10 February 2022 |

Busting The Myths: Is Cannabis Bad for Society?

By Kaitlin Domangue


The Dangers Of Cannabis

Breaking Down The Claims That Cannabis Negatively Impacts Society…

It’s been a long time since society has seen a poster like this and taken it seriously. This poster is from the “Reefer Madness” era of the 1930s when cannabis was quite literally demonized across the United States.

The message to the American people was clear: cannabis “will harm your children. It’s a satanic plant with the power to kill and destroy.”

This plan may have worked 90 years ago, however, in the age of information where we all have access to the internet: concealing the true safety profile of cannabis has become impossible.

The laws are changing, as more and more people — both policy makers and consumers — are made aware that cannabis is far safer to consume than the most commonly consumed recreational substance (alcohol).

In the United States, legal cannabis sales were estimated to have surpassed $25 billion USD in total sales in 2021 — a clear sign that the era of reefer madness is well & truly coming to a close in the United States.

Concerns regarding cannabis

In 2022, there are still many people who believe cannabis is inherently dangerous — despite having access to abundant data that says otherwise.

While there are certain dangers associated with cannabis such as operating machinery while under the influence of cannabis, fewer people subscribe to the viewpoint that consuming cannabis is inherently harmful to your health.

Not to mention, the estimated 3.6 million [https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/512342] American medical cannabis patients who rely on this plant as medicine should eliminate common concerns.

Opioids and cannabis

Cannabis is also helping hundreds of thousands of Americans reduce their intake of opioids, beyond serving as a substitute to alcohol.

Today, opioids are responsible for the deaths of more than [https://drugabusestatistics.org/drug-overdose-deaths/] 136 Americans every single day, and people begin to paint opioids as the true societal menace.

Now, we aren’t ignorant to the potential side effects of cannabis. Some people develop a psychological dependence on cannabis. It can exacerbate mental health conditions in others. Side effects can and do happen.

That said, many pharmaceutical commercials take just as long to list the common side effects as they do to play the entire commercial itself — that’s because substances have side effects.

The good news, however, is that the endocannabinoid system is designed so that dying from too much cannabis is statistically impossible. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for opioids.

What the research says

Let’s dive into the data, though, because there is plenty to prove our point:

American liberatarian think tank, CATO Institute, found, “Overall, violent crime has neither soared nor plummeted in the wake of cannabis legalization.”

Last year, a government-funded study exploring the effects of cannabis prohibition on crime, said: “Our results indicate that MMLs [medical marijuna laws] result in significant reductions in both violent and property crime rates, with larger effects in Mexican border states.”

This 2019 paper, published from the University of Washington Bothell, found neither medical or adult-use legalization increases violent crime rates and could lead to a decrease in these crimes like homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Upon Canada’s federal legalization of cannabis in 2018, this study found a 55% to 65% decrease in cannabis related crimes among the youth.

Our Take

There’s no shortage of data that highlights how cannabis either has no impact on crime or may even reduce it in certain cases in addition to the bounty of medical benefits this plant has to offer.

As opposed to conflating issues that don’t exist, we should instead focus our efforts on solving problems that are harming the cannabis industry today.

One such example is internal theft in the legal cannabis industry which accounts for approximately 90% of financial and product loss today.