Though not a cut and dry issue, I think it's a progressive move with more benefits than harm overall, even if a bit rushed.
I think it's a natural viable option for pain management for those needing alternatives. That in itself is no small thing.tgf
Tax grab of course. Huge. Yes some of it has to go to setting up/maintaining infrastructure for it but the feds will make gazillions. And if more people are smoking it, there will be long term effects that will affect the medical industry and ultimately the taxpayer. That being said, the government hasn't banned cigarettes to date, probably because there's still money in it.
It will take a bite outta crime to some degree but the black market for dope won't disappear. If the supply is the legal store, demand on the street goes down; why wouldn't it? Even if cost is much higher, I doubt any newbie is gonna look for a better deal at the bus station. The existing reefer fiend has no downside to just stopping in at the store and you can order online for delivery, hopefully with a pizza. What would a business do to be competitive? Drop the price or offer more/better product. One thing that might happen on the street is a shift to harder drugs such as coke, meth and opioids which will suck for those at risk and those that love them. And for those who may still buy weed on the street where there is risk of it getting spiked with evil shite, this being a major plus to legal weed.
Will it create a new generation of lethargic dope fiends intent on wasting their lives? I doubt it. Sure, it opens a door wider but that door has always been there for those looking to try it, assuming one was a teenager and went to a public school. If anything, legalization takes away the illegal thrill and makes it just like alcohol. And like alcohol, most will try it and some will go overboard. Chances are those that lose control were bound to anyways due to genetic disposition and/or personality; it being illegal won't stop an addict. For your average adult, ok, now there's an open door but if there wasn't one already, I think they'll be fine. In fact, it's kinda surprising how many high functioning successful people blaze the ganja. Then again, my sampling may be biased.
As for health risks, of course smoking anything isn't good for your lungs but now there's vaporizers. Less harmful methinks. Less. Then there's edibles, for which home recipes will likely boom; I'm holding out for a maple syrup bacon Delta 9 poutine. Mmmmm poutine. Long term use of poutine is probably not good for you, nor is bacon methinks. Then there's the schizophrenia connection which is possible but similar to addiction, likely has genetic predispositions that are triggered, especially in youth when schizophrenia is most likely to manifest and when one is most likely to try dope for the first time. Probably not a great combination. I could see it though; I've heard people say they get paranoid when high so they don't do it. I dunno, I've never gotten paranoid, if anything I'm relaxed, calm and at peace. Your mileage may vary.
As for a comparison to alcohol, I never saw two rastas beating the shit outta each other in a coffee shop parking lot after too many blunts. This is not to say all who drink are violent or that all dopers are passive, but in my experience, alcohol is better at bringing the angry out in people. Far better. The other, not so much.
I guess we'll see how it all rolls out one way or another.