Cannabis legalisation 

All information on the legalisation of cannabis

Everything you need to know to make a responsible choice

Cannabis is an ancient plant long been used by various cultures worldwide for medicinal and recreational purposes and even for religious and spiritual rituals. The cultivation of this plant has been an essential source of income throughout the world. It has been successfully used in the production of natural textile fibres, the production of flour and seeds for the food industry, and the production of paper and cardboard. In addition to its versatile applications, hemp cultivation also had advantages from a purely agricultural point of view. Thanks to its high resistance to weeds, it contributed to the development of the land and increased its fertility. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the XXᵉ century, it fell victim to severe demonisation due to the effects it was capable of producing on the body when smoked.

This incipient prohibitionism, coupled with the emergence of synthetic textile fibres that were cheaper to produce, marked its gradual decline, culminating in its classification as a narcotic substance and, therefore, illegal. Recently, there has been a worldwide push for the decriminalisation of marijuana, mainly because of its perceived beneficial properties. Let’s try to understand together what could be the advantages and disadvantages of its return to legality. Legal cannabis plant

The European situation

If we take the other European countries as a reference, we can see that there is no standard and heterogeneous attitude towards the legalisation of cannabis. There are different schools of thought on the subject. In some countries with no distinction between soft and hard drugs, such as Hungary, cannabis is treated like any other drug. Thus, offences related to cannabis are legally treated in the same way as those related to cocaine or heroin, for example. The Netherlands, on the other hand, has a tolerant policy towards marijuana, which is considered a soft drug. Accordingly, it has opted for regulations that limit production to licensed dealers and allow consumption only in designated areas. In this context, Italy – JustBob‘s home country and one of the forerunners in the advancement of CBD and cannabis – is in a middle ground, or nearly so. Under Italian law, the consumption of cannabis itself is not a crime, but paradoxically it is prosecuted if it is sold, bought or cultivated. This contradiction calls for a reform of the drug law to make it clearer, easier to understand and apply in practice.

Read also: Cannabis in Italy: the Cassation says yes to Referendum

What the different bills in Europe say

In this respect, many petitions have recently been launched in Italy, France, Germany, the UK and across Europe, which has gathered millions of signatures in a few days. The object of this demand of the people to their government is precisely the legalisation of cannabis. In Italy, for example, with more than 630,000 signatures, the proposal was to amend the consolidated text on the regulation of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, referred to in Presidential Decree 309/1990, from the penal point view, but also in terms of administrative sanctions. Furthermore, across Europe, concerning possession for personal use, it is proposed to decriminalise home cultivation of up to a maximum of four female plants and to abolish the prison sentence, replacing it with community service, up to a maximum of two times, after which an arrest would be made. Administratively, it is proposed to remove the suspension of driving licences and the prohibition on obtaining them, except in cases of driving under the influence of drugs. Proposal to remove suspension of driving licences

What effect does legalisation have on society?

As can be imagined, legalisation would have far from adverse effects on society. First of all, it would deprive organised crime of a large part of its income and undoubtedly allow for greater surveillance by the authorities. In addition, data from previous countries show that underage use decreased following legalisation, as did hard drug use. The theory that marijuana is a stepping stone to problematic drug use is also refuted. Another direct consequence of decriminalisation and reduced arrests would be empty prisons, which are currently known to be overcrowded. A more permissive and, at the same time, the better-regulated policy would weaken the black drug market to a large extent, to the benefit of citizens and the state. The money, which today feeds organised crime, would instead go into the state coffers. It seems more than evident that the prohibitionist policy is not the best way forward, especially as it has not had the desired effects, given that marijuana continues to be consumed, albeit illegally.

And what about the health effects?

There is only one other fundamental aspect left to address to give a complete perspective: the effects that marijuana can have on the health of those who use it. Recent studies show that marijuana does not seem to have adverse effects on the body, quite the contrary. No deaths have been attributed to cannabis use, and no overdose cases have been documented. On the other hand, one of its two main active ingredients, CBD, appears to have many beneficial and relaxing properties in treating various disorders. The main contraindication to marijuana use would be the method of use, which involves the act of smoking and has the consequences already known from tobacco use, although to a lesser extent. It should also be noted that there are many other ways of using cannabis that overcome the problems associated with combustion and smoke inhalation.

Read also: Is marijuana hallucinogenic?

In conclusion

After a quick review of the main consequences of legalising cannabis, it seems complicated to believe that some people still strongly oppose this measure. Indeed, we reiterate that marijuana is produced, sold and consumed, despite its illegal status.

Therefore, opposition to its legalisation is not an excellent way to limit or even eliminate its spread for those who hope for it. On the contrary, it would be good to accept the reality and find ways to manage and regulate it as best we can.

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