Mary Jane, Pot, The Devil's Lettuce
There are many different names for weed; "Mary Jane", "Pot", "The Devil's Lettuce". In the last decade we have researched the benefits of marijuana medically, researchers have found that there are many benefits to this plant, and now instead of thinking of it as a drug, it's a cure..to chronic pain, depression, insomnia, anxiety, cancer pains, and many more. Many states like Colorado, Washington, Nevada, etc have voted and pass bills to legalize marijuana completely, how have those states benefited from this, and how would Arizona potentially benefit or lose from legalizing weed for recreational use?
In 2013 Colorado was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana, since then several other states have followed (California, Washington, Nevada). In 2017 over 29 states have now legalized weed for medical uses. But only a handful of states have legalized it for recreational use as well. By legalizing weed, these states are now allowed to tax on it, and all that tax money got to be put back into government funds needed in the state.
Since 2013, Colorado has made over a Billion dollars by taxing on weed, they have used this money to raise teachers salaries significantly, crime rates have gone down by 12.8%. Colorado in the first year had crime rates go down 14.6%. Its all types of crimes that have gone down, not just related to drugs,Property Crime went down 14.6%, Violent Crimes went down 2.4%. That was in the first year alone, it goes to show that legalizing marijuana was a vital move for Colorado.
Since these states have legalized weed for recreational use, it also helps the state regulate what types of weed is being bought and sold within the state lines, and can make sure that people are being safe with the use of marijuana.
Colorado, being the first state to legalize marijuana, is what other states that have now legalized marijuana as well base off of because they are so successful, along with making over a billion dollars of marijuana, it has also created over 20,000 jobs and the unemployment has decreased significantly. Research has been done, and if Arizona was to legalize marijuana completely, they would generate over 114 million dollars in the first year alone. That potential money could be put into the schooling systems and other government funded programs. Teachers pay could go up since teachers in Arizona make the least in the country, along with keeping the art based programs going at school, not just sports.
Although there are many pros to legal marijuana, there are downsides. The biggest thing states that have legalized marijuana face, is the possible DUI increase, even though weed is legal to use, it is like alcohol, you are not allowed to drive under the influence. Another thing they are facing, unlike driving with drinking, is cops don't have the technology (like a breathalyzer) to tell when someone is driving under the influence of marijuana.
There are many benefits of marijuana, but like everything in life, there are downsides. The second hand smoke could potentially damage others lungs just like cigarettes, but not to the same degree cigarettes have. The ways to ingest THC has drastically changed over the last ten to twenty years. Instead of just smoking, you can make edible treats that have THC in it, there are lotions, pills, sprays. This could be potentially dangerous, because if not put away properly, a child could get into a bag of treats that have THC in them and it could harm their small bodies in many different ways. Although there has never been a weed related death, if fallen into the wrong hands, it could be possible.
A possible upside to the legalization of weed in Arizona, is that possibly prescription drugs could be prescribed less.. Unlike prescription medications, you cannot get addicted to weed, it is an all natural plant. Over 38,000 people have died from drug overdoses, and over sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs, none have ever been tied to weed.
It is almost impossible to overdose on weed, but overdoses on prescription medicine happen daily in the United States. As well as opiod addictions, if people were to switch to marijuana use for the pain, etc. then opioid addictions and related deaths could possibly go down as well. A study was shown that in Colorado by legalizing marijuana for recreational use, opioid related deaths have gone down more then six percent in the last two years.
Arizona had the chance to legalize marijuana completely in the last election, but proposition 205 ended up failing, due multiple reasons. It was a poorly executed bill, and would've taken away medical marijuana for people under the age of 18, even if it were for medical reasons, as well as the state didn't market the bill enough to let people know in the state of Arizona that we were even voting on the issue. Dave Wisniewski, chairman of Safer Arizona, stated that "Prop. 205 was legitimately a very flawed law. There was a large population of cannabis consumers who voted 'no' on it. I don't believe Arizona voted down Prop. 205 because they didn't want marijuana."
The new bill to be voted on in November of this year, has a lot of changes compared to the last bill we were voting on, while researching, I found the ballot online and the generalization it gave stated "The measure would legalize the possession, use, and consumption of marijuana for persons age 21 and older. The measure would also allow for the cultivation of up to 48 plants with more than a 0.3 percent THC level. The initiative would forbid local jurisdictions from passing laws designed to prohibit the operation of marijuana-related businesses."
This act is called "Safer Arizona Cannabis Legislation Act" that having marijuana on you would not lead to a possession charge, possible jail time, and being on TASK which requires monthly drug tests by the state, and drug diversion classes. It would also allow people to potentially grow their own marijuana, but only a small amount, not enough to distribute, and as well as letting the dispensaries that are already in Arizona, to sell to people that are at least the age of twenty one. It also states that people cannot be rejected from receiving a new organ if they are using marijuana to manage their pain.
