Opinion: Cannabis Legalization
Every time I walk through the streets of London, a familiar aroma fills the air around me. I've known that particular scent since I was 16 years old - that scent is Cannabis. If you were to visit California or any West Coast State you would be even more so immersed in a Cannabis culture. The western world is going through a change when it comes to Cannabis. More and more places around the world are starting to realize Cannabis's many benefits that it gives to users, as well as the opportunity to make some serious tax money for local/national governments.
If you were to take the time to google "benefits of cannabis" you'd see thousands upon thousands of articles, testimonials, medical reports and local government reports proving this point.
CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol is one of the many beneficial cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. This particular cannabinoid is responsible for a lot of the benefits that a user may receive. The other cannabinoid that users may receive benefit from is THC, which stands for Tetrahyrdocannabinol, however, this is the cannabinoid that allows you to feel 'stoned' and is illegal in the majority of places around the world. Even though it's illegal doesn't mean it won't have potential benefits to your general well-being. Medicinal Users of THC have made the claim that it helps them sleep better, stimulates appetite, and most importantly, helps with managing pain.
So, why is it illegal?
Well there are a few theories of why it's illegal. A common theory is what the hemp plant would do for the timber industry in the early 1920's.
Not only does it hold nails better, particle board made of hemp can be twice as strong as wood. Moreover, just 1 acre of hemp produces cellulose fiber pulp equal to 4 acres of trees, so hemp could easily and efficiently replace most items made of wood - the Timber Biz didn't like that and started campaigning against it.
The other theory for it being illegal and perhaps more logical was race. In the USA when Mexicans started migrating North they brought with them marijuana. It was then introduced to the black community and users started to smoke it and feel the euphoric effects of the plant. Racial segregation was going on during this time and white propaganda was used to make marijuana look like 'the devils drug' as it was mostly immigrants and black people using it. When white people during the same time got a hold of it, they also felt the euphoric effects and some reports show they even enjoyed it. The problem was the plant was bringing people together when white people wanted to remain segregated. At this point, the term 'Reefer Madness' was born.
Today, it makes no sense for the plant to be illegal, especially when you take into consideration that alcohol is widely distributed and significantly worse for you from a health standpoint, as is smoking tobacco and drinking a coca-cola...
Consenting adults are going to get what they want, when they want it. It makes no sense that every day I'm walking around London and smell it being smoked that the individual actually has no clue what they are smoking. They don't know where it's grown, how it's grown, whether it's been laced with another substance and are literally contributing their hard earned money to the black market.
The government could legalize it, regulate it, give people a solid product that's gone through safety testing and then make a boatload of new tax pounds that could go toward schools, hospitals, road maintenance and various other things.
In closing, I hope more people get onboard with the legalization front. A few countries have legalized it nationally, Canada being the first proper guinea pig for the world to review. I read an article recently that they did over $110million in sales in one month - that's rather staggering and a real shame that we are missing out on that kind of revenue and job creation.