Most scientists agree that the toxicity of marijuana has been exaggerated and does not earn it a place in the same drug category as heroin and other heavy drugs (“Marijuana Is Not Addictive). The new market created, coupled with decreased government spending on law enforcement, could help give new life to the dwindling economy. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States because it poses less of a health risk than projected by anti-marijuana activists, could generate billions of dollars while helping combat crime, and opinions on it are changing nationally and internationally, along with its predicted effects on our country. First, the most important aspect of any drug is health. Marijuana, contrary to common beliefs, does not pose a serious health risk.
Web. 30th September 2013 “Marijuana Pros and Cons” Balancedpolotics.org. Ezoic, n.d. Web, 30th, September 2013 McGrath, John. “Long-time Cannabis Use Associated with Psycosis.” Sciencedaily.com 2nd, March 2010.
It might be difficult to see the benefits in legalizing marijuana, but the some states law that legalized marijuana reduced the number of accidents involving people under the use of marijuana, reduces the violence cause by intoxication of the drug, reduce the number of drug dependents and prevent the health risk that accompany the use of marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco are legal in the states but they cause high health risks, therefore legalizing marijuana is would not be an unjustified act, but rather just an extension of laws already in place. When comparing the effects of marijuana to the effects of alcohol and tobacco, one can see they are very similar, yet alcohol and tobacco are legal. Legislators considered that the money they will be revenue by legalizing marijuana could be turned into an earning opportunity. In a stark contrast, marijuana prisoners are costing about $1 billion annually which could be put to other uses such as improving the health system or education in the United States.
The NIDA published many claims concerning marijuana use, but they did not have evidence to support their claims (Weir 26). This misinformation and the government’s campaign against marijuana made the legalization of marijuana impossible. Marijuana is a harmless drug, but it has not been legalized because people believe most of the anti-marijuana claims. Research studies have proven that marijuana helps the individual experience a sense of well being, relieves fatigue, stimulates the appetite, and induces a feeling of mild stimulation (McDonough 50). Another advantage of marijuana is that experienced users can control the degree and quality of the intoxication by “coming down” when it is necessary to perform (McDonough 50).
Legalizing marijuana on a federal level can prove to be very beneficial to America in various ways, especially if it is taxed and regulated the same as alcohol or tobacco products. Of course opposes of marijuana legalization proclaim that there are no benefits and that legalization would only add to drug abuse in America especially with adolescents. However, tobacco and alcohol are used far more among teens; marijuana use among teenagers has decreased to 7.2% in 2007 as opposed to 8.2% in 2002, yet all three are illegal for teens (Johnson). Not to mention that marijuana use has proved to be less harmful than drugs that are legal such as alcohol, tobacco, prescription painkillers, and a new popular drug known as synthetic marijuana or K2. Synthetic marijuana is a non-cannabis product that contains chemicals and dried plant material and produces psychoactive effects similar to marijuana, but it is more dangerous (Wanlund, 865-88).
Yes some people use marijuana just for fun but that does not mean people that use it medically cannot. The most addictive drug, even above heroin, is nicotine. Probably the biggest argument against marijuana is that it’s a “gateway drug.” Many people claim that consuming marijuana greatly increases your chance of doing harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. Some even say it leads people to sell it and commit other crimes such as robbing. That is not the case.
However, marijuana is one of the most misunderstood drugs on the market. Keeping it illegal just causes more problems. Fully legalizing marijuana, while making sure it is controlled with limitations much like alcohol and tobacco, would boost our economy, bring in more jobs, and medically help many people. Even with the inevitable negatives that come with the legalization, it is definitely safe to say that the positives outweigh those negatives. The source for what we like to call “hemp” or “marijuana” is the cannabis plant.
The parallel here is that; the packaging, distribution and sale of marijuana cigarettes-much like tobacco, could generate considerable revenue. Many studies have concluded that the carcinogens present in cigarettes far exceed that of marijuana. So, from a health standpoint- marijuana is less harmful than already-legal cigarettes. Furthermore, to dictate or infringe upon individual choice is an infringement on personal freedom. “It is not worthwhile for a law to forbid people from willingly exposing their own bodies to harm by using drugs, any more than by overeating or bungee-jumping.
Proponents would argue that marijuana is not addicting and that it is easier to stop smoking it than other drugs. According to Scheel (2014) states that they do not see any rapid development of physical dependence- many users will smoke the drug sporadically for many months and years. Another reason proponents argue that marijuana should be legal since a majority of the American population uses marijuana proponents believe that it can potentially increase economic growth by taxing it, just like Colorado and Washington. If there were taxation on marijuana there would be more control over the distribution of the substance and the growers, which will ultimately limit adolescent