The Pros and Con of the Cannabis Legalization

with how the government will handle this legalization. I’ve done some research online on how Canadians feel about marijuana becoming easily available and I wanted to share some of the pros and cons of legalization.

The Pros of Cannabis Legalization

More Government Revenue

This is one of the biggest pros of legalizing marijuana. Just a day after marijuana became legal, CTV News reports that cannabis sales are taxed at $1 per gram or 10% of a product price. The provincial government will receive about 75% of the tax, with 25% going to federal government. It’s reported that the federal government will receive up to $100 million per year. Government revenue from marijuana consumption can help fix roads, fund public projects, improve schools, and hire more firefighters and police, just to list a few.  

Treatment of Medical Conditions

Marijuana also helps with treatment of some medical conditions such as Crohn's Disease and epilepsy. Epilepsy.com highlights the benefits and side effects of medical cannabis, CBD (cannabidiol), and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Some of the possible side effects are fatigue, decreased appetite, and sleepiness. The website allows talks about how CBD helps control seizures.

Allows the Police to Focus on More Violent Crimes

There are many cases of police arresting citizens for possessing marijuana, which does not pose as a severe threat to the public. Under the law, those individuals had to be treated as if they were carrying a much harder drug, like heroin or cocaine. This takes away the focus from preventing much more violent crimes.

Photo by Michael Fischer

The Cons of Cannabis Legalization

Impaired Driving

Smoking marijuana can impair our perception. Penalties have been enforced by our government. The website of Canada’s Department of Justice provides a list of penalties you can receive if you drive under the influence. Obviously, this is a rule not worth breaking! Driving under the influence of marijuana gives you the same result as if you were driving under the influence of alcohol. People do react differently after they have smoked, but it can produce the same difficulties that could impair your driving. It affects your motor skills, reaction time, short term memory, and concentration. It can also cause drivers to speed unnecessarily. So please, do not smoke and drive!

Mental Health

People who are opposed to marijuana talk about how the drug could negatively impact our society mentally. Here to Help, a British Columbia based mental health and substance abuse organization,  explains the correlation between cannabis use and psychosis. Smoking cannabis could cause a number of side effects for the average person which include temporary or permanent increased anxiety, paranoia and delusional beliefs. The site also provides information on what cannabis can do to the brain. A study from The British Journal of Psychiatry shows the psychiatric effects of cannabis on short-term and long-term users. Researcher Andrew Johns’ purpose was to re-evaluate the adverse effects of cannabis among users and vulnerable individuals (those with psychiatric disorders). These studies find that vulnerable users who regularly use cannabis are more likely to develop psychosis.

Photo by Matteo Paganelli 

As you can see, cannabis has both positives and negatives. Like alcohol and other drugs, marijuana could bring both disadvantages and advantages to the community. While it’s long term outcome remains uncertain, it is definite that cannabis should be taken responsibly.