User Posts: Melissa Caldwell

Last Summer, Mamadou Ndiaye was driving home from a job in Carmel, Indiana. As a professional photographer and filmmaker, he has to travel around for work and this day was no different.

As he was driving along, a deputy from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department pulled him over in a routine traffic stop. Ndiaye was driving on a suspended license due to a misunderstanding. It was an innocent mistake. The deputy made the decision to handcuff Ndiaye and asked to search his car. Ndiaye obliged and was confident that the deputy would find nothing as he had nothing to hide. He’s never been in trouble with the law and as he puts it, “I’m not a criminal.”

That was when the deputy found a small bottle of CBD oil.

Ndiaye was not only charged with a driving offence but had now been charged with possession of marijuana. This meant that he was facing jail time and a $1000 fine. Ndiaye had bought the bottle as a dietary supplement to help his hair growth, and now he was facing imprisonment and everything that goes with that.

In Indiana, the law on CBD oil is murky, at best. Technically, CBD oil is illegal, but shops still sell it and it is easy to get your hands on. Fortunately, both the prosecutor and the judge decided to dismiss the case. But an innocent man was put through months of stress and worry, just because he wanted to grow his hair.

This is just one story of people being penalized for using CBD oil.

 


What Is CBD Oil?

cbd-molecule

The Washington Post called CBD oil the ‘new ‘it’ drug’.

As most of our readers will know, CBD oil is a product derived from the cannabis plant. It utilizes the CBD compound found in cannabis instead of the famous THC compound that gets you ‘high’.

CBD oil is a completely natural supplement that has amazing medicinal benefits and very few side effects. It has been proven to treat a number of serious illnesses including epilepsy, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Unfortunately, because it is from the cannabis plant it is misunderstood and distrusted by a lot of people, and is still illegal in some states in the U.S.


Where Is It Legal?

This is a question that gets asked a lot and the answer is quite complicated, so we’ve broken it down for you to make it easy to understand.

First of all there are two different types of CBD oil – hemp-derived and marijuana-derived.

Hemp-derived CBD products

Hemp is a type of cannabis plant. It has very low levels of THC and won’t cause any psychoactive effects if consumed. It has been used for thousands of years for medicine, materials and agriculture.

Hemp-derived CBD products are legal to purchase, import and consume in all 50 U.S. states.

Marijuana-derived CBD products

The legislation around marijuana-derived CBD products is a lot more complicated. Every separate state has its own legislation that governs the legality. This can range from it being completely legal to prohibited.

The law is subject to change and the legality in certain states could be different when you read this, so it is always worth doing your own research on the legality of CBD oil.

States that allow all cannabis products for recreational use (meaning you can purchase and use it without a prescription from your doctor):

 
recreationally legal states

    • Washington D.C.
    • Alaska
    • California
    • Colarado
    • Oregon
    • Massachusetts
    • Maine
    • Nevada
    • Washington

 
States that allow marijuana products for medicinal use (not exclusive to CBD oil):
medical marijuana allowed not just cbd

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

 
States that allow CBD products only for medicinal use(but not other types of cannabis):
Only CBD Allowed (But Not Other Cannabis Products)

    • Alabama
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kentucky
    • Mississippi
    • Missouri
    • North Carolina
    • Oklahoma
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • Wisconsin
    • Wyoming

 
States that prohibit the use of CBD products:
CBD Prohibited (And Other Forms Of Cannabis)

    • Idaho
    • Kansas
    • Nebraska
    • South Dakota

Police Raid Health Food Shops For CBD In Indiana

police raid

Indiana is probably the state that best epitomizes the confusing legislation of CBD oil. In the summer of 2017, there was a raid on grocery store, Fresh Thyme and the Indiana State Excise Police confiscated thousands of pounds worth of CBD oil.

The story, exposed by WHTR, sent a ripple effect around the state. State law in Indiana says that industrial hemp products that contain less than 0.3% THC don’t fall under the same category as marijuana. So in Indiana, many people assumed CBD was completely legal. Health supplement shops across the state were selling the products and lots of Indiana residents were talking about how effective it was. CBD oil was selling well.

