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What are the benefits of legalising Marijuana?

There can be little argument that legalising marijuana is of benefit to marijuana users and serious growers.  To begin with, the simple fact of making marijuana legal would mean that they were no longer classed as criminals.  This in and of itself will reduce crime figures and presumably free up police resources to deal with other matters.

Originally posted on 10th July 2017, Updated on January 30th January 2019

How will legalising marijuana affect users?

Legalising marijuana may help to reduce other forms of crime and keep users safe since, at the moment the fact that marijuana can essentially only be sold on the black market means it is an attractive target for criminal gangs, who have little incentive to stock premium merchandise or to advise on its safe and effective use. Quite the contrary in fact, they have every incentive to increase their profit by whatever means possible, including selling what is literally weed, rather than genuine marijuana and bulking it up with other substances, even if they are actively dangerous to consume.

How will legalising marijuana benefit medicine?

Trbd262hq-1473933952he NHS is an institution about which many people in the UK care deeply and to which they are prepared to dedicate substantial amounts of money.  At the same time, however, they generally want it to be as efficient as possible and to deliver as much value for money as possible. While there are many aspects to this, one of the most basic is encouraging people to take as much responsibility as reasonably possible for their own health, rather than heading straight to the medical system and prescription drugs.  Part of the case for legalising marijuana is that the widespread and legal availability of medical marijuana would make it vastly easier for people to grow and use their own medication without any cost to the NHS.  Even those who went down the route of using prescriptions and dispensaries could still be saving the healthcare industry money for the simple reason that marijuana is a plant rather than a patented drug.  This was shown in this study published by Health Affairs. Some patients may prefer medical marijuana for that reason alone.

While many people are quite willing to acknowledge the benefits of scientific advances in medicine, there is also a widespread feeling that it is best to use natural, plant-based remedies where they are available, one of the reasons for which being that this is the more environmentally-friendly and sustainable option in the sense that such remedies can generally be made relatively easily, even by patients in their own homes, whereas commercial medication, by definition is made in factories.  There is also the sensitive issue of animal testing, as a plant marijuana is total exempt from this, which may be a significant advantage to some people.

Arguably, however, the single, biggest benefit of marijuana in marijuanamedical terms (as opposed to economic ones) is the flexibility it offers to tailor the treatment to the patient’s exact needs and wants.  First of all, the term “medical marijuana” is a very broad one and covers everything from the easy-growing, autoflowering strains, to super-high Sativas with THC count to match and shrubby Indicas with plenty of CBD.  In short, whatever your ailment and however severe, there is almost certainly a medical marijuana strain out there to suit you. What’s more, there is also great flexibility with regard to how you consume it. Prescription medication comes in a specific form, for example pills or a liquid, whereas marijuana can be used in a number of ways, for example smoked or vaped, used in edibles or applied topically.  There are also variations within these, for example, you could have edibles as part of a solid food like chocolate or as part of a liquid like a smoothie, similarly you can apply topicals in different ways such as in a cream or in bath salts. Again, whatever your situation, there is almost certainly going to be an option to suit you. It’s also worth noting, that even though medical marijuana is strongly associated with certain types of medical conditions such as PTSD, migraines and insomnia, it is effective for a huge range of conditions, far too many to list.

How will legalising marijuana benefit countries financially?

While experts and non-experts may debate the pros and cons of legalising marijuana, in reality, whether or not such legislation is enacted and what form, if any, it ultimately takes, will probably boil down to economics, or at least be heavily influenced by them. While the UK government has long resisted calls to introduce legislation to legalise marijuana, it’s an open question as to whether or not they genuinely (still) think that the only good weed is dead weed, or because they were sensitive to the U.S. government’s anti-drugs stance. While the U.S. federal government’s is still against marijuana, medical or recreational, the fact is that legislation accepting medical marijuana at least is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world, including the U.S.

ah-gte11Now there is even some degree of legislation for recreational marijuana, possibly because politicians have realized that there is a community of people who are going to enjoy their joint of weed regardless of what the government thinks about it and that being so, they may as well legalise it and, of course, tax it. Again, it’s a matter of conjecture how much money this would bring into the economy. This study, published by The Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) estimates that up to £900m could be raised annually through taxation of regulated cannabis market, but since the word estimate roughly translates as “educated guess”, the reality of the matter will only become known as, when and indeed if recreational marijuana is legalised.  Having said that, it is unlikely to have escaped the attention of the UK authorities that the legalisation of recreational marijuana in other places has brought a welcome boost to their tax coffers without wreaking havoc on their streets (or indeed anywhere else) and since the UK is currently navigating treacherous economic waters, the possibility of raising tax funds in a way to which relatively few people would object, could prove too economically tempting for them to pass over.

MSNL Team MSNL Team / 30th January 2019

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