Does the Legalization of Marijuana Make Your Town Smell Like Weed?

What Happens When Legalization Takes Hold?

If you have ever passed a group of teenagers smoking weed in the park, or passed a car with its windows down and smelled that distinct odor of marijuana and thought, “darn kids!” you might be on the fence about the growing legalization of marijuana across North America.

As Canada prepares for its marijuana legalization in the summer of 2018, statistics show that about 20% of the population are preparing to try marijuana for the first time, while another 17% of the population plan to continue to use marijuana on a regular basis. Of course, “regular basis” could mean something different for everyone, but most people agree that “regular basis” is about once a week. That’s pretty regular.

What Happens When Legalization Takes Hold?

Here’s the thing: if you are worried about how legalization of marijuana is going to impact your city or town, consider that nearly 20% of the population is already using it and the place isn’t falling down around you. Many states in the United States have already legalized it and they haven’t fallen to pieces. You can’t smell it every time you walk down the strip in Las Vegas – not all the time anyway – and you can’t find it on every street corner, either.

Consider that the legalization of marijuana is just like the legalization of alcohol. At first, it might seem odd to see people lighting up or puffing cannabis oils in their backyard, but that’s probably the only place you are going to see them on a regular basis. Just like you can’t walk down the street with an opened alcoholic beverage in a lot of places, you won’t be able to walk down the street smoking a doobie either. It’s about putting things into perspective.

What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

When you think about how the legalization of marijuana is going to impact your town, you might be looking at it the way Mr. Wilson used to looked at Dennis the Menace: with distance and ignorance. Had Mr. Wilson been curious about the interesting little boy next door instead of branding him a trouble maker from the start, he might have realized that he could learn a lot from him. Just like we can learn a lot about people who opt to use marijuana to help ease their pain, reduce their anxiety, and help them manage their PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Even though medical marijuana is sometimes available in the same place as cheap bongs, it doesn’t mean it is recreational, or that recreational marijuana is even bad. After all, how can half the world be wrong about something found in nature and enjoyed by millions of people.

What if We’re Wrong?

So before you approach the legalization of marijuana from a doomsday perspective, consider that the legalization might actually have the opposite effect: we’re all anticipating that the more available it is, the more people will smoke it or use it. But alcohol is widely available, and we aren’t all walking around drunk all the time. Sure, some people abuse it – frequently. But, for the most part, the majority of society functions just fine and continues to live their life even with the taunting call of legal alcohol from the beer stores and wineries all around the world. Heck, what about those poor people who work in liquor stores? They must be drunk all the time! Of course, that’s not true. So why do we approach these changes with such negative?

It’s human nature to question change. We wonder why these things need to happen. Why can’t things just stay the same? Henry Ford is often quoted as saying that if he gave people what they wanted he would have built a faster horse. What if there is a positive, plus side to the legalization of marijuana that we can’t even fathom yet because we are so caught up in the minutiae of the negative aspects? It’s food for thought and something to ask yourself the next time you find yourself complaining about the darn kids at the end of the block lightin’ up.

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