In the information age, you can find many different points of view on any subject you could think of. When it comes to marijuana, this is certainly no exception.
In the information age, you can find many different points of view on any subject you could think of. When it comes to marijuana, this is certainly no exception. Just as there have been many different opinions on cannabis throughout history and in various cultures, the internet and current global transportation has now allowed many different ideas and habits to be shared and learned from.
The current situation may be surprising to some, as many people have been brought up to believe that cannabis is an illegal drug that you must stay away from. Whilst it is still illegal to grow, carry and use cannabis in many countries and states, there have been changes through time which it is worth knowing about. In this article we shall explore some of these changes and take a look at various perspectives which exist in today’s world.
Medical Benefits of Cannabis
As medical research into cannabis continues to progress, many qualified doctors are now accepting it as a valid aid to good health. For the same reason that cannabis has been used recreationally around the world by groups of friends, relaxing and allowing peoples minds to open up more, doctors have seen well-controlled cannabis use to alleviate stress. Since stress is often seen as the number one killer in today’s fast-paced society, it seems foolish to simply consider cannabis as dangerous and to be avoided. Clearly it can also be a life-saver in some cases.
The natural active component in cannabis, THC, has been used in pill form for treating nausea in patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy and also to stimulate appetite in AIDS patients. Also a mouth spray, Nabiximols, has been developed and is currently being used in the United Kingdom, Canada and other European countries for helping multiple sclerosis sufferers. This spray uses both THC and another chemical, CBD, which is also found in marijuana. With other research and testing going on around the world, a growing number of states and countries have legalized dispensing of marijuana or its extracts to people with a range of medical conditions.
Dangers & Abuse of Cannabis
Of course, there is another side to the story of cannabis, and with good reason. Just like alcohol, food and other substances, overuse is generally not a good idea. Just like overeating creates weight problems and bad health, there are certainly some dangers to be found with an excessive use of cannabis. It has been found that when you take cannabis into your body, every organ, your nervous system and also your immune system is affected. When you smoke it, THC is absorbed straight away, whereas if you eat it in something like a brownie, it will take longer to reach your bloodstream.
The effects usually last about 3-4 hours. Heart rate is increased by up to two times, so if you are bleeding for some reason then this can be increased, and also there can be an increased risk of heart attack for some people. It isn’t yet known if lung cancer can be caused by the smoking of cannabis, but the lungs can be irritated by the process and coughing can occur. For most healthy people, these things don’t become a problem with moderate cannabis use, but it’s obviously worth being aware of potential dangers for anyone considering using cannabis in any form.
Cannabis Laws Around the World
It is very interesting to see how different countries and states set laws for the growing and distribution of cannabis. Because the laws vary so much, this reflects how much disagreement there is around the use of this controversial little plant. Of course it is always difficult to know whether certain laws are there for the good of the people or to help a government maintain control of either the people or financial streams. This is obviously a huge separate topic, and so for this article we shall just look at the laws and some of the reasons they seem to be there.
In the US, Colorado and Washington state have both legalized cannabis for recreational use, and some of the other states permit medical marijuana. In the UK, however, it remains illegal to possess cannabis for any reason. The choice to keep it completely illegal in many states and the UK seems to reflect the concerns about potentially negative health impacts but is also perhaps a little bit of social engineering due to what governments think the people should be doing with their lives. Objections to completely outlawing cannabis certainly seem valid if you consider it as an assault on free will, and of course there are many people from all levels of society who regularly raise these objections.
Some countries take a permissive view of cannabis use, but don’t allow the trading of it. This seems to be a balanced approach, as it means people are free to grow and use cannabis if they choose to, but they won’t be put under pressure by people trying to sell it for profit. Again, there are arguments which say that entrepreneurs should be free to build a business if they wish to, but the counter-argument is that the law prevents too many people becoming regular users and changing their lifestyle due to the persuasive sales techniques or pressure of those selling it.
Countries which allow personal growing and use of cannabis but not trading of it include Colombia, Ecuador, Netherlands, Peru and Spain. Countries which allow cannabis for medical use include the Czech Republic and Romania. In Uruguay, laws have been much more cannabis friendly in recent years, as it is now possible to buy cannabis from registered growers and use it openly without any criminality.
The most important things to consider when you think about taking or working with cannabis are how you think your health will be affected and what the laws are in the place where you are using it. Remember that knowledge is strength, and if you are well informed then you will know the best way to proceed. Some people even relocate completely so that they can safely and legally use cannabis, which might seem quite extreme but is really a matter of personal lifestyle choice.
It does seem that around the world the laws tend to be relaxing, but there are still strong penalties including fines and even jail in some cases – especially for cultivation and sale of cannabis. Of course, there will always be activities taking place outside of the law, and so it’s impossible to say exactly what the true levels of cannabis use are around the world. Whatever an individual’s experience or beliefs about cannabis, it is a naturally occurring plant which is certainly not going away. It seems that the tensions between law enforcement, protecting people from becoming dependant or abusing cannabis, and those pushing for complete legalization of it, are going to continue for some time.
As more is learned about the plant and its effects, however, and judging by its progress so far within the medical sphere, it seems reasonable to suggest that it will continue to become more widely accepted within societies around the world.