Germany studies benefits and risks of marijuana use

Un factor que el gobierno alemán también analiza es el económico, donde se prevé una fiscalización millonaria.

Cannabis is the third most consumed psychoactive substance worldwide. Neither controls nor prohibitions have been able to prevent it. Seen in its day as a dangerous drug that opens the way to other addictions, there is currently a growing social acceptance of cannabis and more and more countries legalize its consumption.

Better sex and less COVID

In recent months, countless studies have been published, aimed at testing the risks or benefits of this substance.

Recently, a study carried out by researchers from the University of Almería concluded that Marijuana users have better sexual function and better orgasms. This improvement is generally linked to a decrease in fear and shame, which makes it easier to have sex, according to the authors.

Recently, researchers from the University of Oregon indicated that components of cannabis can block the entry of the Sars-CoV-2 virus into cells, thus protecting against infection with COVID-19. The corresponding study was published in the Journal of Natural Products.

Considerable risks

They seem convincing arguments in favor of this plant. But not all is so easy. Because cannabis use can lead to long-lasting cognitive disturbances, especially in young people, whose brain is still in an important phase of development. This was demonstrated once again by a new analysis of 10 meta-studies, conducted under Canadian leadership and published in the journal Addiction.

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The evaluation of data from 43,000 participants showed that cannabis intoxication can produce mild and medium cognitive disturbances when it comes to making decisions, repressing inappropriate reactions and retaining what is read or heard. It can also increase the time required to perform an intellectual activity. Such problems may persist beyond the direct effect of the drug itself.

On the other hand, Heavy cannabis use can lead to psychosis, especially in young people. Those who smoke marijuana daily have three times the risk of suffering psychotic episodes, according to a study carried out in 2020 at a European level.

However, despite the risks and side effects, cannabis is the most popular illegal drug among young people. And the ongoing debate about its legalization in many parts of the world shows that acceptance is growing in public opinion.

Arguments for legalization

Too the German government wants to legalize cannabis soon beyond its medical use. In the coalition agreement between Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals, the project is proposed to allow the controlled delivery of cannabis to adults in licensed establishments. “That way, quality is controlled,” says the document.

That would be the main objective of a legalization. Because, in recent years, more and more cannabis mixed with other things, such as sand or sugar, has been offered on the streets. And also with highly dangerous synthetic substances, which reinforce the effects of the drug and make them uncontrollable. Users may experience hallucinations or circulatory collapse. A state control could considerably reduce such risks, it is argued.

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In addition, supporters of legalization argue that young users would no longer have to hide and would benefit from offers of therapy and prevention. TThere are also very concrete economic arguments: a legalization could report to the German treasury more than an additional $4.7 billion euros (about $5.3 billion dollars).), as calculated by the economic institute DICE, from Düsseldorf.

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