Until the raid on Fresh Thyme.

People that used CBD oil relied on Fresh Thyme to buy the product. So they were completely shocked when they found the shelves were empty. Other stores around the state stopped selling CBD oil because they were scared of getting raided as well.

The situation caused a debate between politicians, patients and law enforcement.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency considers CBD a Schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin and LSD, whereas the FDA say that products that contain CBD cannot be sold as dietary supplements. Technically, in Indiana, industrial hemp products are not illegal so, hemp-derived CBD, should be legal.

This confusion in legislation is the reason for misguided raids and a lack of availability for patients. The fact that CBD oil – a product which has amazing, natural benefits for so many ailments and very few side effects – can be classed the same as heroin is unbelievable. It is a waste of law enforcement’s time and resources and is a travesty for patients who rely on it.


The Future Of Legality

law gavel

As you can see from the list above regarding the legality of CBD oil, things are slowly moving in the right direction. The amount of research being undertaken is growing every year and the results are starting to show. Companies like GW Pharmaceuticals are creating CBD based products that are catching the attention of the Food And Drug Administration (FDA).

Unfortunately, the FDA still considers CBD an unapproved new drug. In spite of this, they generally aren’t enforcing their stance, except for sending warning letters to CBD product manufacturers. Supplements In Review propose three reasons that would explain the FDA’s inactivity.

    • The legal status of hemp, which serves as the major source of CBD products

    • The fact that CBD is non-psychoactive

    • The fact that CBD supplements are not yet competing with Big Pharma CBD drugs

Hopefully, the involvement of the large pharmaceutical companies will encourage the FDA to change its stance on CBD for the better.

If it wasn’t for the history between the government and marijuana, CBD oil would be the most popular drug in America. From an objective standpoint, CBD oil has many amazing medicinal benefits, treats a lot of ailments that are otherwise difficult to treat and barely has any side-effects. But because it is tarred with the same brush as marijuana, it isn’t that simple.

With the increase in research and the more people using CBD oil to effectively treat their symptoms, eventually it will lose its stigma and hopefully become completely legal across the U.S. and Canada.

Ironically, where CBD Oil is completely legal, it is regulated better and therefore made safer for the patients. So the federal government could put their worries about CBD oil being harmful to rest by legalizing it.

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Not many things can cause Big Pharma to panic.

They have a strong grip on the U.S. medical industry and their profits seem to grow year on year, no matter what. They have even been known to increase the price of drugs by 5000%.

So why is the CBD Oil movement making them shift nervously in their seats?

CBD Oil is a natural treatment derived from the cannabis plant. There are two main types of cannabinoid in cannabis, CBD & THC. THC is the famous, psychoactive compound that gives users the ‘high’ associated with smoking cannabis; and CBD is the non-psychoactive compound, that has amazing medicinal benefits.

Our bodies have millions of cannabinoid receptors, that react with CBD. In fact, scientists believe that this system of cannabinoid receptors is the most widespread receptor system in the body. Basically our bodies are built to react with cannabis.

Unfortunately, for many years, the government has suppressed the use of cannabis for good. It was made a schedule 1 drug, the same classification as heroin and LSD. Even though research has shown how effective CBD is to treat all sorts of ailments, it hasn’t been widely available.

That has all started to change in the last 10 years.

While research on CBD started way back in the 1940s, events in the last decade have pushed it into public view. Perhaps the most notable thing that has changed public opinion on CBD was the story of Charlotte Figi, who in 2013 was saved from having 300 epileptic seizures a week.

Now that CBD is being taken seriously, Big Pharma are starting to get nervous. Here’s why –


The CBD Oil Market Is Growing Quick

Since 2013 the CBD Oil market has grown very quickly. The Hemp Business Journal estimate that it will grow to $2.1 billion by 2020. This is backed up in a study by the Brightfield Group that says the CBD Oil market is growing by 55% a year.

