We all know what happens to pot itself when it is legalized. There are high taxes placed on it, and there are quality-control regimens that are put into place, to ensure safety and purity. No one argues against quality and purity – and most of us can argue against higher taxes – but what does the legalization do to pot smokers? Will they pay more for quality, or will they stick with their illegally obtained green that is cheaper and has somewhat questionable quality?
Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health Results for Colorado, Washington and Oregon, the study examined changes in rates of marijuana consumption per month. The rate of increase in marijuana use didn’t change significantly after legalization in Colorado, Washington and Oregon. Marijuana use has been steadily increasing in all three states since the early 2000s.
Opponents of marijuana legalization are especially concerned that young people would use more marijuana if it’s legalized. The study looked at surveys of health behaviors conducted in middle schools and high schools as part of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in Colorado and Alaska, and found that there was no significant change in trends of youth marijuana use post-legalization.
So, perhaps the worries about youth and non-pot smokers getting ahold of – and addicted – to legalized pot is wrong. But, it does ultimately help those who would purchase it and smoke it anyway. The better quality-control and purity is great for those who want a superior experience, and the various strains and strengths available in one place benefits those who aren’t sure what they want. But still, legalized marijuana will always be a source of hesitation for many – namely lawmakers.
Many states lack the I&R rulings to allow for a simple vote during election time, and others simply refuse to allow it on the ballot. You can’t blame them; some believe that that rash of stoned drivers may cause problems. But, a rash a drunken drivers cause problems – and alcohol is legal in the united states. It may take years – decades – and even a century – for everyone to get ahold of legalized pot; that is, if they actually want to use it.