#Legalization of marijuana is seldom talked about in the #UK, people who initiate the conversation are often scrutinized with the social stigma of being a ‘stoner’, ‘pothead’ or other derogatory terms used to describe users of the drug.

A bitter irony lies within the fact that many influential persons of historical and cultural significance have claimed to have tried the drug, they have even admitted to being habitual users. Even pop-culture has a range of hidden pot smoking celebrities.

Prescription Drugs

Marijuana has been legalized in several states of America including Washington and Colorado and is slowly working its way across the country.

Despite the blatant health benefits we here in the UK,  there has been nothing on the subject other than the introduction of the ‘CanaVape’ E-liquid and several other obscure cannabis based health products that your doctor will only turn his nose up at. Prescription medicines such as Tramodol continue to find there way into our homes. These highly addictive prescribed drugs are given for back pains and toothaches; every package gifted comes with a courtesy list of health risks and side effects that seem to outweigh the benefits of removing the pain.

Side Effects

The listed side effects of marijuana have been somewhat deviated from the truth in the past, claiming that it is ‘addictive’ and a clear cause of schizophrenia.

A recent cross-sectional study was carried out that analyzes data collected from multiple medical instituits across the globe, from the Kings Collage in London to the Queensland Brain Institute and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia. According to the NHS website “The study cannot prove that cannabis use is a risk factor for developing schizophrenia”, however they do maintain that dependency and “reduced concentration and motivation” is still probable from taking the drug.

Statistics

That being said, they also concluded that the effects of legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco were more dangerous, and they are right. Alcoholism accounted for 8,416 deaths in the UK alone according to the Office For National Statistics and has cost the NHS a whopping £3.5 billion each year. We endure this cost while across the sea Colorado, after legalizing and taxing marijuana, has made a $50 billion profit from the venture with a slogan that reads “less crime, more schools”. The slogan has kept true to its word with a reduction of violent crime by 2.2 percent in the first 11 months of 2014 when compared to the same period of time in 2013 (post legalization) according to the DPA.

They also saw a 9.5 percent reduction in burglaries and a 8.9 percent decrease in property crime. Although some claim that the 'war on drugs' is over, we are yet to see the results. #Weed remains illegal, the government continue to waste precious time and resources into arresting friends and colleagues who only carry small amounts and we are yet to see it being treated as a serious venture into getting the UK out of this hole we have dug for ourselves.