The first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use were Colorado and Washington in 2014 and Alaska and Oregon in 2015. Since then we have had plenty of time to evaluate the cost and effects of these not so well thought out laws. There are many sides to what people are saying about this, but what is evident is this has not turned out as many expected and had left a lot of us to ask why these laws were changed?
What is apparent is these states in their pursuit of added revenue did not think through this in a thoughtful and reasoned way. Many argued that this would reduce crime and free up law enforcement officials to pursue more dangerous criminals. More information has been made public recently that makes all the reasons to legalize marijuana unjustified, unrealistic, and more expensive than what was initially thought. As far as reducing crime, the states that have legalized pot have seen an increase in almost all crimes.My hope is that the next states to legalize marijuana will do more research and think more about legalizing this drug.
Much of this information is from the book by Alex Berenson – Author, Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
These are some very well thought out facts about the truth of legalizing marijuana.
New Information or Overlooked Consequences
The push to legalize marijuana has already gained a lot of momentum in about every state. Almost every state government has a marijuana initiative in their respective houses, and they have the backing of many organizations, some donating large sums of money to many state representatives. One could say almost every state is running budgets deficits and they are looking to legalize marijuana for the tax revenue and they are saying they can save money by not tying up the courts with these petty crimes.
In their haste, I think they are overlooking the severe consequences of marijuana use, much of which has come to people’s attention since the legalization of pot in these states. Most everything we have been told about the health effects of cannabis; most all the advocates and the media has told you for a generation, is incorrect. We are told that marijuana has several medical uses. Marijuana and THC, its active ingredient, have been shown to work only in a few restricted conditions. They are ordinarily prescribed for pain relief. Very rarely are they tested against other pain relief drugs like Tylenol.
We are advised that cannabis will stem opioid use; like liquor, marijuana is inadequate as a painkiller to work for most people who genuinely need opiates, such as terminal cancer patients. Even cannabis advocates admit that they have always seen medical marijuana laws essentially as a way to defend recreational users. As for the marijuana-reduces-opiate-use assumption, the opiate epidemic started in Appalachia, and the first states to legalize medical marijuana was in the West. Since 2010, as the epidemic and medical marijuana laws have increased nationally, the conclusion has vanished. In the United States, the Western states with the most significant cannabis use also have meaningful problems with opioids.
A mound of studied research in top medical journals reveals that marijuana can induce or worsen critical mental illness, especially psychosis, the medical name for separation from reality. Teenagers who smoke pot regularly are about three times as likely to exhibit schizophrenia, the most disastrous psychotic sickness. The National Academy of Medicine found in 2017 that “cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses; the higher the use, the greater the risk.” Also, “regular cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing a social anxiety disorder.”
Analysis from Finland and Denmark, two countries that follow mental illness more comprehensively than the U.S, reveals a significant rise in psychosis since 2000, following an expansion in cannabis use. In September of last year, a complete federal survey discovered an increase in severe mental illness in the United States as well, particularly among young adults, the largest users of cannabis.
Increase in Cost
One of the big arguments by the proponents for the legalization of pot was that by not prosecuting and incarcerating marijuana users this would save the states a lot of money. But this has been shown to be false. The first states to legalize marijuana, in 2014 and 2015, had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. Last year, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults—this is an increase of 37 percent for murders and 25 percent for aggravated assaults, far more significant than the national rise, even after accounting for deviations in population growth. These are numbers that the next states to legalize marijuana should look into.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, marijuana is the second-most abused drug in the United States, after alcohol.
People fail to recognize that alcohol, as we know it is legal, costs employers and taxpayers millions of dollars every year. In 2010, the cost of unnecessary alcohol use in the United States equaled $249 billion, and two out of every five dollars of those costs were paid by federal, state, and local governments—all subsidized by the taxpayer. In fact, of this $249 billion strain on the American economy, $179 billion is associated with workplace productivity and an additional $28 billion for health care expenses. It is fair to conclude that, as marijuana continues to be authorized, its damages will equal or even surpass those of alcohol.
As legalization advances, many new statistics are highlighting the different impacts of marijuana. From 2012 to 2013, positive tests for marijuana in the workplace increased 6.2 percent nationally, according to Quest Diagnostics. After marijuana became legal in Colorado and Washington state, positive marijuana drug test results rose to 20 and 23 percent, apiece. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, “Drugged driving accounted for more than 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010, up from just over 16 percent in 1999. Marijuana proved to be the main drug involved in the increase, contributing to 12 percent of 2010 crashes compared with 4 percent in 1999.”