Matt Karnes of Greenwave Advisors said: “In terms of the CBD market size, I estimate an almost $3 billion market by 2021. Right now there are 15 states that allow CBD only — this is in addition to the 28 states plus DC that have legalized medical marijuana.”

Whichever specific number you choose to believe, the CBD Oil market is set to be huge. It is a safe assumption that many of those sales have been taken away from the pharmaceutical market. For example, a patient taking strong pain-relief medication for chronic pain tries CBD Oil and stops buying their medication.

That means that sales are being taken from massive corporations and instead going to grassroots suppliers, growing the small-business economy.

In the US, the total legal marijuana sales for 2017 were nearly $9 billion. This market is slowly being changed from an illegal market, where the money goes to criminal enterprises, into a legitimate market, where the money goes to small businesses and the wider economy. But none of this money is going to Big Pharma.


Big Pharma Trying To Create A Monopoly

Big Pharma have not ignored this. They’ve reacted in a pretty typical way, in fact.

In April this year, a panel experts – convened by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – voted in favour of an ‘experimental’ CBD-based epilepsy drug. The drug is the first of its kind, in that it is the first attempt by Big Pharma to get a CBD-based drug approved by the FDA. This in itself, is good news. FDA approval will legitimize CBD and pave the way for patients to have better access, but that is not where the story ends.

GW Pharmaceuticals – the company that created Epidolex – have tried to make it so CBD is only available through FDA approved CBD drugs. That means that they would have a monopoly on CBD and patients would have to buy their drugs.

If you take into consideration the potential financial gains of monopolizing CBD, it comes as no surprise that the drug industry is pushing for legislation that makes CBD Oil Illegal.

Fortunately, they have not been successful. But you can bet they will keep trying.


Big Pharma Stands To Lose… A Lot!

The things that really scares Big Pharma is patients moving over to CBD Oil from their existing prescriptions. Since 2013, when the story of Charlotte Figi first aired, more and more people have decided to ditch their pharmaceuticals for a more natural solution.

There are a few reasons for this. CBD Oil is often more effective than its pharmaceutical rival. In epilepsy sufferers, around 30% of patients don’t respond to existing drugs at all. So it is no surprise that there is a huge shift over to CBD Oil. This is similar to patients with chronic pain, who are often looking for the solution that offers the most effective pain relief.

Not only that, but CBD Oil can often be cheaper alternative to prescription drugs. Big Pharma companies have built a reputation for skyrocketing the prices of drugs to make them hugely profitable, when there is no alternative. In 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim – a drug that defends aids and cancer sufferers against deadly parasites – from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, just after buying the rights to the drug.

Patients have a right to be worried.

Fortunately, with CBD Oil that is never going to happen. Cannabis is one of the easiest plants to grow and making CBD Oil is actually relatively simple. And because no one company owns the rights to make it, there will be competition in the market that will keep the price low.

Then, you have to look at the side effects that come with pharmaceuticals. For example, NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) have the following common side effects

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Excess gas
  • Constipation
  • Extreme weakness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or face
  • Muscle cramps, numbness or tingling
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Black, bloody or tarry stools
  • Bloody urine or bloody vomit
  • Decreased hearing or ringing in the ears (also called tinnitus)
  • Jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion

Compared to CBD Oil, which has reported side effects of

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Drowsiness

It is pretty obvious why people are moving over to CBD Oil. The side effects of NSAIDS make for scary reading, and a quick search on Google for reviews will scare you even more. Not only are the common side effects much less severe, CBD Oil is safer in general. While it hasn’t been FDA approved yet, there has never been a reported overdose death from cannabis. In fact, NSAIDS actually report death and coma as possible side effects. Yet patients use these drugs, because they don’t have a better alternative. And this is just one example of a much wider problem, where drugs are created to make money instead of effectively treat patients.


Athletes Are Dropping Ibuprofen for CBD Oil

Some athletes have started to move over from traditional pharmaceuticals to CBD Oil. Andrew Talansky is a cyclist who races for Slipstream Sports. He has recently switched from cycling to triathlon, and because of that his body is often sore all over. In the past he has relied on traditional pain-relief like Ibuprofen, but decided to give CBD Oil a try.

