Marijuana has been legalized in many states of U.S and it has been observed as a public health success product by curbing cigarette smoking since then. The recreational pot use is not being accepted by all federations as it is still type of smoking which can endanger health.
However, the advocates of marijuana have stated that tobacco cigarettes have no comparison with the recreational weed smoke as its lungs health risks are relatively very small than that of tobacco smoke. Also, marijuana has health benefits as it can be used without inhaling the smoke.
It can ease chronic pain unlike tobacco without risking overall health. Tobacco has always been associated with lung damage whereas marijuana does not show any link to cause any damage.
Health officials have growing concerns about the safety of marijuana use in long term as they are not sure about inserting and legalizing the weed for vaping.
Cigarette smoke has always been considered as the first and foremost factor for lung disease whereas marijuana is not seen to have any link with lung cancer. There have been two decades of research conducted on the marijuana to prove its effects on health along with the benefits.
Reports have concluded that cigarette smoke is the world’s leading cause of heart disease but it is still unclear if marijuana even has an effect on the heart. Marijuana was studied for other effects such as chemotherapy and the nausea related to it. It was found to ease the pain and nausea related to chemotherapy giving the patients a big relief.
Evidence was also found that marijuana can increase the risk of schizophrenia and traffic crashes. The legalization of marijuana has been documented to give rise to the emergency room visits in Colorado which has become a cause of concern for other states as well.
Marijuana and tobacco can also go together in risking health as one causes reinforcement of the other and this can lead to addiction. Marijuana in the wrapper will mostly also contain tobacco leaves which become popular with use. Use of one drug automatically increases the likelihood of dependence on the other drug.
Some health officials have still been convinced that marijuana should be legalized by putting guardrails around it to decrease the health risks and its addiction power.
The New York Health Department drug policy analyst stated that tobacco is not safe for use in any quantity and therefore it cannot be termed safe for health in any case. Whereas he also added that marijuana can be addressed and regulated for its beneficial properties.
Other health authorities within New York oppose the statement and do not agree on legalization for marijuana. Vaping is another kind of inhaling weeds which involves heating of a solution for inhaling. Vaping is less harmful for lungs than the other forms of smoke.
The American Lung Association also viewed marijuana vaping as harmful for the lungs as it will only complicate the issue. Two views have been shared by health associations for marijuana and tobacco. Some of them are clearly in favor of marijuana legalization whereas others are concerned about the addictive properties of weed being no different than tobacco smoke.
The use of marijuana has been studied more for its health benefits to state that it does not risk health related to how tobacco does. Marijuana can be termed as a non smoking alternative which can replace cigarettes some day and pose few risks for health. Legal marijuana can also replace the taxes on cigarettes and the generating revenues with it.
United Kingdom has still a long way to go before legalizing cannabis in the country
Though the United Kingdom is in favor of cannabis legalization, it is still illegal in the country. Let us go through the marijuana sector of the United Kingdom.
Some facts about cannabis consumption in the United Kingdom
The people residing in the United Kingdom strongly favor the legalization of cannabis. But it is limited only to the back door market. There are more than 2.5 million cannabis users in the UK who buy it illegally as reported by the Cannabis Consultancy Prohibition Partners. It makes up almost 4% of the total population of the United Kingdom carrying a worth of more than £5 billion.
It is important to note that 22% of the country’s population smokes tobacco, which makes up the revenue of almost £18 billion annually. Whereas, 60% population of the country drinks alcohol regularly ranging a worth of almost £68 billion.
Legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom
In 2018, the UK legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The major reason behind its regulation was many high-profile cases of epilepsy in children came to light. Cannabis-related medications became the pain reliever for those patients suffering from such high profile epilepsy cases. Still, the use of cannabis for medical purposes is extremely less.
Only the specialist consultant from General Hospital can prescribe it. The UK also allowed hemp oil and CBD, containing less than 0.2% THC, in the country. But a medical license is mandatory for using them too.
Which country is the largest exporter and producer of legal marijuana across the globe?
Although the stance of the government of the United Kingdom is much strict for cannabis users, it is the largest exporter as well as the largest producer of legal medical marijuana in the world according to the reports of United Nations International Narcotics Control Board. This clearly shows that the UK exports all the legal cannabis products manufactured by the country.
There are only two products of medical marijuana in the UK that have a license. One is Sativex which is produced by GW Pharmaceuticals and the other one is Nabilone owned by Eli Lilly.
The contradictory policy of the United Kingdom
It is evident from all the facts mentioned above that the government of the United Kingdom is still confused about whether to legalize marijuana in the country or not. While it is the largest exporter and producer of cannabis, it is very tough for patients of the country to have access to the products of medical cannabis.
This shows the sanctimonious face of the country and it would probably cause difficulties for the cannabis industry in England including the monopoly of licensed manufacturers, high cost and barriers for the new entrants.
Some top-notch stocks of the United Kingdom
Though there are many difficulties for marijuana companies in the UK, there is a large range of public companies. According to the London Stock Exchange, most companies have other side businesses too other than cannabis. Some top cannabis stocks of the United Kingdom are GW Pharmaceuticals, Futura Medical, Integumen, AfriAg, and Sunrise Resources.
