Marijuana is commonly known by its street names such as weed, pot, ganja, and many other slang names. Bhang is consumed in different forms, such as water pipes, cigarettes, or blunt. For medical purposes, marijuana is mixed with other foods to relieve pain among patients majorly (Medical News Today, 2020). Marijuana has different strains with varied strengths. The most robust strain of marijuana is extracted from the sinsemilla plant that is a female tended form of marijuana that produces highly concentrated active abusive substances. The high concentrated resins are significantly popular among recreational use. Marijuana contains a chemical substance called THC that is responsible for the psychological eruptions experienced among the youth (Medical News Today, 2020).
The legalization of marijuana in some Colombian districts is an experiment on how policy change can produce a desirable outcome. The investigation is a broader move to see how this would reduce minor crimes that stem from marijuana possession and abuse (Lu et al., 2019). The proponents of the initiative would want to see distribution, sales in the black market and petty thefts such as burglary would reduce since the drug would be readily available. Contrary to the expectations of marijuana legalization, studies reveal a surge in the number of crimes connected with drug use. In Washington, the studies showed an upsurge of minor offenses such as harassment, assaults, and theft related to marijuana users (Lu et al., 2019).
The political interests have been cited to the failure of the legalization of marijuana by making remarks linking marijuana to public acts of violence without offering concrete evidence of such claims. Activists and lobby groups are also part of the problem. One such lobby group includes the Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which produces biased remarks and reports about marijuana with substantiating the claims (Lu et al., 2019). These remarks shape the general public opinion causing challenges in the legalization and monitoring of the process.
Crime and the use of marijuana
The matter of the direct link between marijuana and crime is not yet conclusive. The research evidence available is not reliable since they produce confusing mixed data on the proportionality of crime rates and marijuana use. However, numerous empirical studies establish an increased tendency of crime involvement with the help of marijuana (National Institute of Drug Use, 2020). Apart from the inducing effects, there is a close link between marijuana and other severe deviant behaviors such as sexual offenses. Longitudinal research comprising of nationwide samples involving teenagers and young adults shows a consistent tendency of sexual partner abuse later on in life due to the continuous use of marijuana (National Institute of Drug Use, 2020). The studies further link marijuana use to deviant societal behaviors such as rebellion, delinquency, and poor academic performances, leading to high school dropouts rates.
On the other hand, studies suggest a reduction in levels of violence due to the use of marijuana. For instance, a sample involving parolees on spousal violence indicates that the offenders who got reported to be using alcohol and not marijuana use high violence. However, the reports showing alcohol abuse and marijuana use offer a reduced level of spousal violence. The possible translation of the above study is that marijuana reduces acts of violence. Therefore, marijuana and crime should be further investigated to have adequate confirmation and information available to the public.
Lu, R., Willits, D., Stohr, M., Makin, D., Snyder, J., & Lovrich, N. et al. (2019). The Cannabis Effect on Crime: Time-Series Analysis of Crime in Colorado and Washington State. Justice Quarterly, 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2019.1666903
Medical News Today. (2020). Cannabis (marijuana): Facts, effects, and hazards. Medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246392.
National Institute of Drug Use. (2020). What is marijuana? | National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved 7 November 2020, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana.