Is Legal Cannabis Harmless? Looking at the Impact in California

This article will explore the impact of the legalization of recreational cannabis in the state of California. It will also take a look at the health risks associated with marijuana misuse, how it’s negatively affecting children, how it’s contributing to the black market, and much more.

It will also discuss the effect that cannabis is having on the environment in California, how high taxation and heavy regulations are affecting cannabis production, and it will also provide information on how people can get access to treatment for cannabis addiction.

The Impact Of Legalization Of Cannabis In California

The state of California legalized medical-grade cannabis in 1996. They then proceeded to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2016. All of these decisions were put in place as part of a movement to effectively eliminate the black market for cannabis sales in California. However, this movement has been unsuccessful in its goal, and the state legalization of cannabis has actually led to a drastic decrease in black market prices for marijuana.

Another problem with the continuing presence of a black market for marijuana in California is the potential for Mexican drug cartels to continue to have a presence, especially since they are responsible for smuggling in heavier drugs, such as heroin.

According to the National Library of Medicine, some of the other harmful effects of access to legal cannabis in California include an increase in the number of fatal car accidents whereby the driver had taken cannabis prior to or while driving, an increase in the number of children visiting hospitals for cause, an increase in children under the age of 17 using cannabis, an increase in the number of arrests for minors who were under the influence of cannabis, and an increase in poisonings as a result of cannabis misuse.

The Problem With Strict Cannabis Regulations In California

The reason for the increase in black market sales of cannabis in California is largely due to the strict regulations that have been put in place by the state government. As a result, this has caused many legal vendors to close down, sell cannabis in other states, or sell within California’s black market.

The strict regulations are linked to other problems that California is facing, such as high taxes, lobbying from various businesses, and rules that have been put in place that enable the government to push legal cannabis companies from the market.

These factors, coupled with the stalling of a range of different pieces of legislation that could potentially address the problems with legal cannabis manufacturing and selling are the reasons behind why many sellers are opting to choose to sell within the black market.

Heavy Taxes On Legal Marijuana In California 

A big part of the issue of high taxes in relation to the production and selling of legal-grade cannabis is the fact that cannabis business owners are not able to deduct business expenses related to the production of their product.

According to the Internal Revenue Code, individuals who produce and sell a controlled substance are not allowed to make deductions or receive credit back during a given tax year. 

This is, of course, a big problem considering the scale of production for cannabis, and how much the expenses are for such an operation. It would raise the question: why would people choose to enter a market that is taxed and regulated so highly? And, which does not enable business owners to claim basic business expenses back?

The Environmental Impact Of Cannabis On California

In addition to the impact that cannabis is having on people’s health, their behavior, and the running of California from a governmental standpoint, it is also negatively affecting the environment.

For example, according to studies conducted on the impact of cannabis on the environment, a lack of regulation on the use of cannabis in regards to how it is irrigated could potentially lead to a significant deterioration in the quality of water, as well as the quantity available in areas of California that are prone to droughts.

Elsewhere there has been a heavy usage of anticoagulant rodenticides (a form of poison used for killing rodents) for the purpose of protecting cannabis farms within California. This particular form of poison bioaccumulates, meaning that the chemicals can build up over time within the rodents, and this can affect the ecosystem since these rodents can pass on diseases. 

Exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides has also been shown to have negatively impacted the rates of mortality and overall fitness of fish, owls, and other animals in California. Therefore, reducing or completely removing the use of anticoagulant rodenticides in order to protect cannabis plants is key in helping to preserve wildlife, as well as protecting the environment in California.

Where To Seek Help For Cannabis Addiction

If people are faced with an addiction to medical cannabis or recreational marijuana, there are many different options available that can help them to gain access to medical treatment. This treatment can help to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms, so that they may begin to gain control over the addiction and then make a decision with how to proceed with their recovery process.

For instance, people can opt to enter a residential treatment program (also commonly known as rehab) in order to benefit from the help and support available from healthcare professionals who are trained to help people to fight their addictions.

Once the physical withdrawal symptoms have been properly managed, patients can take advantage of the resources, counseling, and therapy options available at the treatment facility.

These programs will help patients to address the root causes of their addiction, thereby helping them to shed light on what may have caused the addiction, how to overcome them, what steps can be taken and consistently followed in order to prevent relapse, and what the patient can do to take control of their life and move forward in a positive way.

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David
David is a 28-year-old struggling artist who enjoys planking, upcycling and binge-watching boxed sets.