The bill also states what will happen to people that are under the age of twenty one and are caught with cannabis on them; they would be subjected to a 500 dollar fine and have to appear in a civil suit in court, and a thousand dollar fine if a person that is twenty one selling marijuana to anyone twenty one and under, and so on with the consequences of violating this new law. It's almost the same as if someone that was not twenty one was caught with alcohol, or if someone that is twenty one bought alcohol for minors, etc.
Until recently, marijuana has had a bad reputation, but over the years this plant has been researched and tested and it turns out that it actually is an all natural alternative from prescription medications, when those have failed others, weed has helped with cancer symptoms, depressions, parkinson's disease, depression, in some cases PTSD has been made easier.
There has been so much progress and now knowing all the benefits even the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse lists medical uses for cannabis. There are two active chemicals in marijuana CBD and THC. Cannabis can be used for chronic pain (some have stated that using THC has worked better then opioids and is starting to become a preferred choice), it can also help with muscle spasms, studies have shown, even though you can smoke weed, it hasn't harmed lung capacity, in some cases it has improved people's lung capacity, it helps people that have glaucoma, can help with epileptic seizures, it has been shown to help lessen the side effects to a disease called Dravet's syndrome, A film was released and it showed that the drug decreased these children's seizures from 300 a week to just one every seven days.
A research done in California back in 2007, showed that CDB actually helps stop cancerous cells from spreading. One study that was done in 2014, found that marijuana can significantly slow the growth of the type of brain tumor associated with 80% of malignant brain cancer in people. Researcher's also believe that THC helps slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease. In low doses of THC it can help anxiety, depression, helps pain management for people that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, as well as lessening side effects for Hepatitis C, and help increase treatment drugs.
Annual deaths due to tobacco is four hundred thousand, alcohol is at one hundred thousand, prescription deaths are about thirty thousand, and caffeine related deaths is about two thousand, there has never been a cannabis related death to date.
There has been studies to show that the use of marijuana can help you stay thinner, and reduce the chance of you becoming obese, Researchers from Conference of Quebec University Health Centers looked at 700 adults aged 18-74 - and found that cannabis users tend to have low body mass index scores. Having a low BMI score means you are typically healthy, and less likely to become overweight or to have any health related issues due to your weight.
Colorado's economy has benefited tremendously, according to CNN, revenue from taxes and fees have increased every year, from $76 million in 2014 to $200 million in the last year. They also stated that they are already on track to top last years sale. If Arizona were to vote yes on recreational use for marijuana, our economy would benefit greatly. It would help the real estate market as well, there are only 14.4% vacancy in office spaces in Denver, in Arizona it is as 22%, if we were to legalize cannabis, offices would be needed, therefore helping the real estate market, and dropping the vacency valley wide.
Although there are numerous pro's to the legalization of cannabis, there are some downsides. Some wonder how the second hand smoke will affect others, especially if people are smoking around young children, animals, etc. Even though there are countless benefits to cannabis, it is still a mind altering drug, like alcohol. This could lead to impaired driving, and could make your judgment calls change, and potentially do something harmful. Some still say that marijuana is the "gateway drug" and that eventually the "high" you get from cannabis isn't enough, so people go on to harder drugs to get that "high".
Crime rate in almost all states that have legalized marijuana completely, have gone down significantly. Most people were worried that young adults (minors) would become addicted to this drug, and studies have shown that didn't happen. It was the exact opposite, the use of cannabis went down in both Washington and Colorado in the first couple years after the law passed. A 2015 report from Matt Ferner of the Huffington Post found that legal cannabis had become the fastest-growing industry in the US, with the national market expanding from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014.
As I stated before there are many different uses for marijuana, I personally have my medical marijuana card for health reasons, and for years I was trying to find the right prescription drug for me, and it never fully worked. My doctor didn't know what to do, so he talked to me about another alternative instead of prescription pills, that there was research that marijuana can help. It was a process to get my medical card, I had to see a doctor and confirm I had chronic pain, and anxiety, and then I was given my card which costed about three hundred dollars to get, and every year you have to pay the state of Arizona one hundred and fifty dollars to renew your card. Now the state has made a lot of money of medical marijuana, why not take it one step further and make it recreational so the state can have a higher tax revenue and more money to pay government funded jobs, school programs, etc.
Like any new lat there will always be pro's and con's, but the research I have done, shows that the pro's outweigh the cons, and that Arizona would benefit from this bill being passed. Now it's up to the citizens of Arizona to vote, and make this happen! Many states like Colorado, Washington, Nevada, etc have voted and pass bills to legalize marijuana completely, how have those states benefited from this, and how would Arizona potentially benefit or lose from legalizing weed for recreational use? I would say that Arizona would gain tremendously from cannabis becoming legal for recreational use. The facts truly speak for themselves.