A Real Life Example of How Cannabis Dispensaries Keep Weed out of the hands of children
One of the great promises of a legal cannabis industry is, “making it harder for kids to get their hands on it”. It’s a concern for lawmakers and voters alike. Within an unregulated system, children don’t have to prove their age to be eligible to purchase their ‘reefer’. The corner hookup is only looking to move the product, irrespective of age.
Within a regulated system, children are forced to produce proof of age as the business owners stand to face a large fine or even a shut-down if they don’t comply with state laws. This very mechanism makes it harder for kids to get their hands on cannabis. Of course, no industry is 100% compliant with these laws, this includes businesses that sell alcohol.
Recently, in Oregon, the state conducted a series of undercover operations where they sent minors into dispensaries to see if the dispensaries are compliant with state laws.
In December, the state of Oregon found that there were a handful of dispensaries that weren’t 100% compliant and as a result fined the businesses a hefty fine. Since then, a few new rules were implemented to see if they could remove this factor from legally operated dispensaries.
The new rules state that if a dispensary doesn’t comply with state laws in relation to selling to minors, they could face a 30-day suspension and a $4950 fine. Repeat offenses will result in the shut-down of the dispensary.
Due to these changes in policy, dispensaries in Portland, Bend and Salem are now 100% compliant with this aspect of the law, meaning that the stricter enforcement of these laws did make a difference.
Interestingly enough, businesses that sell alcohol are only 78% compliant within the state of Oregon. The overall compliance record of all dispensaries over the state is now at 86%, meaning the cannabis industry does a better job of keeping vices out of the hands of minors.
Why is this good news?
This is excellent news for cannabis activists all over the world. This is a proof-of-concept coming into practice and it’s showing us that a well-regulated system is better at keeping “drugs” out of the hands of minors.
Even better is that the cannabis compliance rate is greater than that of the alcohol industry. These kind of statistics are ammo for the legalization movement. We can now safely say that it is proven that a regulated system works better than prohibition in terms of keeping drugs out of the hands of children.
What would happen if we start doing this with other currently illegal drugs? Would that make it even harder for kids to get their hands on other substances? I for one, would argue yes.
Why Dispensaries Deter Kids from Buying Weed
There’s another factor that people usually don’t consider with the “normalization” of a substance. When things are no longer considered “taboo”, kids tend to show less interest in using it. There is an undeniable sense of “rebellion” from the youth. When they are still trying to figure out “who they are” they don’t like to have ideals and values imposed on them. They look for things to use within their youthful rebellion – things such as cannabis.
But what happens when “cannabis is no longer the devil” and a parent responds with, “At least you’re not drinking alcohol”? The value of the rebellion diminishes. When the substance of choice is no longer adds value to the incentive of rebellion, kids tend to shy away from it.
We found this to be true in Colorado, where the national median of kids smoking weed is actually lower than that of states that have strict anti-cannabis laws on the books.
Of course, the element of rebellion plays a minor role in the consumption of substances, I still think it’s a valid point to consider.
Where do we go from here?
Now that we are seeing that legalization is not only bringing in tax revenue, creating jobs, reducing stress on the judicial system and keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors…I believe it’s time that more states and cities will begin to understand the value of legalization for their states.
We cannot keep people from consuming drugs. We have had more than 80 years trying to achieve this with no success. The only logical option to ensure the safety of the world, both consumers and non-consumers like, is to legalize all over the globe.
Make no mistake, cannabis is much closer to full legalization that people are aware of, but statistics such as the ones coming from Oregon will help fuel the fire to ensure that it happens sooner than later.
Good job Cannabis Industry, way to go in providing evidence that supports the premise of legalization!
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