Blog post #3- What affects does the decriminalization of drugs have on society?

Why is decriminalization being discussed in our society?

Hi everyone! For my first research round, I will be discussing why decriminalization is being discussed in our society. I will be talking about the basics of marijuana, so that I can discuss them more in depth later. This will include views on marijuana and cigarettes, from a survey I created.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS. These are needed to understand the following data and research.

Decriminalization- Small quantities of drugs are ok, fines/and or warnings may be given (no jail time) [2]
Legalization– Completely legal (ex. cigarettes, alcohol) limits can be placed [2]

The data from my survey was somewhat expected. Below the data, I made a chart comparing some of the more relevant questions.

You believe that the decriminalization of marijuana in Canada… 

  1. Ok choice (40%) 
  2. Definitely a good choice (35%) 
  3. Slightly bad decision (15%) 
  4. Definitely a horrible choice (10%) 

How do you view cigarettes? 

  1. I dislike them, but it does not matter to me if people choose to smoke or not. (67.5%) 
  2. They are disgusting and kill too many people to be legal (should be illegal). (27.5%) 
  3. Unsure (5%) 
  4. Cigarettes are not as bad as marijuana (2.5%) 

How do you view marijuana IN COMPARISON to cigarettes? 

  1. Cigarettes are worse for your health than marijuana (37.5%) 
  2. They are equally harmful (32.5%) 
  3. There has not been enough research about marijuana to know (12.5%) 
  4. I do not know (12.5%) 
  5. Marijuana is worse for your health than cigarettes (5%) 

 How comfortable are you with cigarettes? 

  1. Uncomfortable (42.5%) 
  2. Neutral (25%)  
  3. Very uncomfortable (22.5%) 
  4. Comfortable (10%) 

How comfortable are you with marijuana? 

  1. Uncomfortable (30%) 
  2. Comfortable (27.5%) 
  3. Neutral (25%) 
  4. Very uncomfortable (17.5%) 

 Do you believe that marijuana has medicinal properties? 

  1. Yes (52.63%) 
  2. More studies must be done (28.95%) 
  3. I do not know (13.16%) 
  4. No (5.26%) 

 Do you think that marijuana is safe in developing bodies (below 25 years of age)? 

  1. No (45%) 
  2. Not enough studies, so to be on the safe side I will assume no (37.5%) 
  3. Not sure (10%) 
  4. Yes (7.5%) 
  5. Not enough studies, so I will assume yes (0%) 

Do you believe that other currently illegal drugs (ex. LSD, mushrooms) should be decriminalized/legalized? 

  1. Decriminalized-yes, Legalized- no (37.5%) 
  2. They should only be used in health care facilities (ex. Abuse survivors, terminal illness) (35%) 
  3. Decriminalized- no, Legalized- no (20%) 
  4. Legalized- yes (7.5%) 


How comfortable are you with cigarettes?   How comfortable are you with marijuana?  
Very uncomfortable (22.5%)    Very uncomfortable (17.5%)  
Uncomfortable (42.5%)  Uncomfortable (30%)  
Neutral (25%)  Neutral (25%) 
Comfortable (10%)   Comfortable (27.5%)  

(Most of the surveyors were between the age of 15-17, some between 13-14. There were a few who were 20+ but not many.)

This data shows exactly what I expected. You can see that the surveyors are much more comfortable with marijuana, compared to cigarettes. These results explain why younger generations want marijuana legalized and why it is being discussed. [1]

Some more basics about marijuana:

THC- Also known as Tetrahydrocannabinol. This chemical in marijuana activates the CB1 receptor, causing psychotropic effects. In simpler words, it is the part of marijuana that makes you high. [3]
CBD- Also known as Cannabidiol. This chemical is shaped differently, so it does not bond to the CB1 receptor and does not cause psychotropic effects. It also alters the CB1 receptor, making it more difficult for THC to stimulate it. CBD is often used for anxiety and lately even topical uses. CBD does NOT make you high. [3] [4]
CBD vs THC – What are the Main Differences? | Articles | Analytical Cannabis
  To this date, we do not have much information about marijuana. There have not been many side-effects recorded yet, so it makes sense that people would want it legalized. [4] Other drugs, like LSD, have clear, negative side-effects. These effects are long lasting and can damage your brain even after one use. Though some claim they become happier, it can cause depression and anxiety.  These can include death, caused by error of judgment and hallucinations (ex. you might think you can fly and jump off a cliff). Long term effects include psychosis, depression, paranoia, and flashbacks. Knowing these horrible effects, why is its decriminalization/legalization being discussed? [5]
 Despite these side effects, many claim positive experiences. These can include spiritual benefits. [6] Combining all my research, I can say that this is being discussed because of the varying opinions. Everyone has different beliefs, even if scientific evidence is usually pointing in one clear direction. [1-6]
 Thank you for reading my blog post! I hope you found this interesting and learnt something. I will be discussing advantages of decriminalization in my next blog post. Please leave any questions you have down below, I love answering them! I also enjoy reading your opinions so please do not hesitate to comment 🙂


  1. my survey

4 Replies to “Blog post #3- What affects does the decriminalization of drugs have on society?”

  1. Hey Nikki! I really enjoyed reading your post. I think it was a phenomenal idea to include the surveys in your post and I believe that it really added some useful interactivity into your project as a whole. It was super interesting seeing how the perspective on marijuana has shifted from back in the day, from being almost vilified to being widely considered safer than tobacco. It was also very interesting to learn about the difference between two different types of marijuana that seem to most people to be the same thing! Keep up the great work!

    Here are some sources you may find useful:

    • Hi Victor,
      Thank you so much! I really enjoyed the survey so I’m glad you found it interesting.
      Many people do not the difference between THC and CBD, which I find important if you would like to learn about the effects of the drugs.
      Thanks for the sources :),

  2. Hi Nikki,

    Really great job with the survey. It was interesting to see the varying answers! I’ve got to be blunt here; I’m not a big drug or alcohol supporter, therefore when I read your post I read it with a specific lens. Coming from someone who has witnessed how negatively impactful marijuana and alcohol are on a person, I believe anything that slows down the brain, as alcohol does, or dulls the brain, as marijuana does, is a bad thing. As you said long-term use of LSD can cause psychosis but so can marijuana. It’s really scary stuff. I’ve had very close family deal with psychosis caused by long term use of marijuana and let me just say it is so hard to work with the system to get the person help and it is so terrifying not knowing if the person you are talking to is present in reality or not. In my opinion, the risks and the fallout of drug and alcohol use are not worth the buzz.

    Here are some hopefully helpful links

    This one is specifically about drug-induced psychosis

    This one is about the effect of marijuana on teens

    Good luck with the rest of the research!

    • Hi Shieva,
      Thank you so much for your insight and personal experience! I appreciate you sharing this 🙂 Personally, I do not think alcohol or drugs (other than prescribed medication of course) should be used consistently. I am very interested in doing more research about the negative side effects of marijuana. I will check out research papers about marijuana and psychosis.

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