Legalisation Of Cannabis Around The World[]

Legalisation of cannabis in various countries is arguably a key factor in driving its market growth.

The global cannabis market appears to be growing at a lucrative rate as an increasing number of people are adopting cannabis products. This popularity is on account of its therapeutic potential to treat several ailments. 

The rise in the legalisation of cannabis in various countries is one of the key factors driving its market growth. 

What is Cannabis?[]

Cannabis is a drug derived from hemp plants such as Cannabis Sativa. It contains two primary active compounds, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), being the principal psychoactive component, and Cannabidiol (CBD) being non-psychoactive. Both these compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system, but their effects differ significantly.

Cannabis can be consumed and extracted in numerous ways, such as smoking, vaping, topical application, etc. 

The effects remain the same, but the time required for one to feel these effects and their duration differs in each way. A number of cannabis stores have popped up online purporting to sell cannabis and its by-products. These can be easily found by doing a simple google search online.

It is also a well-known fact that people use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. As the legal use of cannabis grows, people appear to becoming more curious about it.

Legalisation of Cannabis Around the World[]

The world attitude towards cannabis arguably appear to be shifting. 

Uruguay was the first country to legalise the use and sale of marijuana for recreational use in 2013. 

Canada followed its lead, legalising cannabis in a bold act in 2018. 

In the United States, both medical and recreational marijuana at the federal level remains illegal as the Controlled Substances Act places it in the restricted category. However, state-approved ballot initiatives led to its legalisation in several states - California being the first. 

In several other countries around the world, medical marijuana is legal, but recreational use of cannabis remains illegal. These countries include Argentina, Australia, Chile, Greece, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Finland, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Malta, Macedonia, Peru, Poland, San Marino, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, and Israel. 

Despite legalisation, countries have strict regulations surrounding cannabis that might hinder the market growth. However, with the launch of several education programs providing information on the cultivation of medical marijuana and its distribution, there is arguably a shift in perspective.

In Australia the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) legalised cultivation of cannabis and possession of cannabis- representing the first jurisdiction in the country to take this step on 31 January 2020.

However, despite the ACT legalising recreational cannabis, albeit with conditions and restrictions, the federal laws of the nation (which are meant to override), still prohibit it. This has created inconsistency and is in need of review. Drug lawyers have noted that many cannabis possession offences in NSW are dealt with by way of a caution. This means that no conviction is recorded against the person and there is also no Court date. In those circumstances, there is a strong argument for cannabis possession to be legalised throughout the state.

Click here for an outline on drug charges and penalties in NSW, Australia.

Why are Countries Legalising Cannabis?[]

Medical Benefits[]

With more people understanding the health benefits of cannabis, there is a higher demand for its products, be it creams, lotions, edibles, capsules, and more. It is an organic way to treat several ailments, be it mental disorders or physical issues in the body. 

These include chronic anxiety, depression, digestive problems, cancer, and several sleep disorders. Moreover, because it provides a natural alternative to synthetic medication, an increasing number of people resort to it.

1.   Growing Public Support[]

One of the primary reasons for several countries legalising marijuana is the growing public support for it, especially the millennials who favor it. 

This is placing pressure on the legislators to back legalisation laws, especially in the United States, where at least two-thirds of Americans support it.

2.   Creation of Jobs[]

The legal marijuana business is creating job opportunities for a vast number of people around the globe. 

In addition to the cultivators, manufacturers, dispensaries, and deliverers, this market created jobs for professionals, such as accountants and tax experts. 

According to a 2019 study, cannabis directly employs about 211,000 full-time workers in the United States, thereby known as ‘America’s hidden job boom.’ 

3.   Eradicating the Black Market[]

Many governments around the world legalised cannabis on the assumption that its consumers would prefer legal, state-sanctioned marijuana for apparent reasons. 

A lot of people understand how illegal cannabis may not be safe. Secondly, with the booming market demand, investors and entrepreneurs would crowd this market, eradicating illicit suppliers. 

With the erosion of the widespread black market and cannabis-related organised crime, governments could gain substantial tax revenue from the sale of cannabis products. 

The decriminalization of cannabis in many countries has led to positive outcomes. 

There is a significant decrease in the black market. There are several reasons behind this; the primary ones being easy accessibility, low price, and a wide range of products to choose from. 

4.   Cutting Down Law-enforcement Costs[]

Governments around the globe spend billions of dollars to enforce cannabis regulations. 

Legalisation can, therefore, reduce government spending considerably.

Why should cannabis be legal everywhere?[]

Though people have been using cannabis for centuries, only a few understand it in its entirety. 

Several misunderstandings and myths are surrounding it. Many people believe that individuals using cannabis are likely to develop a dependence or addiction to it. However, a study indicates that approximately only 9% of people get addicted to it. 

Another misunderstanding people have is that overdosing on cannabis can lead to death. 

While overdosing may have adverse effects, it is unlikely to cause death. Moreover, a study states that marijuana is safer as compared to other recreational drugs, including alcohol. 

Apart from its medicinal benefits and advantages to the economy, it’s argued that it should be legalised because it is much safer and is associated with a lower mortality rate than other drugs such as cocaine or meth. 

Final Thoughts[]

With more reliable information available to people these days, they have started to comprehend the benefits of cannabis. 

It’s arguably only a matter of time before governments begin legalising cannabis. Several countries have already made medical marijuana legal. Hence, researchers expect the cannabis market to witness immense growth because of its legalisation in the upcoming years.