He said: “I took it for a couple of weeks, and there was a noticeable difference immediately. And it wasn’t just that my hip was feeling better. I was less anxious, and I was sleeping better.”

You might be thinking – But why would one cyclist moving from Ibuprofen to CBD Oil cause Big Pharma a problem?

One lost customer isn’t going to make a big difference, but the power of endorsements will. The more athletes and celebrities that endorse CBD Oil, the better people will feel about trying it. This could cause a ripple effect that will cost Big Pharma a lot of money.


Why Big Pharma Hates Natural Remedies

CBD Oil isn’t the first natural remedy that Big Pharma have taken against. For years they have been quietly fighting against people using natural remedies. This all comes down to the fact that – in the western world – medicine is one of the biggest businesses there is. Instead of curing disease, they want to treat it and make patients have a lifelong treatment that they have to keep paying for. Unfortunately this is how they make their money, and it creates a culture where profit is put above patients.

Natural remedies are much harder for them to control. People can often grow them for themselves. Cannabis is an easy plant to cultivate and therefore people don’t need to rely on pharmaceutical companies to create the drug for them. Also because they’re are easy to grow, it means small companies can make products and create competition.

Cannabis is one of the most medically useful plants in existence, and that terrifies Big Pharma.

 

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Billy Caldwell was 11 years old, dying from severe epilepsy. He was having having up to 100 grand mal seizures every day. His Mom did everything the doctors told her – tried every medication available, changed his diet. Nothing worked.

Billy’s epilepsy is intractable, which basically means it doesn’t respond to normal medicine. When epilepsy is bad enough to cause 100 seizures per day and doesn’t get better with medicine, it becomes life-threatening. Billy had no quality of life and struggled to do normal things like walk, talk, eat and sleep.

As a last resort, Billy’s Mom took him to the US to receive medical marijuana treatment. He immediately stopped having seizures and didn’t have another for 250 days. This amazing result meant that Billy’s life was saved and he could start to live like a normal child. His prescription was transferred to his doctor back home, Brendan O’Hare, and he became the first person in the UK to receive a prescription for medical marijuana.

This is just another piece of evidence that backs up what we, in the medical marijuana community, have known for years. CBD Oil is a miracle treatment.  

Over the last ten years there has been many similar cases in the US and Canada. In 2013, the almost identical case of Charlotte Figi circulated the news channels. She was having 300 grand mal seizures a week, didn’t respond to any medication, and her parents tried CBD Oil as a last resort. The same amazing thing happened and her seizures were reduced to just a few per month.

Charlotte Figi’s story is one of the most famous and talked about CBD success stories. In fact, a particular strain of CBD Oil called Charlotte’s web was developed to help her and is now the most popular strains for treating epilepsy and similar illnesses. Created by the Stanley Brothers of Colorado the strain has a 30:1 ratio of CBD (the compound with medical properties) to THC (the unwanted compound that gives the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis).

Obviously, CBD Oil has amazing properties that saves lives. Unfortunately, it is not yet available in all pharmacies and hasn’t been FDA approved.

Back to Billy’s story. Just last week, Billy’s CBD medicine was confiscated when him and his Mother tried to travel to from the UK to Canada.

Because it is not legally available in the UK, the customs officers had to take the CBD Oil away. This became a big story in the UK, which resulted in the UK government handing Billy’s medicine back. This might seem like a small thing, but it creates precedent for future patients to get CBD Oil prescribed.

Fortunately, in North America, CBD Oil is easier to access and is quickly becoming the go-to treatment for epilepsy and other seizure related diseases.


Why CBD Is Not Available In Pharmacies Yet

pharmacy medsCBD Oil hasn’t been approved by the FDA, which means it isn’t available in your local pharmacy and can’t be prescribed by your doctor. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a safe and effective treatment.

