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The Social Effects of Legalizing Cannabis

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Social Effects of Legalizing Cannabis

Ever since the first states legalized cannabis, scientists have been studying the implications it has on people. On community. On society. With access to the best marijuana delivery DC offers, everybody is happier. Much happier. And studies prove it. Now, with everybody legalizing, we have enough data to analyze the social impacts of legalization. Findings are consistent everywhere. All is good. Now, we have clarity. Clearly, legalization is beneficial to society in many ways. From every notable social marker comes positive statistics. Think education, crime, public safety, social justice, law enforcement, public health, youth programs, and so much more. Most cannabis taxes fund social investment, like cleaning up the environment, and bettering life for so many people.

Crime and Social Justice

In states that relax their cannabis laws, crime goes down. Data from researchers and law enforcement agencies support this claim. Significantly, specific types of crime go down. Naturally, weed-related offenses lead the pack. No more inmates for possession, cultivation, distribution. Statistics are very interesting. As the Drug Policy Alliance explains, crime drops in a few ways:

  • Washington State saw a 98 percent drop in low-level court filings for weed-related offenses between 2013 and 2015. It went legal in 2014.

  • Washington D.C. legalized in 2014, as well. Possession charges fell almost 99 percent between 2013 and 2016. During the same time, arrests for other pot-related crimes dropped 76 percent.

  • Oregon enjoyed a 96 percent fall in cannabis-related crimes from 2013 to 2016. It legalized in 2014 too.

  • Colorado legalized pot in 2012. By 2015, there were 81 percent fewer marijuana-related court filings.

  • Alaska also went legal in 2014. Between 2013 and 2015, arrests for possession, manufacturing, and sales fell a significant 93 percent.

Of course, one could go on. As more states follow suite, more supportive data becomes available. According to Science Direct, a 2017 report found cannabis dispensaries adding around $30 000 to annual coffers for social programs that benefit local communities. This is only possible when larceny declines at such rapid rates. Other studies show other crimes dropping too, like domestic violence.

Law Enforcement

Since police arrest fewer people now, there is more money available for other projects. Social programs. Officers have time now to pursue real criminals. Those guilty of real crimes. More people are home now, with family instead of jail mates. This too frees up coffers, since there is no need to shelter, clothe, feed them. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars here. Now used elsewhere.

However, there is often a downside. There is one here. Cannabis laws change. Often. Until the dust settles, nobody really knows what they are. Officers are confused. As Colorado State University’s Pueblo Institute of Cannabis Research explains, the complexity of ever-changing laws confuses all, citizen, and officer alike. Luckily, there is now money to fund extensive police training programs.

Public Health

Much evidence proves how cannabis lowers numbers of opioid deaths. It helps treat addiction. Reduces related harm and risk. Legalization shows promise in these statistics. The same Drug Policy Alliance report suggests that it is recreational use, not only medical use, that helps tackle this addiction crisis. For those caught in this grip, cannabis offers hope. Perhaps the only hope.

Most states are okay with medical cannabis. There, opioid overdoses drop around 25 percent. There is a further 23 percent reduction in abuse- or dependence-related hospitalizations. Then, there is still a 15 percent decline in those seeking opioid treatment. These numbers are considerable. Miraculous. Turns out, legalizing cannabis can save many of these people. Give them back to their families.

This report by the Drug Policy Alliance also references a Colorado study. It found rates of opioid deaths falling at a steady .70 every month after legalization. For a very long time before that, decades maybe, opioid overdoses have been rising at alarming speeds. Every year, numbers were increasing in Colorado and in both Washington's. Right up until legalizing weed. Almost to the day.

Education and Youth

In liberal cannabis states, the Drug Policy Alliance’s report highlighted the stabilization of use among youngsters. Patterns are similar in states yet to take the legalization plunge, but some studies show so much promise, excitement overflows. For example, several detailed studies found fewer adolescents using weed in legal states, with numbers steadily falling.

Then, in 2017, the U.S. National Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration released their study. It also showed teen weed use slowing everywhere where it was now legal and sensibly regulated. This includes both Washingtons, Oregon, Colorado, California, and others. In all these places, youth use rates are lower than they have been in a decade.

Public Safety

Several public safety concerns have been hovering around the subject of legalization for eons. However, as in all else, this same report shows freeing the herb does not have any negative effects on road safety anywhere. In fact, people are even more careful. DUI numbers dropped significantly after legalization. More people were searching “weed delivery Washington DC.” Not driving drunk.

Furthermore, the research team found no correlation between accident rates and legalization either. No suspicious increases. No weird behavior. Again, people are more careful. As the Journal of the American Public Health Association details, such studies support prior findings. Road fatalities are not increasing in any states with lax laws. Instead, they are declining. Since weed is never reckless.

Clearly, legalizing cannabis has many positive social effects. Society benefits in many ways, and even more so as other states legalize too. More study is essential. Scientists are tracking and analyzing important social metrics. Even so, available evidence puts old lies, untruths, and myths to bed. There is no danger in legalizing. Not to person. Not to community. Not to society. Not to anyone.

In fact, the opposite proves true. Legalizing is good for all. Simply searching “cannabis delivery DC” widens community reach and generates local employment. It keeps stoned drivers away from the road. Honestly, there is no better way to guarantee public safety than have people happy where they are. Pot delivery slashes bud costs too and it prevents arrest, accidental by confused officer or not.

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