Some people find the commercialisation of cannabis rather unsavoury but the industry in North America is fast becoming a phenomena industry and UK business enterprises may not catch up on the patents and brands currently establishing themselves stateside.
The cannabis industry is booming in America with retail sales reaching billions of dollars since legislation changes in Colorado and Washington D.C. This shows no signs of slowing down, daily news echoes from other U.S States showing the tide is turning in favour of medicinal AND recreational use, over things like alcohol and tobacco. Health focused and leisure brands will undoubtedly spawn from America and dominate the global market, leaving most of the competition in the dust. Early adaptors will be too busy racing to create the next big thing to be paying attention to naysayer governments elsewhere in the world.
Cannabis can be both enjoyable as a recreation and powerful as a treatment for hundreds (if not thousands) of ailments, diseases and psychological disorders. The diversity of cannabis means its hard to tie down and lock into one category, which isn’t something governments favour but like the rise of the internet it will have its haters and people who don’t see the potential.
Looking at Colorado or Washington’s D.C’s approach to drug policy shows how stagnant drug policies are in the UK. The positive socio-economic effects of ending the war on drugs shows that crime usually goes down while employment usually goes up, overall people are healthier and wealthier. Estimates say the industry will grow into the tens of billions of dollars in the next 5 years. This is the complete reversal of a 2013 report that headlined: Marijuana Prohibition Now Costs The Government $20 Billion A Year. The figures coming out of Colorado show local people are each over $1000 better off than before the end of prohibition there.
With a budding industry comes opportunity in the form of unforeseen inconveniences, desire to improve user experience and over-looked niches among other things. Future millionaire (or maybe even Billionaire) entrepreneurs will arise from the cannabis industry, capitalizing on the creation of solutions for customers, traders and manufacturers in reaching their end goals. There are also unrealised concepts that will be new avenues and monetary streams of their own. At one time (not too long ago) , before the Internet – Google, Youtube and Facebook didn’t exist, yet they are powerhouses of Industry today. All three of those companies came out of America – and that was with no prohibition on internet companies.
The U.K likes to think of itself as an epicentre of international banking and business, recently showing positive initiative by welcoming the relatively new Bitcoin Industry. Nurturing new industry – like Bitcoin entices the superstars of tomorrow to London instead of say Silicone Valley – Where smoking Cannabis isn’t really frowned upon, and is as socially acceptable as a cigarette in some circles. Some career residents in the Valley even report using cannabis to aide creative flair when programming.
Legal Cannabis businesses will use the internet like all businesses and will no doubt need help from creative tech centres. Its then inevitable that some of that money will spill into the valley because they will have people who use the cannabis industry already, using their experience and knowledge to better shape it’s future. Having a place where they can both thrive is a no-brainer.
Now you’d think all this would have UK bankers, investors and politicians lining up to proclaim – ‘WEED IS THE FUTURE’, but no, the official line is still this childish and stigmatizing approach to cannabis where everyone suffers because policy makers refuse to look at scientific evidence.
The argument holding all this up, is that cannabis “causes schizophrenia”. Cannabis DOES NOT cause mental health problems. It may accentuate a persons underlying problems, but may also relieve another’s’. If someone has a mental health problem they can CHOOSE not to buy alcohol – which is over 100 times more likely to cause harm to the self and others. You can’t ban alcohol though, Just like you can’t ban forks –
” I can take a fucking fork and shove it in my eye, should we make forks illegal ? ” – Joe Rogan.
Both Alcohol and forks are more dangerous than cannabis, but prohibition (because of a minority of bad experiences or potential dangers) is basically keeping adult humans in play pens. Global cannabis use has shot up from the 1950’s yet mental illness has not risen. The argument is null and void now and must be scrutinized at every opportunity. Prescription medications, alcohol, nicotine and other legal highs are sometimes accepted as safe simply because they are legal, but this isn’t just a few silly mis-informed people that think this way but a whole nation of people in places of authority that repeat this information onto the greater trusting public.
Doctors have wrongly diagnosed people as having developed mental health problems from cannabis use without looking at the entire problem, like why they used cannabis and probably other widely available substances in the first place…its lazy and counter-productive.
Recent studies show that cannabis use is less likely to contribute to psychosis than alcohol. Other contributors to anxieties, depression or other mental health problems may be unresolved traumatic events and socio-economic factors such as poverty. People who have suffered traumatic events are more likely to seek out ways to help them forget or feel better, a substance of choice might be cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, sugar or cheeseburgers.
A person can be become addicted to sex or making model airplanes if they find a pleasurable escape in the activity but that does not mean banning those things would work. It becomes apparent that humans can get addicted to anything in a positive and negative way. One person’s hobby may be someone else’s nightmare but you wouldn’t ban clown imagery because of a few people who have a genuine fear of clowns.
Even when cannabis is found to be a main contributing factor in a persons mental health it would only further damage that person if they were to be stigmatized then thrown into prison and/or receive a criminal record that would only hinder opportunities for that person in future.
” The war on drugs is being waged against people that were abused & traumatised as children, and have mental health problems. ” – Dr. Gabor Mate
The people who are psychologically affected by cannabis in a negative way are among less than 2% of the population. There are a growing number of people who want to use cannabis as a medicine for things such as MS, Cancer, Aids and Autism among many other diseases and ailments, criminalising those people because of a minority that may have had bad experiences creates a larger problem.
Tax payers pay to arrest, transport, judge, imprison, humiliate and on most occasions needlessly ‘rehabilitate’ people for cannabis use to the cost of £6 Billion pounds or more. Most people with mental health problems find that alcohol can make things extremely worse for them and choose to avoid it. Adult people should have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies.
As bad as alcohol is – the prohibition of alcohol in America didn’t work, it created an unregulated market where the only I.D you needed to buy alcohol was a dollar bill, no regulation meant cheap contaminated alcohol was killing people, it created the mafia who dealt in human suffering which created more casualties. A vicious never ending circle of utter insanity.
Everything about society is better when prohibition ends, it has a positive knock-on effect. As mentioned above – There are more jobs, more jobs mean more people with more money that spend back into their local economies. This helps other industries, including local business directly and indirectly. An estimated 200,000 jobs will be created in the U.S from legal cannabis in 2015.
The tax on cannabis sales contributes to better public services – education, policing, health care etc… this is of instead of letting gangs who trade in human suffering take control to further fund their operations. In a Utopian world there would be no need for money but unfortunately there is a need and its THE language that governments speak. Cannabis advocacy groups spent a total of $9 million dollars in 2014 lobbying the political wings of American politics but in the UK stigma is still so great that most recreational users would rather not enter a debate on cannabis in fear of retribution.
While the general public’s scepticism of cannabis evaporates, politicians still treat mature people like impish children in the U.K. That means ordinary people with families and jobs can’t be trusted to use a herb less harmful than caffeine.
For those of you who absolutely can’t come out of the woodwork because of family, work, home or freedom worries then I would ask you to lend support to whichever pro-cannabis cause you can, either by donating money, giving your vote, your time, your thoughts or ideas, telling others of what that cause is and why you support it- albeit anonymously.