In the last few years, we have witnessed the great liberalization of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use among many states here in the US. Despite this, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions that are unfairly attributed to cannabis.
Here are some of the most common myths, with help from Cannabis.net.
If cannabis is made legal everywhere, more people will use it?
If cannabis is made legal everywhere, it will remain illegal for people under the age of 18 to use. There is evidence which indicates that there will be a slight increase in cannabis usage of young adults, but it can be controlled through policies such as strategic pricing and distribution restrictions, as well as setting advertising regulations.
The money that is wasted in policing the criminalization of cannabis can be redirected to other areas to educate the population about the safe usage of cannabis.
Cannabis acts as a “gateway” drug?
Again, this is another myth. As you can imagine, this area has been researched by many institutes and there is no reason to suggest that cannabis acts as a gateway drug.
Legalization could actually reduce the chances of people becoming addicted to drugs. When someone wants to acquire drugs, they will have contact with an illegal drug market, which leaves them open to trying other stronger drugs. So, if cannabis is legalized, the cannabis user doesn’t have as much contact with this environment, reducing the likelihood that they will use harder drugs.
Smoking cannabis is harmless?
Any sort of smoking is bad for you. But, cannabis doesn’t necessarily need to be smoked. It can be eaten through edibles, and it can also be vaped. When cannabis is burned, it produces a carcinogen, but the volume of these carcinogens depends on the amount of cannabis that is burned.
It is riskier to use cannabis than alcohol?
This is another myth to be wary of. Alcohol is a proven carcinogen where overuse over a long period of time can result in death. There is no way a user can overdose on cannabis. At the moment, there is little to no appetite for political heavyweights to change how we access alcohol, but lessons can be learned to ensure cannabis is legislated for by putting public health first. This will enable us as a country to regulate substances which are psychoactive for the good of the people.
For more myths, check out https://cannabis.net/blog/opinion/7-marijuana-myths-that-are-completely-false.