All over America, the reality as to what exactly happens when cannabis is legalized is beginning to hit home. Both Colorado and Washington states were considered to be the most important social experiments in cannabis culture the US would be likely to undertake. In no uncertain terms, we’d find out soon enough whether legal weed meant that end of civilisation as we know it, or the start of something amazing.

2Of course, now we know what we’ve really all known along…at least, those who base their opinions on science and fact, rather than outdated stereotypes and scaremongering. Legal cannabis isn’t having a detrimental effect on public health, states with legal pot actually have lower teen smoking rates than their counterparts and the industry is generating massive sums of money. And the streets are as safe as they ever were…all predictable, all more evidence to support the cause.

But at the same time, there are so many other states across the US that are supposed to be at least considering the evidence for the sake of their own pot policies. Florida being a prime example, but while states like these keep coming close to making what you think’s going to be a sensible decision, it just doesn’t happen. Why? Well, for a multitude of reasons, but one of the biggest is the way in which critics continue to use scaremongering tactics to worry those of a more naive nature who buy into the hype – complete garbage as it may be.

So despite that fact that science and common sense have and are continuing to prevail in some regions, what are the kinds of senseless and baseless scare stories being perpetuated elsewhere? 1

If We Legalize Cannabis, It’s a One-Way Permanent Decision.
One of the biggest misconceptions of all is that which suggests that if cannabis is legalized in any way shape or form, that it’s then of a case of it becoming legal forever, no matter what. In reality however, pretty much every sensible local and national government that has ever decided to legalize cannabis has done so on something of a trial basis. They change the law, but only in knowing that if things don’t work out as planned, it can always be changed back. Not only this, but when huge changes like this are brought into effect anywhere, they are constantly tweaked, honed and refined in accordance with both public reaction and the overall impact in general. Which means that contrary to the beliefs of some, nothing at all is set in stone when cannabis is legalized. It’s just a case of giving it chance to see what happens, instead of reaching your own misinformed conclusions.

Cannabis Suppliers Would Simply Be Drug Dealers with Permits
Once again, while it seems commonplace to believe that legalizing any kind of cannabis use means giving drug dealers a license, it really doesn’t work like this at all. Actually getting into business as a legal cannabis grower or seller of any kind is way more difficult than just setting up a grow-room at home and putting up a sign outdoors. It’s massively regulated and a difficult profession to get by in, where it’s been legalized for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The reason being that closed minds and OTT financial policies are taking what’s a now-legal profession and treating those involved like criminals. Which they aren’t – they’re actually the driving force taking cannabis cultivation and supply out of the hands of criminal gangs and into the open…safely and sensibly.

Sellers Will Be Targeting Your Kids, the Vulnerable and So On
While it’s natural to worry whether readily available pot will lead to more kids taking up the habit, the reality has shown things to actually work the other way around. The reason being that when something like pot suddenly becomes available from all angles, it no longer becomes the kind of taboo subject that’s swept under the rug. Instead, it gets talks about freely and openly. Not only this, but it’s also been proven time and time again that when a substance like cannabis is no longer criminalised, it loses a lot of appeal in the eyes of younger generations. As it’s there, all the time and completely mainstream, it doesn’t become the kind of thing you want, just because you can’t have it. Last but not least, it’s now been proven that legalized cannabis actually leads to a reduction in the number of teenagers and kids getting involved in cannabis use. This isn’t a theory, it’s a fact. So while concerns are natural, it just doesn’t make any sense at all to ignore the facts.

Today’s Marijuana is Dangerously Strong, Hence Should Be Kept Off the Streets
One of the most relentless myths plaguing the cannabis community for decades now is that which suggests that the cannabis doing the rounds today is exponentially stronger than that of years gone by. Critics will often state that compared to the bud doing the rounds in the early 70s, cannabis is now up to 10X (or 1,000%) stronger. The only problem being that while this particular myth originated from a test carried out by the DEA on pot samples from the 70s, scientists at MIT debunked the entire thing back in the year 2000. The simple fact of the matter is that nobody was really bothered about THC testing and measured potency in previous generations – they just got on with smoking the stuff. In any case, more accurate and sensible tests carried out on actual strains from prior decades suggest that while there was a general yet modest increase in potency throughout the 70s, things really haven’t changed at all since then. Some bud is grown specifically for its high THC content, but it’s still the same weed that’s been around for decades.

The Industry As a Whole Is Dodgy and Seedy
Another common argument cited by critics is that of the cannabis industry as a whole being ‘seedy’ and generally rather on the dodgy side. They speak of their genuine concerns with regard to ‘drug dealers’ setting up in their own neighbourhoods and everything going to pot (no pun intended). And of course, they fear for their children who may get caught up in this seedy industry. The only problem being that when pushed, it’s rare to come across a single critic that can actually put a real explanation to what exactly these ‘seedy’ elements are. If they’re talking about crime, the figures show pretty conclusively that pot legalization seems to have a positive effect on crime rates, while at the same time giving the police way more time to focus on more important things. Whichever way you look at it, seedy really isn’t the word…and neither is dodgy.

The State or City Would Be Taken Over by Dispensaries 3
Something else that seems to strike fear into the hearts of cannabis critics is the prospect of legalized cannabis resulting in a sudden armada of dispensaries flooding their home city or state. That in a matter of days, thousands of sellers would pop up out of nowhere and forever change the face of what was once a safe and savoury place to live. Back with the example of Florida, a rough estimate from those campaigning to get the stuff legalized put the number of dispensaries state-wide as somewhere in the region of 2,000. Which when you consider the size of Florida really isn’t that many. Still, they insist that the fact that there may one day be more dispensaries than Wal-Mart supermarkets represents a prime illustration of the problem. In reality however, it’s the kind of comparison that makes no sense and is of no meaning or value whatsoever.

It Can Only Harm Public Health
This is the kind of nonsensical rambling that’s not only small-minded, but downright insulting…patronising to say the least. The simple fact of the matter is that extensive clinical research has proved that cannabis has the power over and above any other medication or treatment on Earth when it comes to tackling a multitude of conditions and symptoms. The evidence is there, millions are crediting cannabis for helping them cope with life-affecting conditions and still…critics would rather take it out of their hands and leave them to suffer. Cannabis is not and will never be a public health nuisance – a fact reiterated by more doctors and medical professionals every single day. It’s not only harmless when compared to tobacco and alcohol, but is also changing lives for the better – millions of them.

Legal Marijuana Will Lead to More Harmful Drug Addictions
Last be not least, extensive research has long-since ruled out any chance whatsoever that cannabis itself represents a harmful gateway drug. Which is a notion that’s all the more ridiculous when considering that fact that alcohol has been proven to be the single most dangerous gateway drug on Earth. In fact, by keeping cannabis outside the law and making it difficult to come by, this in its own right is known to result in more people buying and using more dangerous drugs, if they’re easy to come by. Where cannabis has been legalized, there’s been absolutely no detrimental effect on usage and addiction rates when it comes to more dangerous drugs. In fact, evidence shows cannabis decriminalisation can actually have a beneficial impact, when and where prescribed to help addicts wean themselves off other potentially deadly drugs.