28 states in the United States, as well as many other countries around the world, have legalized medical marijuana – with some even legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Canada, under the Liberal Government, recently proposed a bill legalizing not only medical marijuana, but also recreational marijuana. There are many reasons why cannabis is a medicine worth legalizing.
The medical applications of cannabis are vast. Clinical studies have shown that the chemical compounds in cannabis – CBD and THC – effectively treat chronic pain and a significant number of other ailments. The largest-ever study on cannabis examined over 10,000 other studies and found cannabis to be an effective treatment for chronic pain suffers, and medication for many other health conditions. Cannabis can be an effective treatment option for those suffering from muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis, for nausea in those undergoing chemotherapy, for inflammation, arthritis, fibromyalgia, anxiety, stress, PTSD and more.
In addition to its ability to effectively treat pain and many other health conditions, medical marijuana has also been proven to lower incidents of opioid prescriptions and opioid-related deaths. Statistically, the states that have legalized medical marijuana, suffer from fewer incidents of opioid-related deaths. Another anticipated benefit of legalizing cannabis is that the profits to organized crime from the marijuana drug trade will be cut off and replaced with legitimate business and government profits.
However, while the above noted benefits of cannabis legalization are real, the present lack of regulation needs to be addressed. With marijuana anticipated to be legalized as of July 2018, current suppliers exist in a legal grey area and don’t necessarily feel pressure to meet Health Canada standards. This is evident in that ⅓ of Toronto dispensaries do not currently comply. Non-regulated cannabis could potentially contain everything from yeast and mold to bacteria typically found in sewage and the intestinal tracts of humans. In fact, a study of a popular dispensary in Toronto found that its marijuana contained 9 times the acceptable amount of yeasts and molds, as well as a large traces of the bacteria often found in sewage. Many our hopeful that legalization will address issues of regulation and quality control.
While cannabis has had a long, complicated history the benefits of its legalization cannot be denied. Once the Liberal government's recently proposed bill passes, anticipated to legalize recreational marijuana use as of June 2018, it will be determined whether we will appropriately perceive cannabis in it’s full-potential, as a medicinal treatment option for a wide number of health issues and a much needed defence against the opioid epidemic.
Toronto Defence Lawyers practice in the area of drug offences, successfully defending countless drug offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, including cannabis related criminal offences. This infographic demonstrates the medicinal applications of cannabis and why it is, in fact, a medication worth legalizing.