What is your Biggest Fear about Cannabis Legalization?
As crusaders for the cause, we sometimes charge ahead and never look back to ask a few questions about cannabis legalization. Yes, we want to the see the plant legalized at a Federal level so people can get access to medical cannabis, as well as recreational cannabis, without fear of being arrested, thrown in jail, and even ostracized from friends and family for using marijuana. We want to see full government funded medical research on things such as epilepsy, PTSD, cancer, and depression, but what are your biggest fears with cannabis legalization? What would you dread to see happen? What are you nervous about? What about the following, does anything scare you or make your stomach go into knots, although you would never admit it?
*The Plant can’t Live Up to the Hype at this Point – The plant, being touted as a miracle cure for just about everything under the sun until the FDA put their foot down, just can’t live up to the massive hype being put on the plant? Would it be a letdown if a year or two down the road medical research came back as “so-so” for epilepsy and autism? What if medical effects were bombastic to start but then benefits tapered with usage and time. The benefits just flame out over a few months of using the plant, the body adjust and the old problems come back? The hype isn’t the plant’s fault, it is on us in the media, but at this point, unless it cures cancer, cures male pattern baldness, helps you lose fat, and improves your libido, it may not be able to live up to the ridiculous expectations.
*Big Pharma and Big Companies Just Roll in and Take Over – With full legalization the barriers will be down for EVERYONE, including investment banking, Wall Street, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Big Alcohol. What would stop 5 or 6 companies from just taking over 90% of the industry like the food industry now? Small growers and small businesses would get wiped out by companies with giant funding and access to worldwide bond markets. What did Home Depot do to local hardware stores? What did Walmart do small mom-and-pop boutique stores? If 5 or 6 MSO, multi-state operators, take over a few hundred dispensaries in 20 states, you are looking at pricing power and market leverage on paying growers and ancillary businesses.
*Younger and Younger Kids Get Access to Cannabis – What about the brain development issue and kids getting cannabis access because it is literally, everywhere. For children with medical issues using it to stop seizures and such, that is fine, but what if the gray and black-market supply just explodes and there is literally cannabis in every garden, yard, and field. I am not sure how I feel about pre-teens and teens using it at a repeated level, over and over, for recreational purposes. Is brain development affected during the ages of 14 to 21 if you use cannabis? You can find articles and reports claiming both pro and con, but something sinks in my stomach thinking of 13 and 14 year-olds using it over and over in the woods or behind the shed. (Think cigarettes in the 70s)
There is also the flipside of the coin to look forward to as well. What if thousands of people become more mellow and less aggressive. Alcohol sales plummet and people’s health improves. Road rage incidents drop, people have better marriages and less fighting, and more sex. Parents seem to be more patient and work life becomes more bearable with a joint after work.
People with long term health issues begin to feel better and start working out and eating better. These studies are out there and show that cannabis improves health and creates weight loss in people, the opposite of the stereotypical stoner stories about being lazy. What the studies show is that people with chronic pain and slight depression over their pain, start to feel better with cannabis and start to walk, run, and exercise, again. This leads to weight loss, less sick days from the job, and a better wellbeing in life.
We are down to a matter of “when” and not “if” for cannabis legalization at the Federal level, and it will be a brave new world out there. The brave new world of legal cannabis will have some bumps along the way, but the positive changes in society will outweigh any short-term disappoints and stumbles.