Marijuana Legalization: What Follows?


The use of marijuana has seen a steady increase in the previous decade. Four states and the District of Columbia legalized it for recreational use and further 31 states for medical use. With this growing trend, the public perception of this substance is also shifting.

However, little attention is devoted to the impact on adults. The total number of citizens with marijuana use disorders is growing, which is visible in the economy as well.

Possible Effects

Those who advocate legalization offer two main reasons – it’s a non-addictive pain reliever, which can be taxed and added to state economies. However, what effects does this have on the habit?

Several studies yielded different results. Some found that the usage has increased since legalization, while others met a plateau.

Impact on Other Industries

While marijuana does have some effect on the general lifestyle of Americans, two industries faced the most significant changes since the legalization.

Tobacco Industry

All over the nation, we can see declines in tobacco use – namely, in those below 25 years old. Those over 26 remained at around 25%. In general, there’s a significant overlap between cannabis and tobacco users.

States are still promoting anti-tobacco campaigns for public health. At this rate, it will be necessary to do the same for underage marijuana use.

Health Industry

Federal restrictions in the past hindered cannabis-related research. For this reason, today, we have no universal guidelines for the safe use of THC and CBD. So, doctors don’t have any general standards for diagnosing the patient, either.

Since the THC content in the bloodstream can only be detected after intoxication ends, doctors need to develop new techniques – especially in ERs.

Besides, an increasing number of people are developing a problem related to marijuana use. This fact seems to stem directly from the increased use among adults. According to, Weed is a gateway drug that leads to Opiates, Meth, Heroin and Alcohol and they detox all of their clients as they see this occuring often..  More rehabilitation centers are opening up and learning how to handle these kinds of issues.

Illegal Markets

Despite the state marijuana market expansion, the illegal market for the substance is still robust. 

As the legal market providers start offering stronger and stronger THC products, illegal ones follow. So, banning them by law will only lead to further expansion in the unauthorized market.

The main reason the illegal marijuana market thrives is the considerably lower pricing. Due to not having to follow regulations on growth and sale, nor paying taxes, unauthorized sellers are capable of offering a cheaper product to customers. 

The Bottom Line

Since legalizing recreational marijuana, the four states saw a significant upward trend in usage. Luckily, it didn’t translate into more addictive substance usage.

To conclude, we must say that with the legalization of marijuana, there are calls for new strategies, especially in health. Educating and discouraging minors from using this substance may yield positive results that resemble that of a similar campaign for tobacco.


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