One of many long-standing arguments in favor of marijuana legalization is its tendency to scale back consumption of different substances deemed extra harmful. Allow us to say the argument is right. What then? Will we promote hashish as an alternative choice to alcohol, tobacco, opioids, and so on.?
The query posed right here just isn’t facetious. It’s truly the results of numerous research suggesting that marijuana legalization does, certainly, have an effect on whether or not folks use different substances. Some of the just lately launched exhibits a hyperlink between marijuana legalization and fewer alcohol, tobacco, and non-prescription opioid use amongst younger folks.
Marijuana Second reported extensively on this research in a latest put up. That very same put up talked about quite a few different research that appear to attract comparable conclusions. The underlying consensus is that legalizing marijuana does scale back the frequency with which different substances are used.
Diminished Alcohol Consumption
It stands to cause that authorized marijuana might result in decreased alcohol consumption if customers substitute one for the opposite. Assuming that folks drink simply because they like the best way it makes them really feel, changing alcohol with marijuana does the identical factor. The 2 substances clearly induce totally different emotions, however each are pleasurable.
The hazard right here is making the belief that hashish is much less harmful than alcohol. We have no idea that. We do know the difficulty that alcohol could cause. However we have now additionally had a very long time to review it. There may be nonetheless an excessive amount of we don’t learn about hashish to make the belief that it’s much less harmful.
Diminished Tobacco Consumption
Subsequent up is the concept of marijuana legalization lowering tobacco consumption. Most of us would agree that fewer folks smoking is an effective factor. However as soon as once more, there’s a caveat. Smoking something is unhealthy in your well being. Smoking marijuana might not be as unhealthy as smoking tobacco, however do we actually know to what diploma marijuana smoke could also be safer? No.
We all know smoking is unhealthy. That’s the reason states like Utah, regardless of legalizing medical hashish, nonetheless don’t permit smoking. Any hashish plant materials you purchase at Salt Lake Metropolis’s Beehive Farmacy should both be dry heated or added to recipes at dwelling.
Right here is the purpose: changing one sort of smoking with one other is nothing to have fun. If smoking is unhealthy, it’s unhealthy. So marijuana legalization lowering smoking charges is simply factor if those that give up smoking eat hashish in some non-combustible type. If they’re nonetheless smoking pot, little has been gained.
Diminished Opioid Consumption
Whereas the hyperlinks between marijuana legalization and decreased alcohol and tobacco consumption are questionable, the one brilliant spot is the hyperlink between legalized hashish and decreased opioid consumption. Marijuana and opioids aren’t on the identical airplane. They aren’t even shut. If younger individuals are utilizing fewer opioids as a result of they’ve authorized entry to marijuana, that may be a good factor.
Everyone knows the extent of the opioid disaster. We additionally know that opioid deaths proceed to rise yr after yr. The truth that they’re unlawful outdoors of prescription use doesn’t appear to matter. So getting more durable on illicit opioids in all probability received’t make a distinction. If legalized marijuana will, rely that as a feather within the pro-marijuana motion’s cap.
It will seem as if marijuana legalization does result in decreased consumption of different substances. That might be factor. Nevertheless, how we distinguish between harmful and fewer harmful substances shouldn’t be neglected. Much less harmful doesn’t essentially imply protected. It additionally doesn’t imply good. We must be prepared to simply accept that if we hope to completely perceive the implications of legalized marijuana.