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How to Win a Pro-Marijuana Legalisation Argument in the Pub

Originally posted on 15th February 2018, Updated on 24th January 2019

We all know the party line - alcohol is good, it’s fun, a necessary part of western culture. It has launched countless relationships and even more unforgettable (and amnesia clouded) nights out. Weed, however, is bad. It’s a drug, illegal for good reason, and the first step on that slippery slope to being found in a crack house looking like someone from Trainspotting. Pro-marijuana legislation cannot happen.

For most people, including those in charge of passing this legislation, nothing as inconvenient as the truth can shake them from their firmly held beliefs. There are those times, however, when good company and open minds give rise to that rare occasion when a voice of reason can be heard. At those times every pro-marijuana crusader out there has a duty to be armed with the most concise, persuasive and logical arguments at the herbalist’s disposal.

So in preparation for this, here are a few of the accusations you will likely find yourself batting off…

pro-marijuana-i-am-not-a-criminalMarijuana is illegal and leads to criminal behaviour…

Yes it is illegal and therefore of course its usage will contribute to crime rates. So would chocolate if legislation suddenly came into effect prohibiting it by law. Beyond that the evidence in support of marijuana contributing to criminality is by no means conclusive. Dealers would not suddenly take office jobs if marijuana was no longer a viable source of income, and those with a criminal inclination are more likely to use various substances, including cannabis, regardless of its legal status.

Most cannabis horror stories consist of individuals that suffer with serious mental health issues, frequently schizophrenia, consuming excessive amounts of weed with tragic consequences. For the average healthy-minded individual who enjoys marijuana in moderation, however, it merely sedates and relaxes. Put simply, the percentage of people driven to violence as a result of marijuana use is incredibly small. Even with this in mind, such rare occurrences would be far outweighed by the decrease in overall crime if alcohol was partially swapped for bud, resulting in fewer glasses to the face and more nature documentaries on your friend’s HD television.

Even the statistics support this, with pro-marijuana pioneer state Colorado showing little to no change in crime figures even years after legalisation.

Cannabis will make you paranoid…

Some people claim to get a terrible hangover from tequila, and therefore opt to drink wine or beer instead. Paranoia and weed is much the same, you just have to find the type that suits you. It can’t be denied that paranoia is a frequent side effect of weed, but it should be recognised that most of the time this is a pretty minor thing.

Listening to certain people you’d be forgiven for thinking that smoking half a joint will have you boarding up the windows and hiding behind your couch with a shotgun in fear of a SWAT team raid. Most of the time, however, if there is any paranoia it mostly manifests as a bothersome concern over small things that aren’t actually worth your attention.

Studies have shown that those already prone to anxiety may experience this worse, though certain measures can be taken to minimise paranoia from smoking weed whether you suffer from pre-existing anxiety or not. Getting a strain that is lower in THC and higher in CBD and choosing to only smoke in a comfortable safe place can greatly help alleviate this.

Marijuana will give you the munchies…


Yes, it often does. Coincidentally it also makes food taste amazing. This may be fine for some who can indulge in the odd binge-fest, but the rest of us may find it undesirable to have our thoughts turning to the refrigerator every four minutes.

The reason for this is down to the way cannabis interacts with the brain. Essentially when you consume marijuana it has an effect on certain neurons in the hypothalamus. This results is your brain failing to recognise that you don’t actually need any food, with the consequences of this being fairly predictable. This study has even indicated that our olfactory senses are primed by weed to make food smell better too.

While these appetite increasing properties of marijuana may be helpful for some who otherwise struggle to eat enough, the majority of us would prefer not to deal with these effects. Luckily they can be avoided by eating before getting high, choosing a less munchies-prone strain, or simply stocking healthy snacks for the event.

Weed makes you lazy and stupid…

When certain types are consumed in excess, yes sometimes. How about that pint in your hand anyway, do you often find yourself indulging in maths problems and household chores after a few of those? Petty mudslinging aside, this is one of the properties that marijuana is sometimes capable of having, and it is often one of the tougher points the pro-marijuana crowd face when pushing for legalisation.

The lack of motivation some experience after smoking is highly dependent on their individual genetic make-up and which strain they are using. It is generally advised that smokers find one that does not have such a lethargic effect and stick with it.

If still in doubt then consider that Carl Sagan, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs are three highly respected pro-marijuana public figures whose recreational use of weed did not seem to hamper their outstanding successes.

All pot smokers just want to listen to Bob Marley…


Steady on, there’s more to the musical side of weed than enjoying tired appeals to peace and unity. Yes, reggae does go well with a joint or two, but then again so does hip hop, disco, folk, techno and black metal. For anyone with more than a passing interest in music the experience of exploring different styles whilst under the influence is one of life’s great pleasures. Melodies become sweeter, the subtle frequencies come to life, and rhythms roll in a way they never seemed to before

Smoking half a joint will not suddenly have you appreciating Schoenberg, but it will help you engage with unfamiliar and unconventional music in a way you never thought possible.

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MSNL Team MSNL Team / 24th January 2019

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