In April this year, a panel of experts – convened by the Food and Drug Administration – voted in favour of an ‘experimental’ CBD-based epilepsy drug. The drug, Epidiolex, has been in trials since 2016 and was created by one of the big pharmaceutical companies, GW Pharmaceuticals plc. While the drug isn’t FDA approved yet – that decision is expected in June – it does provide some peace of mind to people considering using CBD Oil as a treatment for seizures.

John Mendelson, one of the experts and a senior scientist at the Friends Research Institute, said, “This is clearly a breakthrough drug for an awful disease.”

If a panel of outside experts vote that a CBD-based drug is a safe and effective treatment, patients can start to feel a bit better about using CBD Oil. This is a landmark decision, that should hopefully lead to a wider acknowledgement of CBD Oil as a miracle treatment.

The amazing effects of CBD have been known for years, but to get FDA approved, a drug has to go through wide-scale testing. Until last year, the biggest study done on the effectiveness of CBD on seizures in humans, tested 162 patients. In the test, seizures were reduced by a monthly average of 36.5%, 5 patients saw motor seizures completely disappear and 2 patients became completely seizure free. While these results are generally positive, the study wasn’t of a high enough quality for FDA approval. Firstly, there was no placebo administered. All of the patients had CBD and were aware they were taking it. Secondly, the sample size wasn’t big enough – while 162 patients sounds like a lot, normal clinical trials would test thousands of people and be done over a number of months or years.

Fortunately, there are three large clinical trials currently researching the effects of CBD on epilepsy. One is specifically investigating children between 1-18 with epilepsy, attempting to determine the optimal dose of CBD to treat Dravet syndrome. Another is looking into CBD and drug-resistant epilepsy, the same as Billy’s condition.

What this means is that finally the wider medical community is taking note of the amazing healing properties of CBD Oil, hopefully meaning that patients can get access to it quicker than ever.


How It Works (And How To Know If It Will Work For You)

Before trying to understand how CBD Oil helps epilepsy, it’s important to understand what epilepsy is. It’s defined as abnormal and disorderly discharging of brain nerve cells which result in a disturbance of motor, sensory or mental functioning. When a person has an epileptic fit, they lose control of these functions, which is known as a seizure.

Healthy people, without epilepsy, can have seizures under certain circumstances. But it is normally caused by some damage to the brain, for example a tumor or head injury. It can also vary in severity. Billy Caldwell has an extremely severe case of epilepsy, that could threaten his life if left untreated.

It isn’t known exactly how CBD Oil helps epilepsy and other seizure-related conditions. There are, however, a few indicators. Firstly, there are compounds found in CBD Oil that are anticonvulsant. Anticonvulsant drugs are already used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, amongst other conditions. They suppress the rapid firing of neurons during seizures and stop the seizure from spreading throughout the brain.

Another reason CBD Oil helps is that it prevents neuron damage, which can be one of the main causes of seizures.

If you are thinking about using CBD Oil to treat your epilepsy, you should be careful to source it from a reputable company. You might also want to consult with your doctor, although don’t be put off if they don’t recommend it. Because of the long history of stigma against medical marijuana, some doctors don’t like to nail their colours to the mast. Like with many illnesses, you have to find what works for you.


Traditional Alternatives For Epilepsy Sufferers

Around 30% of patients are resistant to traditional anticonvulsant seizure drugs. As well as this there is a long list of potential side effects including nausea, liver failure, headaches, irritability, hair-loss, depression, vision impairment, weight gain, sleep and mood disturbances and impotence. This is causing more and more patients to try CBD Oil as a healthier alternative, and encouraging more research.


The Future Of CBD Oil And Epilepsy

seizure boyJust ten years ago, the end of this blog post would be very different. CBD Oil has come a long way as a medicine and the stigma is slowly being overtaken by the huge amounts of evidence surrounding CBD Oil’s amazing medical properties.

CBD Oil is even being used to treat dogs with epilepsy! Since the story of Charlotte Figi, CBD Oil manufacturers have been creating products to help dogs that suffer with seizures.

If the FDA approves Epidiolex – the CBD-based drug created by GW Pharmaceuticals – then we can expect even more widespread used of CBD Oil to treat epilepsy and other illnesses. It will be prescribed by doctors and patients like Billy Caldwell won’t have to travel to get the medicine they deserve.

