As more states legalize cannabis, there is an increasing need for facilities to manage it. This article will discuss some potential impacts that legalized cannabis may have on our prison system.
Many state prisons currently rely heavily on marijuana as a source of revenue. In fact, in several states, cannabis is one of the top sources of income!
In order to preserve this income, many prisons start off by allowing inmates to grow their own weed. Some even give inmates legal amounts of marijuana so they do not go into illegal cultivation modes.
However, recent studies are showing that growing your own pot can be very harmful to individuals and society at large. Due to this, some governments are looking to eliminate inmate-produced cannabis as a means to earn money.
Other than earning revenue, legalizing cannabis could also help reduce crime. Since people cannot get high from smoking marijuana, theft and robberies decrease. Likewise, users are less likely to use while intoxicated, which usually leads to car accidents. Both of these factors prevent people from getting involved in criminal activity.
This article will talk about all of these possible effects of legalization.
How cannabis affects the brain
Recent studies show that marijuana can have profound effects on the brain. These effects seem to be both good and bad, depending on how you use the drug.
Many individuals believe that using cannabis in small amounts will make people happier. This is what most people refer to as the “marijuana theory” or the “medical hypothesis” of cannabis.
Some research suggests that long-term heavy usage of THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana) may actually reduce levels of serotonin — a neurotransmitter that helps regulate moods.
However, other studies find that prolonged exposure to THC actually increases serotonergic activity.
Either way, there are some major implications for cannabis users!
Serotonin plays an important role in regulating emotional states so a decrease in its level may cause people to feel more anxious, depressed, or angry.
How cannabis affects the body
Medical marijuana has been legalized in more than 30 states, along with DC. This drug is still heavily stigmatized at the federal level, but that’s starting to change, especially now that studies are showing its potential health benefits.
Studies show that CBD can have positive effects on everything from pain relief to reduced anxiety and improved sleep. Some people even say it helps them manage their disease or condition better!
Cannabis has also shown dramatic reductions in prison populations. In fact, one study determined that each year of medical cannabis legalization was correlated with a 2% drop in incarceration rates.
Legalization of cannabis
As more and more countries around the world legalize marijuana, its use in prisons is becoming an increasingly important topic. Since smoking weed is typically the way people consume it, this means that prisoners are now able to access legal marijuana easily.
Many prison systems can’t seem to make up their mind about how to deal with legalized cannabis. Some prohibit it completely, while others treat it like any other drug by charging inmates for it.
Some even experiment with having prisoner-run businesses that sell pot to fellow inmates as a form of income. What happens to all of these profits is left to individual institutions and states!
Legalizing drugs like alcohol or tobacco may not be good long term solutions, but in the short run, decriminalizing cannabis could help reduce overcrowding at jails and save money by reducing incarceration costs.
Fortunately, several studies have investigated the effects of legalizing cannabis on crime and the prison system, and they all come away with similar conclusions.
Here are the top two benefits of legalization.
Medical benefits of cannabis
Recent studies have shown that marijuana has significant medical uses, and it is already used to treat or reduce the symptoms of many diseases. It can be used in various ways to help with pain, sleep, and disease management.
Studies show that CBD may help decrease neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in patients with Alzheimer’s. Both of these factors play a role in causing cell death within the body.
Cannabis therapies like THC-A (tetrahydrocannabinol acid oil) are being studied for their potential to restore bowel function after surgery. A recent study found that it was more effective than morphine in treating diarrhea caused by chemotherapy.
Medical conditions for which there is some evidence supporting the use of cannabis include chronic back pain, cancer pain, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, migraines, and HIV/AIDS. Some people with epilepsy find it helpful.
Blogs written about the impacts of cannabis on the prison system tend to focus mostly on the legalization side. Many argue how wrong we are to continue imprisoning individuals because they chose to ingest an herb that happens to contain one or several cannabinoids.
However, those who oppose legalizing cannabis often fail to discuss all of its possible health benefits. When discussing potential harms, very little information is provided.
This article will talk about some of the most important medical applications of cannabidiol.
Downsides of cannabis
One major downside to legalising marijuana is how it can contribute to our criminal justice system. People who use marijuana are more likely to commit crimes due to the fact that it is readily available. When people cannot afford pot, they turn to illegal alternatives or even crime to earn money to buy their medicine. This increasing criminality is clearly visible in the rising numbers of arrests for cannabis-related offences.
The number of people arrested for drug possession in Canada has been steadily climbing since 2002. In that time frame, there was an average increase of 5% every year. But from 2014 to 2016 alone, this increased by 10%. Over this same period, one out of five drug possession arrests were related to cannabis.
This doesn’t mean that all drug users end up getting arrested, but many do. And once again, most of these offenders are not wealthy men living in affluent areas. On average, each person arrested spent around $1,500 on weed!
Another problem is that police sometimes arrest someone for simple possession when really, they wanted to bust them for something else. For example, if you happen to be in a car with someone who does drugs, you could be accused of trafficking because of the presence of drugs.
Evidence of cannabis helping reduce prison populations
Recent studies have found that using marijuana can help decrease re-offending in individuals with substance use disorders. These individuals may be able to stay out of jail by improving their mental health or addressing other risk factors such as homelessness or joblessness.
Studies also show that marijuana helps treat symptoms for people who suffer from pain due to, for example, surgery or chronic illness.
Experts believe that drug courts and medical marijuana are helpful tools in reducing crime and incarceration rates. However, many governments remain resistant towards legalizing cannabis because of its perceived effect on lowering prison populations.
However, there is very little evidence supporting this claim. Many studies don’t account for potential confounding variables when looking at whether or not cannabis usage predicts lower arrest records. Others find no correlation whatsoever.
This article will discuss some reasons why it is important to include cannabis in public policy, what research does exist about the effects of legalization on prisons, and how you can contribute to our collective understanding of cannabis and the criminal justice system.
Evidence of cannabis helping reduce crime
Many people argue that marijuana has a negative effect on individuals, making it an unsafe drug for use. This is not always the case however, with studies finding that cannabis can actually help prevent crimes.
Studies show that those who use cannabis are less likely to commit violent acts than non-users. In fact, some believe that cannabis may even be able to deter criminal activity in users.
A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that out of 1,000 inmates surveyed, one third reported that they used cannabis before committing their current offense.
This includes using it as medicine or smoking it. Over half of these inmates said that it helped them deal with symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety or depression.
For example, one inmate described how he would make sure his home was locked so that he wouldn’t hurt himself while under the influence. Another mentioned how he would only drink enough to get “slightly high” instead of drunk.
States that have legalized cannabis
Many states have already fully legalized cannabis for recreational use or at least decriminalized it, which is not the same thing as legalizing it completely. However, one major role state governments play in our prison system is by establishing regulations around marijuana possession.
States establish different levels of offense depending on how much weed you have and what kind of product you are possessing it with. For example, people usually commit drug trafficking by having more than an appropriate amount of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, in their products.
This is why someone who has legal amounts of CBD oil for medical purposes can be convicted of drug trafficking. A lot of times these criminal charges get brushed off because people believe that CBD does not contain enough THC to violate the law.
However, this isn’t always the case and we need to look closer into whether or not the person was actually committing a crime before taking cannabis seriously.