The legalization of Marijuana has been legalized by only a few countries in the world such as Canada, Cyprus, Colombia, Georgia or Mexico, and Malta. This legalization various on its use, as some of them only legalized Cannabis for medical purposes only while others decriminalized its possession. However, there are still hundreds of countries that have completely banned any usage of Marijuana.

Cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Single Convention treaty, meaning that signatories can allow medical use but that it is considered to be an addictive drug with a serious risk of abuse. Though there are only two such countries where Cannabis is free from any illegal status, whether in terms of its possession, distribution, cultivation, or consumption. Canada and Uruguay completely legalized Marijuana in 2001 and re-amended it in 2018. The Cannabis Act has three main public health goals i.e to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, to keep profits out of the pockets of criminals, and to protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal cannabis. The province and territories take control over the sale and distribution of cannabis in their jurisdiction.

In America, almost ten years ago, no one would have imagined cannabis legalization but today, more than a quarter of the US population lives in legal marijuana states. Marijuana is legal in 11 states including Washington DC, Illinois, and Michigan. While to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, certain restrictions are there, yet almost 12% of American youth consume the drug. Though the laws legalize marijuana for people above 21 years of age easy access has made it accessible for younger people as well.

Across the US, more state laws are coming forward to widen the attitudes about the recreational use of marijuana.

Legalization of Marijuana

While a high and regular dose of marijuana could be a serious threat to any society legalizing its usage, the economic benefits of marijuana are also at their peak. The increased tax revenues, job growth, and investment opportunities are all powerful incentives of legalization. But this economic growth is only second to the problematic use of cannabis in society. The occasional use of the drug would not mean any harm but an addictive tendency could lead to psychological and physical health concerns, lower educational goals, a remarkable decline in social class, unemployment, and accidents related to vehicle crashes.

Thus, if the legalization has made occasional usage easier, it’s not concerning but the addictiveness in the society could lead to catastrophic health defects and cause real problems- down the line. The results do not translate that legalization is bad, but the way any authority legalizes it should be taken into account.

A study published in JAMA Psychiatry by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), suggests that frequent use of marijuana has turned more into usage disorder among older adults in legalization states than in non-legalization states. It also shows increased marijuana use disorder among adolescence of legalized states than the non legalized states. The research, however, did not find any increased cannabis use disorder or frequent usage among the young adults in legalization states.

The study concludes with cautionary use of the drug among adolescence and caveats among the usage pattern among adults 26 or older. It’s a clear sign to rethink the legalization scenario of marijuana in the country, it does not mean that legalization is bad but that to rediscover ways of regulation. The government could try to regulate the quality and potency of the product or increase taxes or create other regulations to control the unneeded sale of the drug in the country.

The legalization of cannabis is not bad just like alcohol or tobacco, but correct regulations should be taken into account to eliminate public health concerns. An estimated  95,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes and tobacco kills more than 8 million people per year, but do we ban their usage? Similarly, improved regulations can help in prevention but a complete ban could be problematic to other sectors where marijuana usage is more than needed.

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