Marijuana: The other effect

Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of cannabis sativa. It is also referred to many other nicknames: Weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, and Mary Jane are among the many slang names given to the plant.

There are pros and cons with weed when it comes to health. It has been known to prevent cancer from spreading. The cannabis plant stops cancer by turning off a gene called ID-1. It is also known to help ease arthritis discomfort. Weed reduces inflammation and promotes sleep, which helps relieve pain and ache.

However, there are a few cons that show why marijuana is not a useful medication. It can have a huge effect on your respiratory system. The plant is made up of a variety of toxic chemicals, including ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, which can irritate your lungs. When you smoke marijuana, your eyes look red, because it causes blood vessels in the eyes to expand.

Pot has been legalized in both Colorado and Washington for two years and the crime rate has decreased, mainly in Colorado. Researchers state that the overall crime rate in Colorado has decreased by 2.5 per cent, with a 3.1 per cent drop in property crimes and a 12.8 per cent decrease in homicides. In Washington, the crime rates had dropped by 10 per cent after the voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

Colorado taxes have been put to use after marijuana was legalized. Ten per cent of the tax income goes toward surveys, research and public education, 2.6 per cent toward criminal justice and public safety, 1.6 per cent toward youth services, 51.3 per cent is for K-12 education, 11.9 per cent is for regulation, 14.2 per cent is for substance abuse prevention/treatment, and 3.4 per cent goes toward additional public health.

Mason Tvert, vice-president of the Marijuana Policy Project, in Colorado said that marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of programs and services.

“It is funding everything from school construction to substance-abuse treatment to fighting homelessness.” he said. “While it might not fix every school or help every person who needs it, it is having a significant and positive impact on our community.”

Washington has also put its $730 million in marijuana tax revenue to use: $20 million for marijuana education and youth-prevention programs, $55 million for substance-abuse prevention and treatment, about $35 million for community health centres that provide primary and dental care, and nearly $360 million to help fund the state’s share of Medicaid. The remainder, an estimated $240 million over the next two fiscal years, goes into the state’s general fund.

On July 1 next year, Canada will legalize marijuana. Once that’s done, what will our government do with that tax money?

It is predicted that legalized marijuana will generate up to $675 million in combined sales tax revenue. However, that is uncertain and the topic on where the Canadian government will put all this tax money is still unknown.

After taking a look at how Colorado and Washington are handling their tax money and where they have decided to put it towards, I hope that the Canadian government will consider directing the money towards the same areas.

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