Should Marijuana be Legalized?

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Should marijuana be legalized for recreational or medical use? This is a debate that has been happening for quite some time and this is not just a debate that is happening among people. There are many that have taken sides including medical personal and government officials. Currently in the United States there are two states in which recreational use of marijuana is legal; Colorado and Washington. There are three states currently that have pending legislation to legalize recreational use; California, Maine, and Oregon. On the other hand there are 21 states in which medical use of marijuana is legal; Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode island, Vermont, Washington. While there are four states with pending legislation to legalize medical use of marijuana; Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Although federal laws still state that possession and use of marijuana is illegal, the federal government has stated that it will not pursue or prosecute in states that have legalized the use of marijuana.
There are valid pros and cons on each side of the debate to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Supporters state this could provide a revenue boost in new taxes for the sales and distribution. For example, in Colorado analysts believe the taxes on the drug could raise an additional 5 to 22 million dollars annually (, 2013). The legalization of marijuana would not only provide a revenue boost but would also take away profit from the illegal drug trade. For instance, let’s assume that 25% of the United States population smokes marijuana on a regular basis, an...

... middle of paper ... disorders that are currently being treated with options that are not as safe. The most common stated reason for non-legalization is that marijuana causes overall health issues. Yet there are no consistent studies that provide proof of the stated health issues. Until more studies are conducted the pros of legalizing marijuana outweigh the cons, therefore marijuana should be legalized for medical and recreational use.

Works Cited

Pickutt, W. (2010, June). Marijuana medical facts. Retrieved from (2009). Top 10 pros and cons. Retrieved from (2013). Pros and cons of legalizing recreational marijuana. Retrieved from
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