In the new eve of the year 2014, despite the cold weather, people in Denver-Colorado are coming in the streets and are waiting for the clock to strike 8. « Shawn Azzariti » is the man who had the privilege of making the US the first country to use cannabis for recreational uses. Cannabis, Marijuana, Dope, Weed, Smoke, Pot… it was the moment that it would seem like it would change everything. 3 years later, Canada is also on its way to legalization, and we are all wondering…what’s next?
Wake and bake
*Wake and bake: a phenomenon that describes a person’s routine of getting out of bed and smoking marijuana as a first action of the day, and they keep on smoking it throughout the day.
Robert MacCoun is a professor of law at Stanford University. Even though he has never studied law, his knowledge as a social psychologist got him to study the behaviour of people. He eventually wrote a book in 2001 about the prospects of legalizing marijuana. He states that a lot of people weren’t seeing this legalization as a big deal, and more states became involved too in order to change this law. However, since this law engaged also underage kids, it created a controversy.
The states that legalized Marijuana were already the ones that had more than average marijuana use, it wasn’t a big culture shock for those states. But this created a controversy in some states, stating that there can be some underage users of the substance (21 years old is the minimum age to use marijuana).
There is although a distinction between the number of persons that use marijuana and the amount of marijuana that people use, but at the moment it is difficult to know how much is used of the drug in individual states.
So what happened when cannabis was legalized in Colorado, is that the production of the substance became more efficient, which led to falling prices, and eventually a drastic increase in the number of users.
Being responsible for monitoring cannabis in public health involves a lot of questions related to side effects of cannabis that were never thought of.
The expert Mike Van Dyke is the chief of the department of public health in Colorado. He saw that fancy stores tried to put marijuana in different products to appeal even more the interested consumers, making even gummy bears that would attract children. Some kids were being noticed in the hospital due to consuming the marijuana-filled product.
The state of Colorado have then put some prerogatives to regulate the use of cannabis related to children appealing and colors.
And for adult users, the researches about side effects and diseases related to the substance’s use were very different from the ones caused by cigarettes ( Respiratory problems, lung cancer). But more people have been noticed in emergency cases because of cannabis, the side effect that was noticed was continuous vomiting (caused by long term marijuana uses).
But still, the number of persons that suffered from side effects was relatively small and the majority suffered from problems such as paranoia and insomnia.
The issue now is that knowing all the side effects of marijuana while it is already legalized feels like flying in an airplane while building it.
It’s the economy, stupid!
No nation on earth has come close to the radical experiment of commercial legalization that the US have experienced. John Cokins is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he sees that the model adopted by the US in commercializing cannabis is by far the biggest one.
Surpassing previous economies based on recreational uses of the substance, companies are free to compete for customers and attract them, knowing that other countries have made strict restrictions on this side too.
Since cannabis is illegal nationally, advertising campaigns can’t be held on a national scale and must be restricted for the legal state boundaries. But the companies still compete fiercely for market shares, even aggressive marketing tactics.
The industry is now booming since the number of retail stores selling marijuana is larger than the MC Donald’s stores In the state. There was a phenomenon of more job conversion rather than job creation.
Then making cannabis legal hasn’t done much for job creation, but how about taxes ? They are actually very little compared to the 30 billion taxes collected overall, making the legalization of cannabis with an expected tax revenue of 1% of the total.
But a few millions added to the budget are still useful for the economy, regarding healthcare, building schools, infrastructure renovating and more.
While giving a presentation in front of a pro-legalization audience, the business model shown by John made them skeptical about it, and describing it as being stupid, since it is difficult to adopt It on a national scale, and we are of course dealing with neither a cereal bar nor a basic product but with a drug with known risks.
John sees that in 20 years, if the cannabis market gets as big as the alcoholics one, it would target easily a vulnerable fraction of the customers, using marketing.
If this model becomes widespread across the whole country, we could see an explosion of a new industry that would be enhanced with the help of marketing geniuses, and that would be the moment that would change everything.