This year, Marylanders were given an important question on this year’s voting ballots, “Should marijuana be legal in Maryland for adults 21 and over?” In June, Maryland lawmakers are answering the question for adult use legalization for cannabis that will be going into effect July 1, 2023. The plan that’s laid out is just a framework of what’s to come, and there are still many questions to be asked and answered (This will eventually get figured out between the MMCC and other organizations.)
Aside from whether or not it’s going to be recreational doesn’t take away from the fact that cannabis provides benefits to the societies it’s legalized in. Here are some reasons why recreational cannabis is right for Maryland, and what Lead4Life wants to do about it.
Benefits of Cannabis on Physical/Mental Health: This herb has been harvested and utilized for thousands of years, and with a combination of stigma, over indulgent sweeping drug legislation, and unfruitful political battles caused marijuana to be kept in the shadows. Recently, cannabis has been in the headlines for over two decades for its incredible help in medical advancements. The chemicals it contains, THC and CBD, have both been found to help in cancer treatments, physical therapy, various mental health disorders, and much more that’s still being discovered and applied.
The medical benefits are obvious, but, the real change comes in social and policy reform.
Benefits to Society: Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana shook the world in 2012, but in hindsight, it worked out really well for the state, and now everyone is following their steps. “Today, the once-underground endeavor is a $2 billion per year industry in Colorado, and research on its chemical makeup, health benefits and risks is flourishing at institutions around the country.”
Of course, Colorado is the prime example whenever one talks about cannabis laws, but there are many other examples of states benefiting from medical & recreational marijuana (Maryland, California, Florida, District of Columbia, to name a few.) Here are some, just to name a few:
State Tax Benefits: States that have introduced cannabis to purchase have had tremendous increases in cash flow. “Legalization of cannabis products has been a boon for state budgets, with states reporting a combined total of $10.4 billion in tax revenue from cannabis sales as of the close of 2021, not including any revenue produced by medical marijuana distribution. Local towns and cities with thriving marijuana operations have also generated millions.”
Social Justice: Legalizing marijuana for recreational use also brings benefits to the people, in terms of social justice, such as reducing arrests for possession, which would reduce stress in the overall system. Including trials, sentencing, prison capacity, etc.
Problems with Cannabis: Cannabis provides many benefits to our society and our citizens, but we must try to not promote this product as a “cure-all.” It’s healthy to understand the boundaries of every substance, and how we can apply it the best way possible. Here are some potential issues that cannabis could bring:
Need the Infrastructure: Introducing cannabis to a state brings a lot of benefits, but the most difficulty comes in when creating a solid foundation for the cannabis industry to grow from. You must keep in mind dispensary locations, keeping up to date with laws and regulations, and being responsible with the medicine, and the money that it brings in. The last thing the state needs to do with this potential fund increase is to squander it on wasteful projects.
What Lead4Life is Doing to Help:
Maryland is one of the lucky 21 states to be involved with legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but we the people, and our leaders must know what benefits and detriments it brings to Maryland.
Lead4Life is very much involved and in support of the recent cannabis legislation. So much so, that this year’s Mental Health Symposium is dedicated to how cannabis legislation will affect those with mental health challenges. If you’re interested in attending or just want to learn more, click here: Mental Health Symposium.
Do your part by learning more about what Maryland lawmakers plan to do, and how cannabis is going to change your local community.
Let Lead4Life Help
At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.