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Cannabis supporters say legalization is beneficial to advancing medical field and reducing drug-related crimes

May 09, 2016 / by / 0 Comment
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Medical cannabis backers in the UK strongly believe that the drug would not only help many patients attain accessible and cheaper treatment for several incurable diseases but would also significantly reduce drug-related crimes.

The Liberal Democrat Party consulted scientists, academics, and former police chiefs to conduct a study that will prove the prohibition’s efficacy, and at the center of this are facts accumulated from various US states, specifically Colorado and Oregon, where marijuana legalization changed the community for the better. The possible upshot, should they emulate these states? About £1 billion a year in tax revenue and a police force focused on more harmful illegal drugs such as cocaine or crystal meth.

In January 2016, two years after marijuana became legal in Colorado through the approval of Amendment 64, the state itself revealed that there have been many changes. Marijuana-related arrests have dropped by 80 percent since 2014, a momentous feat that allowed the state police to focus on other illegal drugs. Public lawyers also benefitted from the decline of drug-related charges, as this gave them more time for other important local cases.

The state also obtained more money for essential services such as education, public safety, and infrastructure. The marijuana prohibition has encouraged many entrepreneurs to put up their own businesses. This allowed a big percentage of the population to become less dependent on state subsidies by making their own money without resorting to crime or begging. In 2015, the local marijuana industry generated over $125 million, up by $81 million from 2014.

These two incontestable benefits of marijuana have become a basis for other states to push for their own freedom from criminalized marijuana use. Even states fighting only for its medical use to become legal cite Colorado’s—and other states’—successes to substantiate their importance for patients suffering from diseases that could be suppressed by cannabis treatment.

However the market, as it is still in its embryonic stage, is far from perfection. Marijuana consumers are still on the verge of identifying which sellers sell the best product, or who among them really invested time and effort in producing one that is high-quality or cost-efficient. There are still vendors on the black market, which are now the enemy of the legal sellers, and their products are labeled dangerous as they don’t guarantee safety, especially if they are for medical use.

From this appears the likes of Med-X, a company that produces research-based marijuana cultivation products. This company has become popular among investors not only for its strict adherence to scientific ways of cultivation but also for its advocacy in changing the public’s negative notion of the weed.

“Our main goal is to educate people, make sure they recognize where the company is headed, as well as to acquaint them with [the] benefits of marijuana to health and to the society, what [it] can do for the industry,” says Matthew Mills, Med-X CEO, in an interview with Cenk Uygur on The Young Turks. Mills also suggests that the success of marijuana legalization is in the hands of the government as giving marijuana access to people without supervision could also become its evident loophole.

Tamar Todd, director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance, says that the states fighting for or now enjoying prohibition should follow Washington’s footsteps as it backs its prohibition law with smart and responsible approaches. Like Colorado, marijuana law violations in the state have significantly gone down from 2014 by 62 percent. And the $83 million the states have been earning from legal marijuana shops and companies continuously go to education, behavioral health programs, and other society-improvement enterprises.

A top prosecutor in Italy also believes that a national decriminalization of pot sale and cultivation could also emancipate the country from various terrorist groups and mafias whose main revenue come from illegal drugs. “Decriminalization or even legalization would definitely be a weapon against traffickers, among whom there could be terrorists who make money off of it,” Franco Roberti, Italy’s anti-terrorism chief, tells Reuters. He suggests that it will break the “commercial bond” that brings terrorists and mafia together, and the result of which are safer streets for the Italian community.

In fact, it is revealed in a report published by IHS Inc. that the Islamic State’s monthly revenue has fallen to $56 million after losing control over significant places where drug trafficking and smuggling are significantly high. “There are fewer people and business activities to tax; the same applies to properties and land to confiscate,” says the report. “The Islamic State has lost about 22 percent of its territory in the past 15 months.”

Certainly, even Canada’s new and popular liberal government believes that legalization cannot automatically eradicate all the problems on illegal drugs and other related crimes. But the most important result of this is that it will change many aspects of the society for the better. It will start with education, and sooner or later decline in drug crimes will follow as the number of people gaining access to cheaper incurable disease treatments increases. And there will be more revenue for society development as more entrepreneurs will see the promise of this nascent industry.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alessandra Rose Miguel-Descalso is a freelance journalist. She covers a wide range of industries, from music to mining and technology, for global publications.