Cannabis Outside The Blackmarket: How Would It Work?

Throughout my research among the pro-cannabis community, I found a recent article that I believe is very pertinent to looking at how certain facets of society would change if cannabis were legalised. These aren’t, perhaps, as drastic as one would think, however the ideas posed in the article, which I will summarise below, run against stereotypes that people who want marijuana legalised haven’t thought through the complications of it.

The first of these notions that is mentioned in this article, published on The Weed Blog by regular contributor Johnny Green, is that there would need to be a more streamlined way to get licences to sell  cannabis itself, a process that would need to be accommodating to allow for diversity within the establishments that wanted to sell. This would work in a similar sense to how alcohol has been served in public places. Smoking marijuana, as Green argues, can be as social a practice as drinking, and would be a popular choice for a night out for those so inclined. A pub on every corner, a weed cafe on the next; the idea is that small business can flourish on a local level, while also allowing for specialty establishments to crop up (they may sell special strains, offer special foods etc). Green further argues that with alcohol, 40% of annual sales (an absurd amount in $$) in the US is generated from on premises-consumption, and of course, people are always willing to pay more for the convenience.

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The Netherlands has long reaped the benefits of marijuana legalisation and small business. Photo source: free photo on openphoto.net

The second major point he raises is that, given our ubiquitous presence on the web, an online system could be used for licensed vendors that deliver to ‘verified’ (18+) customers. The package would need to be signed for by an adult, and this once again allows smaller operations to surface who may not be able to afford the upkeep of a proper public establishment. While such a service would only be for residents, the public establishments mentioned above would be excellent, as green mentions, for tourism – further injecting more money into the economy.

So how does this effect the blackmarket? Well, it’s simple and common-sense, the more available cannabis is through online vendors, dispensaries and public houses, the less of a demand there will be. Unless there would be a significant difference of price for blackmarket cannabis, it would likely vanish all together. Such competitiveness seems unlikely, as according to submission on The Price Of Weed, medium grade ounces are selling for as low as $50 in Colorado, who have legalised the drug, as opposed to Sydney, where an ounce of medium grade can cost up to $250.

What the average person doesn’t realise here is that cannabis for consumption is not the only market that could be tapped into upon legalisation. I’ll be expanding on this a little more down the line, but for now, type in ‘uses of hemp’ to get you started, and while you’re there read Green’s full article on this subject.

 

 

 

 

 

A Myth In Deconstruction: Is Cannabis bad for your health?

In a world that is progressively concerned with science and prevention of diseases and other illnesses, the role of drugs has become ever more crucial. What is interesting, however, are the ‘facts’ that become pertinent to popular belief; glorified myths, if you will, of certain drugs and their effect both on the physical and mental health of the human being. Many of us are happy, when not feeling the best, to go to the doctor and get a prescription of a pill even your GP can’t pronounce the name of and guzzle 2 down with a Mountain Dew, often oblivious to the laundry list of side effects printed in size 6 font on the back of the box. Doctors orders, right? Trust in the doctor is essential here, and that’s perfectly fine. But what about illegal drugs? There are some studies for them, but their illicit nature proves a hurdle in keeping these constant, so what remains is myths and heresay as to the effects of the drug and its impact on health.

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Doctors hold the key to changing opinions on the health risk of cannabis. Source: free photo on openphoto.net

Cannabis is one of these drugs, and has more myths tied to it arguably than any other given it is        often the most widely used illegal drug in any given country (A 2007 study showed 10% of the       Australian population had smoked cannabis in the past year). Many people I have spoken to hold  the belief that cannabis has been scientifically proven to be bad for your health, is addictive or is a  lot stronger today and therefore more harmful. For those so inclined to believe such propaganda  that was put forth by the US Government in the 1960’s and 70’s and has unfortunately stuck, this  article is a short read and a great start for you. For those of you who want something a little more  recent, the internet was flooded yesterday with articles relating to a new study regarding cannabis  use that thankfully, just gives us the facts.

The study, which was a combination of efforts by the Boston University School of Medicine and  researchers at the Boston Medical Center, honed in on 589 adults who were positively identified as  having used recreational drugs in routine checkups. The research found that 84% had used  marijuana recently, 58% of which used marijuana and no other drugs. It was ideal to know other  drugs in the mix here, as researchers did not want to blame health effects on one specific drug if it  had been take in conjunction with others. What was found, however, says head author Daniel  Fuster, MD, is that “our findings suggest that marijuana use has little measurable effect on self- reported health or healthcare utilization”. This also documented the frequency of use, which did  not change the facts presented.

Such evidence produced here is positive and a step in the direction of raising awareness around the issue of cannabis as an illegal drug. The fact that alcohol and cigarettes remain legal despite the constant reporting of their detrimental effects to health and well-being means that more research needs to be done to consolidate the case and change popular opinion around the drug. For recreational users, this is something solid to go off, though it would be interesting to see a study where cannabis users are compared against those that abstain from any recreational drugs.

Do You Even Spliff? Marijuana and Weight-Loss

It’s no secret that gym culture has taken a steady rise in popularity in the last few years. Fitness has, of course, always been a concern to the public at large, but the proliferation of 24 hour gyms and new and emerging supplements and diets are making the idea, for some, more appealing. But what if you could ditch the cardio and infomercial diet scams and trade them in for a toke of a joint a few times a week?

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Could weed be the key to a slimmer wasitline?
Photo source: Free image on openphoto.ent

A study conducted earlier in the year by GW Pharmaceuticals discovered that two compounds found in the cannabis plant, THCV and cannabidol, can increase the speed fat stored in the body is lost, keep cholesterol levels at bay and improve metabolism rates. The study arose in light of data collected by The American Journal of Medicine back in May that gathered statistically, among their test subjects of 5000 people, those who smoked marijuana were leaner than abstainers. Particularly pertinent, perhaps, when 63.7 of the Australian population is overweight

Such research, although intriguing, needs to be furthered by other organisations; a difficult process given that the drug is illegal in most countries across the world. Smoking cannabis is also, as many health professionals would argue, not an effective delivery method for the drug, as smoking any plant matter fills your lungs with unnecessary and harmful carcinogens. In any case, these studies do effectively further reveal that cannabis has medicinal value; a radical concept in comparison to scientific and political mindframes 30-40 years ago  In order to open up the possibilities of how it can be administered, which can include pill form, or healthy edible products, legalization, at least for medicinal purposes, is a must.

What is your stance on the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes?

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