In countries like Uruguay and Netherlands, Cannabis for recreational (non-medicinal) use has been made legal, and in others like Canada, itíll officially be made legal in 2018. What does this mean for some? Does legalization make it safe to use, especially for teens and young adults? Will the term 'DUI' still mean anything for those smoking while driving?
Medicinal cannabis is legal in various countries, including Canada and some states in the US. But for some, it's not clear why recreational marijuana should be made legal as well. What is the difference between these two categories of the same drug?
Medicinal vs Recreational Cannabis
Medicinal cannabis - or medical marijuana Ė refers to the use of cannabis to treat a symptom or condition, and some chemicals in cannabis can be found today in some medicines like painkillers and cough syrups.
Cannabis for recreation or spiritual purposes refers to when Cannabis is used as a means to modify oneís mental state to influence perceptions and feelings, in the same way and for the same reasons that alcohol or other hard drugs is consumed.
In 2014, Uruguay legalized Cannabis for recreation and regulated its production and sale by official registration of buyers and growers. Canada is looking to mirror this style, meaning the dealing of marijuana and selling to minors will still remain illegal, however you can grow it in your home, or buy limited supplies directly from the government.
Why make it legal? Here are top 2 reasons
1. Wasted Resources: In Canada, marijuana allegedly wants to be made legal because it would eliminate the arrests of young people over marijuana possession, which usually results in wasted resources for law officers and prevents them from going after the major criminals possessing real hard drugs.
2. Keeping it illegal is expensive: Enforcing cannabis prohibition is expensive and costs millions, so if made legal, funds could be geared towards improving the economy and other causes.
Why not make it legal? Another top 2 reasons
1. It will lead to increase in use and exposure for minors: If marijuana is made legal, what prevents young people from thinking hard drugs are any different and should be made legal also?
2. Itís addictive: Reports and true testimonies of people who smoke cannabis can attest to its addictive nature. Legalization will lead to increase in its abuse, leading to even more impaired driving that could lead to more fatal crashes.
Effects of marijuana - The Positive
Medicinal marijuana, if used moderately, can do the following:
- Be used to treat Glaucoma
- An active chemical in Marijuana slows the progression of Alzheimerís disease, according to a study by Kim Janda from Scripps Research Institute
- Ease the pain of multiple sclerosis and other types of muscle spasms
While some believe marijuana is helpful as earlier points suggest, others believe quite the opposite, and some studies as well as real-life experiences have proved it can cause:
- Temporary sterility
- Birth defects including mental instability and high risk of leukemia in children
- Increase in heart rate and anxiety
Should marijuana be legalized in Canada? Maybe it should, or maybe it shouldn't. It might not matter what everyone else thinks, since the government will do what it thinks is best for the economy. Perhaps their decision on this issue might not be as bad as the legalization opponents think. Or perhaps it will be worse. Time will tell eventually.