In new book, WSU Vancouver professor sees benefits of legalized marijuana

In the months after Washington voters permitted legalized marijuana in 2012, Clayton Mosher, a sociology professor at Washington State University Vancouver, observed what he believed to be pointless security considerations.

Years after gross sales started, Mosher believes the apprehension has been confirmed to be unwarranted.

“We’re only four years out, but I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of negative outcomes,” Mosher stated. “We’ve done a really good job in our state, I think.”

Mosher, who has studied marijuana coverage for roughly 30 years, just lately launched his new guide “In the Weeds,” which he co-wrote with Scott Akins, an affiliate sociology professor at Oregon State University. The e-book traces the evolution of society’s views on the drug and the way it has affected coverage.

The e-book tackles the consequences, medical purposes and potential harms of marijuana. While legalization throughout the U.S. gained’t occur within the foreseeable future, and the rollout of some states’s new marijuana legal guidelines have been clunky, the benefits have significantly outweighed the dangers in Washington, Mosher stated.

One of the chief considerations following the 2012 vote was that simpler entry to the drug would result in extra motorcar crashes. In 2016, 110 Washington drivers died whereas underneath the affect of the drug, based on a 2018 report from the state Traffic Safety Commission. By comparability, 132 individuals died whereas underneath the affect of alcohol, 152 from rushing and 154 from distracted driving.

“The idea that it was going to lead to this carnage on the roads is really not manifesting,” Mosher stated.

Another concern was that youth use would rise sharply. In 2016, 26 % of 12th graders reported utilizing marijuana within the earlier 30 days, in response to the newest Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. Rates have been decrease for youthful college students.

Mosher stated the state has established a system of strong checks on marijuana dispensaries that has restricted the quantity of teenagers accessing the drug.

Some research have linked marijuana to psychosis, schizophrenia and different psychological sicknesses. Mosher questioned how these research quantified their outcomes and characterised many of the conclusions as correlational.

“We really don’t know what’s going on there,” Mosher stated. “It’s by no means a proven relationship.”

Mosher additionally acknowledged some points with marijuana.

On the enterprise aspect, he pointed to a scarcity of correct licensing restrictions — particularly in Oregon — as a serious purpose the drug has been overproduced, dramatically decreasing costs. Also, whereas dangers to teenagers are usually not as pronounced as many thought a number of years in the past, some attitudes towards marijuana are problematic, he stated.

“A lot of people think, especially young white males, that ‘I drive better when I’m smoking pot,’” Mosher stated.

But the few destructive outcomes don’t harsh authorized marijuana’s excessive, Mosher stated.

Mosher particularly pointed to security benefits — a greater means to check marijuana for pesticides and mould — and income — a whole lot of tens of millions of tax dollars collected by the state annually. He added that the income could possibly be directed towards schooling about methods to safely eat the drug, together with campaigns towards driving beneath the affect.

A serious takeaway from “In the Weeds” is that marijuana has been used for a lot of centuries and has not brought on the problems that many have theorized, Mosher stated.

“If the sky was going to fall, it probably would’ve fallen by now,” Mosher stated, “Legalization didn’t create marijuana, and we’ve seen some positive effects of this.”


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