We’re over 7 months into recreational legalization now and, contrary to the dire predictions of the reefer-madness crowd, Canada is still in one piece. Alongside freedom to enjoy legal cannabis, and despite the annoying ongoing supply shortages, legalization has yielded some serious boons for recreational consumers and medial patients alike. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at four important benefits of recreational legalization!
#1: Legalization Demonstrates Safety
Canada made cannabis legal over 7 months ago, and as previously mentioned, is still kicking. Legal cannabis hasn’t led to a state of emergency by any stretch of the imagination, and no public infrastructure has gone up in smoke (minus some government-approved cannabis). Okay, so maybe no one expected that to happen – but on a more real level, incidences of impaired driving haven’t budged and there’s been no increase in cannabis-related crime. This data is vital to dispelling some of the myths that surround cannabis consumption, and positively benefits medical and recreational consumers alike.
#2: Legalization = More research
Before legalization, heavy restrictions were placed on cannabis research – even medical studies! While there are still lots of hurdles in the way of impartial cannabis research, legalization is changing the game. In January 2018 the Canadian Institutes of Health Research announced $1.4 billion in funding for research on the effects of legal cannabis. Later, in July 2018, CIHR launched a $3 billion grant opportunity for cannabis research in urgent priority areas. Increased revenue has also allowed for Licensed Producers to launch their own studies on the application of cannabinoids in pain management, mental health disorders, and even for veterinary use!
#3: Legalization Increases Social Awareness
Cannabis is relatively benign, presents a low risk for addiction, and few seriously harmful long-term effects on the body; with that being said, it’s irresponsible to suggest that cannabis is entirely without its risks. Legalization has stigma surrounding cannabis use and increased public awareness about its responsible use and potential harms, including dependence (estimated to affect 9% of lifetime users, 16% of youth users, and 25% of daily users), withdrawal, and the rare conditions of cannabinoid hyperemesis (cannabinoid-induced vomiting) and cannabinoid-induced psychosis.
#4: Legalization Yields Genetic Advancements
Like humans, the unique attributes of cannabis plants are largely determined by their parents – also known as their lineage, genealogy, or “strain.” Previously, these genetics were well kept trade secrets, black market in nature, and produced in secrecy. With legal cannabis production, however, growers are free to share their tricks of the trade and genetic experiments out in the open. On top of that, scientists have fully mapped out the complete cannabis genome, so we know more than ever! Ultimately this increased understanding of crossbreeding genetics will yield a greater control over our experience with cannabis, meaning you can look forward to targeted recreational and medical cannabis products.
(Note: All discussion concerning the medicinal use of cannabis in this blog post is for informational purposes only and makes no claims to the safety, efficacy, suitability, or effectiveness of cannabis as a medicine, or in the management of any medical condition, or for any other purpose, and is not intended to provide, or to be a substitute for, professional medical advice.)