As many countries across the globe are legalizing cannabis, here in Spain it’s still up for debate. Granted, there has been some progress towards legalization, but many feel it’s not enough, especially those looking to cannabis for its medicinal benefits.
Following are some of the pros and cons of legalizing cannabis in Spain.
- Cannabis has numerous health benefits. Currently, cannabis cannot be prescribed as medicine in Spain, which sadly deprives those who need countless health benefits, including pain relief, diabetes prevention, relief from many symptoms and side effects of cancer and chemo, help with depression, insomnia, anxiety, and Epilepsy, and so much more.
- Cannabis is less destructive than alcohol. When used responsibly, cannabis is far less harmful than alcohol. It’s neither addictive nor deadly. With wider availability, cannabis can become a substance of choice, likely saving many lives (and livers) in the process.
- Legalized cannabis will provide a big boost to the economy. As with other economies that have received a boost from the legalization of cannabis, Spain could also see a big lift economically. Not only would there be a new source of major tax revenue, but industries including agriculture and medical-related research and development would also benefit.
- Social programs would benefit. In conjunction with the economic benefits, more funds could be put into schools, infrastructure, and social welfare programs to aid the elderly and disadvantaged.
- Reduce black market crime. The legalization of cannabis will ideally allow institutions to replace the black market, subsequently reducing drug trafficking and encouraging young people to access the drug legally.
- Some people see cannabis as a gateway drug. Although numerous studies show contrary evidence, there are many people — including some addiction experts — that feel cannabis use leads to the use of harder drugs. One argument along these lines is that cannabis itself is getting much stronger. For example, cannabis in the 60’s and 70’s typically had a THC level of about 1%. Today’s THC levels can exceed 30%.
- There are adverse health effects. As stated, cannabis offers a wide variety of health benefits, but there are also some negative effects. Of primary concern to physicians is that cannabis smoke – just like tobacco smoke – contains many harmful substances and carcinogens. Also, people who smoke marijuana smoke it in a different way than tobacco, which possibly poses an even greater danger to lungs: With marijuana, the user inhales the smoke deeply and holds it in, giving toxins even more contact with lung tissue. Additionally, when a person smokes a joint all the way to the end, the tar left after burning has high levels of harmful substances that are concentrated on the end of a joint.
- Legalization won’t stop crime. Opponents of cannabis legalization believe that crime will increase, not decrease. They point at Amsterdam as an example, stating that the pot culture there has increased social problems and crime – from muggings and prostitution to hard drug use and gang violence.