Advantages and disadvantages of legalizing cannabis in Spain

Throughout human history people have used cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. Spain can boast of a very active research team recognized by the global scientific society studying cannabis advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless weed legalization is still under the question in Spain. Now let’s look into the pros and cons of legalizing cannabis from social, medical, financial and legal viewpoints. We’ll start with the advantages of legalizing cannabis in Spain.

Medical pros

  • Cannabis provides numerous health benefits for those in need of pain reliefs, those suffering from migraine, depression, insomnia, anxiety, even Epilepsy.
  • Сannabis has proven its medical benefits for patients with a lot of serious diseases including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma.
  • Marijuana is well known as an effective means of overcoming stress and inducing relaxation.
  • Cannabis helps remove side effects of chemotherapy.
  • Marijuana demonstrates a good impact on patients suffering from muscular spasticity.
  • Being not addictive and never deadly cannabis proves to be a lot less harmful than alcohol with its great liver harm.
  • Studies of the Scripps Research Institute have shown that active component of cannabis helps to slow down Alzheimer’s disease development.
  • Studies of 2009 of the University of Southern California have shown that cannabis use can be a better support for those suffering from ADD (Attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) if compared with Ritalin which is proscribed for this purpose nowadays.
  • Cannabis provokes gustatory senses for people with anorexia for example in malignancy cases.
  • Marijuana helps people overcome periods of excessive alcohol drinking.
  • Marijuana increases people’s sensation of their own body thus providing help for removing some psychological stiffness in the limbs and clearer sensations during physical activities.
  • Meditation is proved to be a powerful anti-ageing method. And marijuana helps to go deeper into meditation especially for the beginners.

Legal pros

  • Cannabis arrests impose an excessive burden on the state law system more than violent crimes – murders and sexual offences taken together.
  • Cannabis legalization will reduce the black market crimes significantly.
  • Frequently severe punishments imposed on youth engaged in cannabis crimes can lead to an unjustified social harm with life-long consequences.

Financial pros

  • Cannabis is one of the most saleable agricultural products. Cannabis legalization will lead to the total sales amount increase for the state.
  • Milliards is spent each year for the endless war against cannabis-related crimes.
  • Cannabis legalization will raise milliards of Euro due to the introduction of a new drug tax like a tobacco tax.
  • As an illegal product the quality cannabis cost is very high. Its legalization will reduce its cost and availability significantly.

Social pros

  • Cannabis prohibition is the government’s unjustified invasion of individual freedom of choice. People are to make up their mind whether to consume marijuana as they do with other medical drugs and alcoholic beverages.
  • Crime rates and violence are rather high due to illegal sales and purchases of cannabis. Its legalization will logically stop such a criminal behavior.
  • Cannabis legalization will provide additional work places, for example for official breeders, regulation agency officers or staff in cannabis cafes.

While legal alcohol is a frequent ground for numerous road accidents, family trouble and severe health problems cannabis which is a lot safer in many points should be logically made lawful.

If we look into the culture of hippies consuming cannabis we will for sure see how peaceful, friendly and environmentally conscious such people are in general. The advantages of legalization of cannabis include possible behaviour changes in the society.

Some additional benefits

  • Scientific pros. The legal status of cannabis can lead to more investments in scientific tests and researchers’ access to the drug which will develop studies of medication and recreation cannabis use.
  • Pros for global brands. Some global companies including Coca-Cola, Corona are ready to use non-psychoactive cannabidiol as a possible ingredient in fitness and alcohol-free drinks. Some of them have already invested in cannabis medicinal researches.
  • Environmental Impact. Outdoor cannabis cultivation helps to preserve natural soils, to support the nature life cycle and to demonstrate higher concern for the environment of those engaged in the process.

Though we see an inspiring number of benefits of cannabis legalization now let’s look into the flip side of the coin, in other words into the cons of legalizing cannabis.

Medical side effects

  • The main disadvantage refers to harmful substances and carcinogens connected with cannabis smoke. As users inhale the smoke deeply with holding it inside more toxins than from tobacco contact the lung tissue.
  • Cannabis can impact the chemical balance of the regulatory systems of the human brain which in its turn can affect the memory and our ability to study.
  • Cannabis can decrease the level of testosterone for males and can affect the number of spermatozoons.
  • Cannabis excessive and longtime use can raise feelings of anger, discomfort, nervousness, aggression explosions, even fears for those with a vulnerable nervous system and can develop severe disturbances of mind such as dejection and even schizophrenia.
  • Cannabis can increase the risks of development of cervical cancer, prostate cancer and can induce glioma start.

Social cons

  • There is an opinion that cannabis use is interpreted as amoral by most of the public.
  • Long-term or offensive cannabis use can be harmful for the well-being of a person.
  • Cannabis passive use can be dangerous for people around.
  • Many fear that cannabis regular use can lead to the use of harder, more dangerous drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
  • It is implied that marijuana reduces the attentiveness level so during 2-3 hours after its intake it’s unsafe for a person to drive.

Legal drawbacks

  • There is an opinion that people engaged in illegal purchase and sale of cannabis are likely to start taking part in more offensive crimes, and the society is safer with cannabis offenders.
  • Law authorities don’t want to be construed as a support for drug use.
  • Cannabis legalization can be accompanied by rather a severe control of use and sales of this product.
  • Transformation of the drug laws can lead to appearance of grey zones, loopholes and small legislative ambiguities which have to be regulated somehow.

Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam underlines the importance of the balance between the two active components of cannabis: cannabidiol (CBD) responsible for medical benefits and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) responsible for making people high. This balance is the key possibility factor of legalizing marijuana for different purposes.
How to achieve this balance? The answer is strict regulation of a standard safe product with pharmaceutical quality issued onto the market. Only then consumers can be sure of the quality, correct doses, right sorts used, safe manufactures, proper package and possible side effects.

So we are still to consider the balance between the pros and cons of marijuana legalization.

 

AUTHOR

Carla Gallego

Cannabis enthusiast, researcher and editor of Cannabis Guide Barcelona

 

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