Legalize Medical Marijuana in North Carolina
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How might cannabinoids be useful as medicine?
Currently, the two main cannabinoids from the marijuana plant that are of medical interest are THC and CBD.
THC can increase appetite and reduce nausea. THC may also decrease pain, inflammation (swelling and redness), and muscle control problems.
Unlike THC, CBD is a cannabinoid that doesn't make people "high." It may be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.
Many researchers, including those funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are continuing to explore the possible uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids for medical treatment.
LETTER FROM THE NIH Director
Changes in marijuana policies across states legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use suggest that marijuana is gaining greater acceptance in our society. Thus, it is particularly important for people to understand what is known about both the adverse health effects and the potential therapeutic benefits linked to marijuana.
Because marijuana impairs short-term memory and judgment and distorts perception, it can impair performance in school or at work and make it dangerous to drive. It also affects brain systems that are still maturing through young adulthood, so regular use by teens may have negative and long-lasting effects on their cognitive development, putting them at a competitive disadvantage and possibly interfering with their well-being in other ways. Also, contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive, and its use during adolescence may make other forms of problem use or addiction more likely.
Whether smoking or otherwise consuming marijuana has therapeutic benefits that outweigh its health risks is still an open question that science has not resolved. Although many states now permit dispensing marijuana for medicinal purposes and there is mounting anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of marijuana-derived compounds, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved "medical marijuana." However, safe medicines based on cannabinoid chemicals derived from the marijuana plant have been available for decades and more are being developed.
This Research Report is intended as a useful summary of what the most up-to-date science has to say about marijuana and its effects on those who use it at any age.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
INCREASE REVENUES WITHOUT TAX INCREASES
Cannabis is a $50+ billion dollar industry. Currently, all of those revenues go directly to cartels and criminal gangs. Through regulation and taxation, we can transform these black market billions into taxable revenues. This new income can bolster our state economy without raising taxes on main street.
Job creation is integral to any robust economy. Cannabis jobs already exist in Georgia; unfortunately, they all are held by criminals. A well-regulated medical cannabis program will create new jobs for hard-working, tax-paying Georgians. From horticulturists cultivating plants, to labs testing the safety of the medicine, to employees at dispensaries, regulated medical cannabis will create thousands of new, high-paying jobs in our state.
DECREASE GOVERNMENT SPENDING
Cannabis prohibition is expensive. Harvard economist, Jeffrey Miron, estimates that state and federal governments spend an excess of $20 billion per year fighting this little green plant. Much of this cost comes from burdening our justice system, wasting law enforcement’s time, and using $125/day of taxpayer money incarcerating cannabis offenders. To add insult to injury, these efforts continue to fail as cannabis is more available than ever before.
FORTIFY INFRASTRUCTURE AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS
Applying the increased revenues with the decreased expenses caused by medical cannabis legalization yields a net gain in the billions. This ‘new’ money can be used to fortify our many distressed and underfunded public works programs like the lagging education system, build new roads that reduce traffic and increase Social Security and Medicare benefits for our seniors.
WEAKEN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS
How do gangs and cartels have the same weapons that our military uses? Why do drug dealers drive $100,000 cars?
Because selling illicit drugs is a wildly lucrative and untaxed business.
Legalizing and regulating medical cannabis will take this profit center away from murderous criminals and transfer it to licensed and regulated businesses. By taking these revenues from organized crime, we can significantly weaken them financially. Additionally, we will be able to control how and to whom medical cannabis is dispensed by setting responsible standards to which businesses must adhere.
Liquor stores ID customers, drug dealers do not.
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