Before delving into the content of this article, I’d like to get something out of the way first – yes, I know the title sounds like outlandish clickbait, but just hear me out on this one. My point is mainly addressing the fact that some of you may still think of cannabis as the notorious gateway drug; one which will fry your brain if exposed to it enough times, and that it is a drug which ruins people’s lives by leading them to harder substances.
If you are one of said people, by all means continue reading because you haven’t done enough of that on this subject. I do not mean to say this in order to be condescending or arrogant; in fact, I don’t blame anyone for being misinformed about cannabis and its properties, because there was a whole campaign of disinformation and propaganda aimed at making everyone think of it in a hellish, insanity-inducing light:
To explain the long and complicated narrative associated with the legal status of marijuana would take at least a couple of articles; therefore, in order to facilitate the whole affair, I’d suggest reading here or, if you’re so inclined, go watch The Culture High and The 13th for further information if you are not acquainted with the history.
To make a long story as short as possible, marijuana (also known as hemp) is an extremely useful, versatile plant. Its popularity arose due to its immense potential as a cash-crop in relation to the fact that every single part of the plant can be harvested, whether it be for the flowering buds (essentially, the ‘smokeable’ parts), or for its fibres (which can produce anything from textiles, bricks, ropes, paper and many other products – see here for more information on the plant’s numerous properties).
For this reason, competing businesses (timber and alcohol, for example) had heavily vested interest in the destruction of the hemp industry, one which, as we all know today, was unfortunately successful. This trend, which extended for the broader part of the 20th century and culminated in President Nixon’s disastrous War on Drugs in 1971, is gradually reversing itself as information on marijuana’s medicinal, industrial and recreational potential is spreading. Places such as Spain, Uruguay, the Netherlands, Germany and Chile (along with several American states such as Colorado, Washington and Alaska) are all at the forefront of this, with several other nations walking along the steps leading towards legalisation through implementations of personal use laws or tolerance for medical and scientific uses.
From a global perspective, Malta is pretty far behind when it comes to the legal status of cannabis. When one considers the jaw-dropping amount of revenue and tourism the marijuana industry has been bringing in wherever it has been legalised (Colorado alone, for instance, made almost $1 billion by 2015), the imagination runs wild with the possibilities of what Malta would be able to do with that kind of cash.
These are all reasons why I don’t think it’s outlandish to say that a legal cannabis industry could indeed save the world; we’d be able to make amazing advances in the medical field, eliminating the need for pharmaceutical painkillers, anti-depressants and potentially, chemotherapy; we’d be able to build eco-friendly structures, use hemp-based paper that helps us safeguard rainforests around the world and do so much more that the only limit would be our ability to create a better world.
You don’t have to take my word for it – do your own research, and see for yourself.
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