When it comes to the subject of cannabis legalization, there really seems to be a wide array of opinions and different ideas on what legalizing marijuana, whether for recreational purposes or medical, is a good idea or not.
And while people never abstain from giving their educated guesses on what the impact of legalization will be, it’s easier to go by what the data suggests.
The subject of making cannabis legal has been a topic of discussion for the longest time, but only recently we’ve started observing its effects on society and culture. The scientific community seems to have been taken by storm by the sudden interest in cannabis from all facets of society. That’s why there may seem to be some lack of meaningful data on some issues that stem directly from the newly implemented provisions on marijuana use.
This interactive map, which you can find here, takes on the issue of legalization under a non-sensationalistic, strictly factual basis. While the data pool is indeed not very deep to really dive into, it can offer some great insights on the long-term effects of marijuana provisions. Choosing to focus on anxiety disorders and depressive disorders, we can begin to see how the trend in terms of anxiety seems to be destined to go down, even if in terms of decimals. The correlation between cannabis use and lower anxiety levels has always been observed and considered even though, mainly for legality issues, has rarely been properly studied and its results recorded.
Of course, another really important factor that makes cannabis legalization relevant and interesting is its health impact. As marijuana use becomes more accepted in the medical community, progress in the culture change regarding the prescription of opioids to treat certain diseases seem to start taking place.
Opioids are a big part of the illegal drug problem that’s sweeping both North America and Europe. Legalizing marijuana for medical treatments could help revert this trend and prevent the untimely deaths of so many young people who are unfortunately caught in the dangerous downward spiral of opioids abuse. Still, data can only begin to be compiled on this relatively new branch of medicine.
The road towards are more sensible drug policy is bumpy and difficult to predict, but studying the potential of legalization is a necessary step towards a better understanding of a wide range of social issues.