Article by Julia Veintrop, Cannabis Life Network
I am a criminal in the eyes of the federal government. They just introduced federal funding to the tune of a whopping $274 MILLION DOLLARS to protect people like you from people like me. My crime? I work for a non-profit, strictly medicinal dispensary; the first in Canada, it has been illegally operating for over 21 years. Everyday, people just like me go to work at their dispensary, providing access and guidance to people who need their cannabis but for one reason or another, don’t fit into our government’s Licensed Producer program. According to the public safety announcement made Sept. 8, 2017 by Public Safety Canada, part of the money being used in this giant disaster is to “strictly regulate and restrict access to cannabis”. Here’s why this is a disaster:
Common sense and clinical data is being ignored
Cannabis is not alcohol and it is impossible to fatally overdose from. The area of the brain controlling your heart and lungs can never be overstimulated and shut down from THC. There are over 30 legal substances in my line of vision right now that are legal and all will kill me. The entire justification for this horrific misuse of tax dollars is a fabricated risk to youth driving under the influence and to combat organized crime. However, recent studies in places where cannabis has been legalized show:
Youth: A recent Drug Policy Alliance data report on states where cannabis is legal said, “Despite the belief that marijuana is widely available, preliminary data show that the legalization of marijuana has had little to no impact on the overall rate of youth use of marijuana.”
As more and more evidence is being collected and analyzed, a connection between cannabis access, legalization and increased youth consumption has not been shown to exist. In many cases, according to multiple reports, studies are proving youth cannabis rates have slightly decreased or remained the same.
Driving: This is a theoretical risk, not a real one we are facing. “In Colorado and Washington the post-legalization traffic fatality rate has remained statistically consistent with pre-legalization levels, is lower in each state than it was a decade prior, and is lower than the national rate,” the DPA writes, citing federal traffic statistics through 2014. More recent data through 2015 and 2016 analyzed by the Cato Institute yields similar conclusions.
Organized Crime: The only effect cannabis access has had on the population is a reduction in crime as shown by multiple statistics. It is very frightening to see that although crime rates are dropping as cannabis is becoming more available, the government is ignoring the evidence and increasing the police budget.
Denver saw a 2.2 percent drop in violent crime rates in the year after the first legal recreational cannabis sales in Colorado. Overall property crime dropped by 8.9 percent in the same period there, according to figures from the Drug Policy Alliance. In Washington, violent crime rates dropped by 10 percent from 2011 to 2014. Voters legalized recreational marijuana there in 2012.