The Criminalization of Drug Use: Part 2

Read Part 1 here

Part 2: Marijuana for Medical and Recreational Use

With so many jurisdictions legalizing the use of medical marijuana, and others moving to legalize the use for recreational purposes, we are hearing more about the pros and cons of both. The medicinal use of this drug has been approved in some places for a long time, and regulated with strict guidelines on how it is accessed and used. In other places, marijuana sales, although not legal, are rarely policed. It has been ignored by law enforcement in some settings, in most cases where the city or other civil body deemed it to be a low priority for police and the justice system.

Does the legalization of marijuana affect the sale of other drugs?

No matter what our own opinion on marijuana use is, it is clearly not considered the threat to society that it once was. We can debate the issue, but it is not going to stop the use, legal or not. In many jurisdictions where it has been legalized, it is my understanding that the illicit trade has changed little. The argument that legalization would curb or stop the illicit market may not hold up well, apparently, as governments and producers are in some instances making the cost higher than illicit trade. The issue of quality is for others to debate.

My experience

With my own health issues that are related to my hep C history, and some new ones that may or may not be connected, many friends and others have suggested I seek out forms of medicinal cannabis to deal with anything from pain to mobility and nausea (to name a few). It is considered “a cure” for a wide range of health conditions by many people, and they swear by its value. It is not a panacea for all that ails us, but it has some abilities to help some of us.

The potential benefits of marijuana

It is encouraging to see the decriminalization of cannabis, and although I do not use it myself, I am convinced it has some medicinal value and effectiveness, just not as a cure-all. Many people I know who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer found it helped them to slow or stop their weight loss and nausea. There is a lot of research looking at all sorts of uses for the drug, or its components, like CBD.

It does not carry the stigma of addiction as far as I am aware, and because of that, it has made it easier for society to embrace it. Whether marijuana dependency is a real thing is still fiercely debated, and the evidence I have read does suggest that marijuana is detrimental for developing brains, making it a risk to young people under 25 years of age. Will that stop this age group from experimenting or using the drug is a no-brainer; some would say that of course they will use, just like they have for a very long time. Should that criminalize them? No.

Attitudes are changing.

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