. The other issue is that it will become far easier for minors to purchase marijuana even though it will supposedly only be available to those over 21 yo. Just like alcohol, teens can always find older siblings or friends to buy cannabis for them but having said that, it's already fairly easy for young people to purchase marijuana, whether it's legally acquired or not.