Are people more likely to start smoking weed if it's legal?

Published Apr 17, 2020 12:59 p.m. ET
iStock / sutiporn

Smoking weed has been a trend for a very long time, and there are people of all ages all over the globe who are smoking marijuana. It is not a new thing, but legalization may make it more appealing to those that have feared smoking due to the legalities. We can look at alcohol as a comparison. It, too, was once forbidden, and people all over the globe would still partake in a drink or two. When alcohol was legalized, did more people drink? Well, of course, they did, and even to this day, they do.

Alcohol is very addictive, and we can see that from looking at places like AA. What is so exciting is that some believe that cannabis can help with alcohol withdrawals, and it has been prescribed by doctors to do that. With that said, I'm not dogging anyone that likes a drink or two, but the fact is that you cannot overdose on cannabis, but you can, on so many other prescribed drugs, including alcohol.

Studies on cannabis use in states where it is legalized

There was a study done by the university in Georgia, where they found that alcohol sales dropped by 15% once medical cannabis was made legal in their state. Alcohol sales dropped by 20 %, where marijuana was made legal for recreational use. Some studies have shown that when cannabis has been made legal, it has had an impact on some crime rates and that court filings have also had a significant drop.

Is cannabis harmful? Some positives

The question would be, marijuana is dangerous. That will be the deciding factor if it matters that people that did not smoke before smoke weed or not.

There are many positive effects of smoking weed. Let's have a look at a few.

  • Helps reduce pain
  • Stimulates appetite
  • Reduces nausea and vomiting
  • Helps decrease inner eye-eye pressure

Those are just a few positive things that cannabis will help with. A few others are:

  • Eczema
  • Epilepsy
  • Huntington's disease
  • Insomnia

The negatives would be that cannabis is considered illicit, so people seem to frown upon marijuana. Although way back in the day, alcohol was also deemed to be illegal, and once it became legal, it took a while for people to be accepting of it. There were strict laws regarding alcohol for a time before they loosened up.

With anything that creates a feeling of euphoria, we always need to be careful. There are some adverse effects with almost everything like this. However, it's been said that cannabis is helping with opioid addiction. Opiates are legal and are prescribed daily for specific ailments. A lot of which cannabis is known to help with. The point is that people need to take care of themselves and make choices. We all know the difference between right and wrong.

Having a healthy and balanced lifestyle is a good place to start. Balance is the key to not making unhealthy choices. Most people are going to do what they want, whether something is legal or not. In short, there is no evidence that legal weed will pull in someone that never smoked in the first place. It might just be that, with federal legalization, more might admit that they smoke weed, and that's okay.

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