There are some negatives to how states have handled legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes, though advocates are reluctant to acknowledge this.
- First of all, it’s not the nightmare situations that anti-cannabis people harped about for years.
Sure, it’s easier for teens to get access to the drug, but it’s also true that legalizing it has drastically reduced the size and impact of the black market marijuana trade. The real negatives have more to do with how the markets are regulated and supervised by the state. For instance, it takes an insane amount of money to get a license to grow and sell marijuana in my state, so much so that I can count all of our cannabis producers on just two hands. This gives them little incentive to compete on quality once they finally gain access to the market. On top of that, many states have bungled the lab testing requirements for cannabis producers. I didn’t realize that many states never required third-party lab testing for marijuana producers, regardless of whether or not it was a medical or recreational cannabis market. Once lab testing started to become a standard, many cannabis companies started testing in-house. Obviously there is a lot of corruption at play with in-house testing, but it didn’t get much better once the third-party lab requirement was created in my state. I read about dispensaries attempting to shop around at lab tests offering to pay more money for data showing higher THC levels and low contaminant counts. One medical cannabis store was shut down after getting busted falsifying third-party lab paperwork.