CBD Oil has been proven to treat many ailments including anxiety, pain and inflammation, acne, psychosis, cancer, nausea, diabetes and alzheimer’s. It’s a naturally occuring medicine that has miracle healing powers and has been ignored for too long.

How You Can Help

It’s important for the medical marijuana community, researchers and patients to keep pushing for it to be approved by the FDA. If you are reading this article, then maybe you have been affected by epilepsy or a similar condition. Maybe you’ve even used CBD Oil and it has changed your life. If that’s the case, then get in touch and we can help you tell your story. The more patients tell their stories told about the amazing medicinal benefits of CBD Oil, the more pressure is put on the government to formally recognize this life-changing product. That means more patients like Billy and Charlotte can get the medicine they need.

 

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With every study, and every patient success story, medical marijuana is becoming more accepted by society.

Marijuana is now legalized in 30 states and the district of Columbia.. Whether it has been fully legalized for both medical and recreational use, or just in a restricted way for patients that need it most, marijuana is losing the stigma that it has held for decades.

The economic, social and medical benefits have been debated for many years. Now there is a clear trajectory towards complete legalization across the US and Canada, and that will have a huge effect on society.

Here are 7 ways legalization of marijuana and CBD will change the world in the next few years –


1. People With Seizure Disorders Will Finally Have An Effective Treatment

seizure disorders diagramSeizure disorders – like epilepsy – are notoriously difficult to treat. They are normally treated using an anticonvulsant drug, which normalize the way nerve impulses travel along the nerve cells to prevent or treat seizures.  But in some cases, patients don’t respond to traditional medicines.

In 2013, the story of Charlotte Figi started to circulate the news channels. She was a young child having 300 grand mal seizures a week, and she didn’t respond to anything the doctors tried. Her seizures were so severe that her parents had signed a do-not-resuscitate order. As a last resort, they decide to try CBD Oil. Her seizures stopped immediately, her condition improved and she started to live life as normal child.

Then there was the almost identical story of Billy Caldwell in the UK. His condition was even more severe and his Mother had to travel to the US for him to access CBD Oil. When they returned home, Billy became the first person in the UK to receive a prescription for medical marijuana.

Even when traditional medicines do work for epilepsy sufferers, there is a long list of potential side effects including nausea, liver failure, headaches, irritability, hair-loss, depression, vision impairment, weight gain, sleep and mood disturbances and impotence.

CBD Oil is proving to be the most effective new treatment for seizure disorders in years.


2. Less Crime Caused By The “War On Drugs”

dea raidThe “War On Drugs” has been a part of American culture since the presidency of Richard Nixon in the 1970s. The focus on eradicating drugs from our society has caused a huge amount of money and resources being channelled where it perhaps isn’t needed. When marijuana is legalized these resources can be used elsewhere.

The legalization of marijuana will have a knock-on effect on crime around the world. For example, Mexican drug cartels make the majority of their money by importing illegal drugs across the border to the U.S., legalization would eliminate this revenue stream and cause them to disband and find other ways to make money. It could be argued that it is likely that some criminals around the world will have to find legitimate ways to make money, therefore lowering crime statistics around the world.


3. People Will Have A Far Safer Choice For A Recreational Intoxicant

girl smoking cannabisFor years, marijuana has been painted as a dangerous drug by the federal government. On this blog we mainly focus on the benefits of medical marijuana and CBD Oil, but generally don’t talk about its recreational uses. It is well known that it’s much safer than alcohol and isn’t responsible for overdoses or other drug-related deaths. The stigma surrounding marijuana isn’t anywhere near as bad as it used to be, but it is still there.

Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for over 80,000 deaths a year. Despite this amazing statistic, it is perfectly legal for people over the age of 21 to buy and consume as much as they want. Marijuana is responsible for 0 deaths per year.

While there are some side-effects from excessive marijuana consumption, it is statistically nowhere near as dangerous and is a relatively safe intoxicant for people to use. If more people choose marijuana over alcohol, the huge strain on the healthcare industry and police services could be reduced. Consumers would have a safer choice and wouldn’t have to be afraid of being on the wrong side of the law.