Much of this information originally appeared in Hillsdale College’s publication Imprimis. For more about Imprimis, go here
In addition to the mental problems we have talked about, what are some of the other overlooked medical issues associated with marijuana? We are not saying there are no medical benefits to marijuana, but when we look at the benefits, one must also look at some of the health problems associated with this drug. Continuous marijuana use is linked to lung changes, memory loss, and several other health problems.
Marijuana smoke comprises nearly 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. The best-known of these is THC, which produces a feel-good “high.” Marijuana smoke also contains several of the identical chemicals as tobacco smoke, including ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde, all of which may cause cancer. A study written in 2013 in Cancer Causes & Control discovered that extensive marijuana smoking could raise the chance of lung cancer.
Many pot smokers in investigations score under non-users on examinations of memory, attention, and learning. The longer they smoked, the worse the score.
The consequences of smoking pot may be more evident in teenage smokers than adults because a teens’ brain is still developing.
Routine smokers are likewise inclined to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, particularly when they have a family history of the condition.
The Other States Need to Do More Research
Pot smokers today are consuming a drug that is far more powerful than before, as measured by the amount of THC—delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. In the 1970s, the last time this many Americans used cannabis, most of the marijuana contained less than two percent THC. Now, marijuana can provide 20 to 25 percent THC, and this is due to sophisticated farming and cloning methods—as well as a market for cannabis that delivers a powerful high immediately. In states where marijuana is legalized, many users favor extracts that are almost pure THC. What is the difference between near-beer and a martini, or grain alcohol?
In 2010 California faced a $42 billion deficit, and if we were to look at the numbers now, nine years later, we would probably find the debt to be much worse. Look at these conclusions from a white paper by the California Police Chiefs Association’s Task Force on Marijuana Dispensaries: California legalized “medical” marijuana in 1996, and dispensaries, where the drug is dispensed (to pretty much whoever comes in with a doctor’s note), have become catalysts for severe crimes.
Dispensary operators are attacked, robbed and murdered. Also, “drug dealing, sales to minors, loitering, substantial vehicle and foot traffic in retail districts, more noise and robberies of customers outside dispensaries” are all criminal byproducts resulting from California’s medical marijuana distribution.
The flowers of the Hemp plant contain THC, so our government decided to make all of it illegal in 1937. It is a long story of greed and money, brought on by some powerful men of that time. I won’t go into all the details here, but it is a fascinating story about how our government in their constant quest for more money can twist the truth and in the end hurt a lot of people. It is much the same as things are now, but now they are trying to make it legal. You can read more about it here in one of my earlier articles Why Was Hemp Make Illegal.
The total legalization of marijuana will turn into another government blunder and end up costing the taxpayer a ton of money while not taking in the expected tax revenue. Everyone can agree that smoking marijuana makes a person paranoid which leads to schizophrenia and our mental institutions are full of people not guilty because of insanity. They are all charged with many different crimes from murder, rape, arsonist, and violence against family members; all diagnosed with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. The majority have admitted to a lifetime of marijuana use.
The answers to these problems is a complicated one, just as it is with drunken drivers and all the other crimes we have in our nation that are linked to drug abuse. But, I do not think the legalization of marijuana or any other drug is going to solve the problems. We have too many older people that believe pot use is not harmful and the sooner our government starts telling the public the truth about all these drugs the better off our nation will be.The next states to legalize marijuana should look at this closely.
Or, could it be our governments really want to keep us all stoned and drunk, so we do not pay attention to what they are doing to our country?
The popularity of Cannabidiol is growing every day. Maybe it is time to take a serious look at these products? By law CBD contains less than .03% of THC, way less than most of the marijuana people are smoking today and there are products that contain no THC. All these products will do the same as far as helping you with pain, depression, and anxiety, all without getting you HIGH. Would it not be a good idea for all to use these products instead of an opiate, marijuana, alcohol, or any of the other pain meds doctors are so quick to hand out? Read more about the difference between marijuana and Hemp Oil here – what is cannabidiol oil for
Thank You for reading my article, and your comments are Welcome!!