Money, Medicine & Marijuana
The Highs And Lows Of Legal Weed
This year Colorado is expected to generate $125 million in tax revenue from legal marijuana sales. In the first full year of legalization Colorado homicide rates have dropped by 24%.
Medically, the (preliminary) research is in: while cannabis has been shown to have deleterious effects on developing minds, it has also been proven to treat a whole host of medical conditions.
Still, many people remain staunchly opposed to legalization. In the United States, where pot is still illegal federally, the main organizations lobbying to keep pot a Schedule 1 narcotic– alongside heroin, crystal meth and cocaine– are private prisons, the prison guard unions, law enforcement, the tobacco lobby and the pharmaceutical industry. (The alcohol industry has since backed off following an uptick in sales post-legalization in Colorado.)
Following the election of Justin Trudeau, Canada, a G7 nation, is poised to legalize recreational marijuana across the board– as is California, the world’s sixth largest economy.
Meanwhile, the UK shows little interest, either on the streets or at Number 10. Why? Is marijuana really safe? What kind of message does legalizing weed send to kids? What are the medical dangers? And what about Butane Hash Oil— an increasingly popular preparation with five times the amount of THC as the strongest strain of pot? Unlike the plant itself, the answers are not cut and dried!
Tonight we talk to psychiatrist and addiction specialist Dr. Adam Winstock who runs the Global Drugs Survey, the world’s most comprehensive survey of drug use, including alcohol and tobacco. (Teetotaler or total stoner, please do fill out this year’s survey). From emergency rooms to psychiatric wards to advising government and law enforcement, Dr. Winstock is perfectly poised to speak to addiction, the drug war, and even — gasp!— how some responsible people even use drugs for pleasure. So before you smoke your next spliff– or even directly after– check out what Dr. Winstock has to say. His answers may surprise you.