Legalization Must Be About More Than Money

CANNABIS CULTURE – Most marijuana-related information focuses on easy methods to make investments, tax income for states, outlets and growers. But there’s lots lacking from this dialog. How are states legalizing marijuana in ways in which shield public well being based mostly on information, science, and rational evaluation?

As of at the moment, 10 states and Washington D.C. have legalized leisure marijuana use. More than 30 have authorized medical marijuana, and each Canada and Mexico have federal approval of medical and leisure utilization. With much more states poised to legalize hashish, ample questions are being raised about governance and regulation, well being results, scientific analysis, and public well being.

In the United States, the place the federal authorities nonetheless formally decrees marijuana to be unlawful, the federal authorities continues to be abdicating its position of main in a world through which there isn’t any pure centralized physique for amassing, analyzing, and sharing info and information discovered throughout states – and from our neighbors to the north and south.

It is significant that we as a nation perceive the potential advantages and penalties of hashish legalization, methods to create smart insurance policies/laws, and methods to design efficient education schemes for clinicians and residents. Cannabis poses totally different points than alcohol or tobacco, and there is a chance to study from these industries about what has labored and what has not. States new to authorized hashish additionally want help and readability as they grapple with public debate, public well being and security challenges, and the complexities of designing a state hashish system.

That’s why the 2019 North American Cannabis Summit is so necessary to nationwide public well being and understanding. This multinational convention presents a impartial discussion board for stakeholders from all arenas to return collectively and talk about controversial subjects objectively, within the context of respectful dialogue and open exploration.

At the 2017 National Cannabis Summit in Denver, attendees felt they might share and ask questions and obtain sensible, relevant information and expertise to deliver again to their states. The 2019 Summit is increasing to incorporate the views and classes discovered from Canada and Mexico, and it’s being held in California—one of many first states to legalize hashish and the one furthest within the journey of implementation.

There are so many questions, and so many unknowns. How does legalization have an effect on our youth? Our seniors? How about pregnant ladies and younger households? What about hashish in sure settings, just like the office, the felony justice system, private household houses, and public housing? How are we monitoring and surveilling the outcomes of legalization and sharing knowledge in constant methods?

Hearing from teachers, researchers, policymakers, implementers, and clinicians provides listeners the type of science-based info they want, whether or not they’re lawmakers, healthcare suppliers, or different researchers looking for their very own solutions.

In January, the 2019 North American Cannabis Summit in Los Angeles will discover themes of public well being, science, and well being fairness; public security; prevention and schooling; rising analysis and epidemiological knowledge; governance, federal regulation, and rising coverage; well being results; and regulatory points.

Before we go an excessive amount of additional down this street, let’s ensure we’re listening to the collective information we’re gaining from the expertise of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Let’s use what we all know and study to tell the rising hashish business, to maintain public well being and the wants of communities entrance and middle, and to implement legalization in as measured and replicable a means as potential.


Linda Frazier is senior program supervisor and director of addictions initiatives at Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP). She has greater than 25 years of in depth management, consulting, and medical expertise in behavioral well being and addictions and is co-chair of the 2019 North American Cannabis Summit. 


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