New Jersey still waiting to Regulate Cannabis for Recreational Purposes
The members of the Senate of New Jersey were going to vote on the bill of expungement on September 12. This bill was related to the convicts of marijuana and also involved some recommendations from Governor Philip D. Murphy.
But, as mentioned by one of the articles of NJ Advance Media, Senators including Teresa Ruiz, Sandra Cunningham and Stephen Sweeney, the President of the Senate of New Jersey, launched a new legislation. In light of the article, the new legislation will widen the restrictions on the offenders charged with cannabis-related offenses to entreat expungement.
But the bill could not pass because the Democrats failed to gather enough support in the Senate on 12th September.
History of marijuana legalization in New Jersey
In New Jersey, only medical cannabis is legal yet. Though Governor Philip D. Murphy along with other Democrats tried several times to regulate recreational cannabis, they failed to gather enough support to pass the bill.
Governor Corzine signed the Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act of New Jersey in 2010 to regulate marijuana for patients suffering from chronic illness. This year, Governor Philip Murphy passed the Jake Honig Law. This law relieved the restrictions including the amount of medical marijuana any patient could buy and the number of visits to physicians required to purchase it.
For recreational marijuana, Senator Scutari first launched a bill on 17th May to regulate adult-use marijuana. But the Governor of New Jersey at that time, Chris Christie, opposed this legalization. As a consequence, the bill rejected. When Murphy was elected as the Governor of New Jersey, he launched a campaign to regulate marijuana in the state. Governor Philip Murphy had full control of the Democrats in the Senate as well as in the Assembly. But he could not succeed to legalize recreational cannabis. The major reason for failure was the disharmony among the party. Also, African American members of the senate strongly opposed this bill.
The people residing in New Jersey favor the regulation of adult-use cannabis. According to the Cannabis Business Executive, a survey conducted by Monmouth University suggested that 62% of adults of the state were in favor to legalize a small amount of marijuana in possession for recreational purposes. The survey also indicated that 74% of the adults were in favor to remove the charges on offenders charged for cannabis-related offenses. In the United States of America, 33 states have legalized the use of medical cannabis. Whereas, only 11 states including Oregon, Massachusetts, Alaska, and California have allowed recreational marijuana.
Some advantages of the legalization
There are many advantages of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. It would not only create new job opportunities but also increase tax revenue. According to the article of NJ Advance Media, the Governor of New Jersey believes that $80 million would be collected by the state as a cannabis tax revenue in the upcoming year. It involves $20 million from cannabis for health purposes and $60 million from cannabis for recreational purposes. This regulation will also allow cannabis companies to enlarge their businesses across the state.
What Do the British Have to Say About Cannabis?
Many British leaders from political parties in the United Kingdom are of the belief that the UK will be fully legalizing cannabis in the coming decade.
Political leaders from the Labor’s party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats highly appreciate the legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom. The world is in an economic crisis. Many nations are looking forward to methods that will expand their economy.
Cannabis offers the brilliant potential for expanding the global market and help it reach up to the mark. This is because cannabis has over 500 applications in the industry. Moreover, the amazing influence it has on the medical sector is rudimentary for its popularity.
CBD has benefits in almost all kinds of industries like medicines for inflammation, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chemotherapy nausea and emesis, epilepsy, endometriosis, and others. It has also been proved to relieve anxiety. Also, it has found uses in replacement therapy and others. Harvard Medical School states its seizure alleviating properties.
Is Cannabis legal in the United Kingdom?
Cannabis is illegal in the United Kingdom at the current moment. However, it is regarded to be the most popular drug in the country. Thirty percent of the adults out of the total population have tried the substance for once at least in their lives.
Much of the opinion of the British politicians in the United Kingdom was not in favor of the legalization of cannabis. However, the sudden upsurge about the emerging industry in Canada and the United States of America has quite changed their perspective.
They want to legalize the market and regulate it, so the business shifts away from underground gangs. This way, more young people will purchase and sell the substance more responsibly and safely. The black market will fail to thrive under such approval. However, there will be a dire need to organize the distribution in the country properly.
The opinion of Liberal Democrats on cannabis legalization
Liberal Democrats have moved forward with the campaign to legalize the substance in the United Kingdom. Though refined products like cannabidiol oil can be bought over the counters in the United Kingdom, oils containing the psychoactive compound THC are not legal.
Some consumers have found that the oil containing THC does not cause a high. Instead, it has helped them get better sleep. They believe that this oil is purely for relaxation purposes. On the contrary, this oil is legal for recreational purposes.
Opinions against the legalization of cannabis
Some British politicians are not truly in favor of complete legalization but are open to the idea. There is a need for more analysis before the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. The experts suggest that it would take around a decade to fully comprehend the specifications before full legalization.
While the world is moving forward with making the global economy better, some political representatives are against legalization. They criticize that the legalization of cannabis and cannabis-derived product will not eliminate the black market. In addition, they also believe that the full legalization does not fully address the harms of drug dependence.
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