Impact of Legalization of Cannabis
Considering the impact of legalization of cannabis is important considering that the number of states that are debating on the issue is increasing rapidly. To understand the actual impact that legalization of cannabis would have in states that are yet to legalize it, it is important to consider its effects in states where it has been legal for sometimes.
Before 1985, in India cannabis was legal. There was not criminal prohibition of the production, cultivation, possession, sale or consumption of cannabis. Several studies linked cannabis to violent activities with the conclusion that cannabis plays a role in violent crime.
The role that cannabis plays in premeditated crime is distinctive. There are studies that have revealed that cannabis does not lead to crime and that it acts as a deterrent for criminal activities. This is because the drug stupefies individuals making them lack the tendency to engage in violent crime. This is not the case with alcohol.
However, in some cases cannabis actually leads to crime. This is because it leads to ganging up of idle youths who use it for leisure. These youths eventually contemplate and commit crimes. This is common even in places where cannabis is illegal. Some people argue that legalization of cannabis in such countries will worsen the situation.
Another impact of legalization of cannabis is ruining of the lives of teenagers. When legalized, cannabis will easily be available to teenagers because it will be sold in various retail outlets. This is not right because teenagers are below the age at which they can make rational decisions on what to purchase and consume. Thus, they can end up consuming cannabis and becoming addicts who may not be able to quit in the future.
When cannabis is legalized, people will start agitating for the legalization of other drugs. Thus, another impact of legalization of cannabis that it is likely to result in the creation of a state where drugs are easily and freely available. This implies that more individuals will indulge into drug use and abuse and this will affect productivity in the country.
However, legalization of cannabis can have positive impact as well. For instance, if legalized, cannabis will help in the evaluation of the existing laws that regulate the production, sale and use of drugs. It will also help in determining whether legalization of a drug in some states can make people more responsible on how they use it.
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