4. Less Lives Ruined From Pointless Imprisonment

US_incarceration_timeline_graphCurrently there are huge numbers of people in prison because of non-violent marijuana-related charges. If you make a substance like cannabis illegal, people will find a way of getting it. There will always be a demand, which means there will always be people prepared to take the risk of supplying it. When you consider that it is a relatively harmless substance, when compared to alcohol, it is amazing to think people spend years in prison because of it. Not only that, but the revenue created by this illegal trade goes to criminals and the imprisonment of these criminals costs the government money. Then, there is the prison overcrowding problem to consider. Legalizing marijuana would save the government a lot of money, and free up space for more serious criminals.


5. An Astronomical Surge In Tax Revenue

white house tax revenueFor years, medical marijuana advocates have been talking about the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana. It’s pretty simple logic: there is a huge, untapped industry that is responsible for billions of pounds each year that the government could be regulating and taxing. According to a market research study from Ameri Research Inc, the global marijuana industry will surge from $14.3 billion in 2016 to $63.5 billion by 2024. That is a huge potential revenue stream for the U.S. economy.

Since Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2014, the state has taken $506 million in taxation. They apply a 2.9% sales tax to marijuana for medical use and a more aggressive 15% excise tax and 10% special sales tax when it is used for recreation. This shows the potential for other states to improve their economy by legalizing marijuana.

In addition to this, police costs are reduced as they no longer need to dedicate resources to the ‘war on drugs’. Add these together and it is an economic no-brainer.

There have been calls in the UK to replicate the Colorado model, but on a much bigger scale. The estimated value of the UK cannabis industry is £7 billion per year, which leaves a huge potential revenue from taxation. This money could then be diverted to improve public services like the NHS.


6. Fewer Traffic Fatalities

traffic on roadThis may come as a surprise to some readers, but it has been proven that legalizing marijuana can reduce the number or traffic fatalities. In a study conducted by Columbia University, it was found that traffic fatalities have fallen in seven states that have legalized medical marijuana.

The study focused on traffic accidents from 1985 to 2014 and specifically looked at around 1.2 million accidents. They found immediate reductions in traffic fatalities in people aged 15-24 years and 25-44 years and also gradual annual reductions in 25-44 year olds.

They also examined the relationship between the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries and the number of traffic accidents and found a reduction in fatal accidents in 25-44 year olds.

They offered a number of possible reasons for this reduction. Firstly, it could be argued that people under the influence of marijuana are more aware of their condition than drunk people, so are less likely to drive. Secondly, the legalization of marijuana means more people are at home using the drug recreationally, so less people are out in bars. Finally, they argued that there is an increased police presence and more police available so people are less likely to risk drink-driving.

When marijuana advocates talk about the benefits of legalization, they rarely talk about lowering the number of fatal traffic accidents, but it can be added to the long list of positive effects it could have on society.


7. Access To Hemp For Industrial/Non-Medicinal Purposes Will Be Increased

hemp ropeHemp is one of the oldest, most versatile materials in the world. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act made it illegal to cultivate or sell any type of cannabis. Unfortunately, as hemp came under the cannabis banner, its amazing benefits and uses slowly became forgotten about.

Before that, hemp was used for thousands of years. Its seeds and flowers are excellent for use in healthy foods, body care products and other skin care products. Its fibers and stalks are used in clothing, construction materials, paper, biofuel and more.

Not only is it extremely versatile, it’s a great rotation crop for farmers. Whilst growing it breathes in CO2 from the atmosphere, detoxifies the soil and prevents the soil from eroding. It also provides nutrients to the soil after the harvest is finished.

It’s important to note that hemp comes from a variation of the cannabis plant that doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, so there is actually no need for it to be regulated. In the coming years, its amazing eco-friendly uses and benefits will hopefully be recognized by the agricultural community again.

 

If you can think of any other positive effects of legalization, tell us in the comments.

 

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