10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cannabis
10 things you didn’t know about cannabis: over the last few years there has been many changes implemented by governments all over the world when it comes to cannabis. Whether it’s a coincidence or not, cannabis has begun to be seen as something that has the potential to be good, instead of instantly being demonized. This is due to the discovery of many medicinal properties and the compliance with some media outlets to spread the word.
It’s being legalized.
Nine states across the US have legalized absolute use of marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. Other countries have also accepted therapeutic use of the plant. There are still many countries around the world that don’t accept cannabis at all, although Portugal has decriminalized cannabis and Uruguay has completely legalized it; you can even buy it at pharmacies around the country.
Legalizing cannabis produces positive effects almost immediately.
It’s proven that in countries where cannabis has been legalized, the GDP rose due to to the fact that more economic activities were being generated thanks to cannabis; dispensaries, regulated crops, which, when combined with tax increase GDP rates considerably. Thanks to the new businesses opening, more jobs were created. In Colorado alone more than 70 million dollars were made on cannabis tax, which is much higher than 42 million for alcohol tax.
Many people are still harassed and arrested for cannabis related issues; growing, selling, simply consuming. People are still going to prison and paying ridiculous fines because of a plant. After legalization, obviously all of that goes away, meaning that there will be more space at prisons and more money to spend on facilities or police operations for more severe issues. In the United States every 42 seconds someone is arrested for a crime related to marijuana; 90% of these are just for possession.
There’s a heavy racist undertone surrounding cannabis.
In the United States, this plant has been used to foment racism towards minorities; Latinos and black people. Many people of color have been arrested on possession of marijuana when they didn’t have any on them at all; the police would use it as an excuse. Many growers and sellers of color were also arrested from Mexico to California and all over the United States.
It’s still racist.
Statistics have shown how people of color are the most likely to be arrested for possession, with Latinos coming in second and Caucasian people coming in third. I think at this stage we all know that cannabis use is pretty widespread through all races equally, so these statistics are staggeringly eye-opening.
Too much money is being wasted.
In the war against drugs way too much money is wasted on trying to end cannabis use, and it really doesn’t do much, does it? Every year governments all over the world spend money on trying to “protect citizens” from a plant that has thousands of medicinal properties, and the sad thing is that all of that money could be used for something much more productive and logical.
Legalizing cannabis won’t increase cannabis use.
It’s been proven in Holland and Portugal that young people aren’t actually attracted initially to the substance, but rather the thrill that comes with breaking the law and not conforming to any rules. Holland is actually the country with the least amount of young cannabis consumers in Europe. Portugal decriminalized all drug use way back in 2001, treating users as patients rather than addicts or criminals. In the United States, especially in states where medicinal use has been legalized, the amount of young people smoking cannabis has dropped considerably. Apart from all of this, the myth that cannabis is a “gateway” drug has pretty much been debunked as it’s been proven that most people that consume cannabis don’t actually do any other drugs like cocaine, LSD, heroine etc.
Cannabis doesn’t affect long-term memory.
Many studies and experiments done on mice have proven that cannabis doesn’t actually make your long term memory worse; certain cannabinoids have been proven to actually help prevent and control Alzheimer’s disease. While it’s true that cannabis interferes with our REM phase while sleeping, it hasn’t been proven to affect our long term memory (everyone knows that a joint can mess with your extremely short term memory).
Cannabis reduces symptoms from many, many illnesses.
There’s more and more information coming to light on the amazing medicinal properties that marijuana has, and we now know that it can be used to treat many different issues; cancer, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, leukemia, SLA, post-traumatic stress disorders, various skin conditions… This amazing therapeutic power is actually known by many pharmaceutical companies, which is a major reason why cannabis has remained illegal for so long.
It doesn’t increase the chances of getting cancer.
The negative publicity that cannabis has received has been brutal, with false accusations used to scare people away from one of the most amazing medicinal plants in the world. One of the most ridiculous but most used arguments is that cannabis produces or stimulates tumor growth; in the last few decades it’s been proven that this is not true; in fact, it’s been shown to have the exact opposite effect! One of the most revealing studies was done on a group of mice, proving that cannabis reduces tumor growth. It’s incredible at how this plant was viciously attacked when there’s enough contamination in the air, water and sometimes food around many countries and people to actually give people cancer.
Think about it, the age old argument: how many people have ever died from consuming cannabis? 0. There are many legalized and regulated substances that have many more cases of people dying or getting extremely sick from using them. There are hundreds of reasons why cannabis should be legalized, from healthy benefits to economic benefits and many, many more. What’s the world waiting for?
Author: Fabio Inga
Translation: Ciara Murphy