Marijuana also known as Cannabis refers to psychoactive drug that originated from the Cannabis plant. The mentioned drug, from time immemorial, has been used for both medical as well as recreational purposes. Marijuana is consumed through various techniques that include smoking, vaporizing, within food item or as an extract. The drug posses both impose as well as physical effect on human beings. From the ancient period, marijuana has been used for various healthcare purposes. The term “medical marijuana” is defined as the usage of whole as well as unprocessed plant to treat symptoms of illness as well as other conditions. In spite of the fact that the US Food and drug Administration (FDA) has not approved marijuana as a medicinal plant, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. “It is highly crucial to legalize marijuana since it poses the potential of healing several health disorders” (Schauer et al.). Cohn et al. has found that marijuana can alleviate symptoms of serious ailments, HIV, Cancer, epilepsy being the major ones. In this essay the argument supporting legalization of marijuana along with the counter arguments will be presented.
Over the years, cannabis has been prescribed for various kinds of medical reasons along with pain relief. However, its usage in us remains controversial and in the nation, marijuana is considered as Class 1 controlled drug. Drugs of this category are proclaimed to poses high abuse potential and lack acceptable safety. However, half of the states in the US have approved prescribing marijuana for healthcare purposes. Besides that according to a survey conducted in the year 2017, “more than 67.4 percent of the residents of US have supported the law reformation for marijuana”(Cohn et al.). Not only have the citizens, the concept of legalizing marijuana also been supported by the medical community as well as congress. According to them it has been found that Cannibis is much safer than alcohol which is legal in the United States (Finney, Keith and Alex). Another major argument of them includes medical marijuana provides a natural as well as safe treatment for several kinds of chronic pain. Secondly, it poses the potential to reduce as well as control the symptoms related to a good number of illness like Alxheimers, Cancer, multiple sclerosis and others.
According to McGinty, Emma et al , “several prescription drugs like Vicodin, Oxycontin and Valum that are legal in US are far more addictive compared to that of Marijuana”. According to DPA 9 Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana should be removed from the justice system and should be regulated as tobacco or alcohol (Hall and Megan). The fact that the mentioned plant has been used for its medicinal properties cannot be ignored. Marijuana had been first decriminalized in the US in the year 1973 at Oregon. The government had imposed a brief fine of just 100 dollars for posesion of the drug up to one ounce. However, this had initiated brining changes in the scenario since over the next 15 years more than 12 countries had decriminalized Marijuana. However, “this act has not imposed any strong impact on the legalization of marijuana and marijuana manufacturing as well as selling has remained illegal” (Finney, Keith and Alex). Two types of legalizations have been considerd by the government. The first on includes legalization of medical marijuana while the second one includes legalization of recreational marijuana. Majority of the states in US posses some form of medical marijuana laws. However, 16 states of the action have approved legal usage of Cannibis that has low tetrahydrocannabinol content. The mentioned 16 states are not counted in the list of states where marijuana has been legalized since the former have not approved legalization of recreational marijuana. The senator Cory Booker had initiate the Marijuana Justice Act in US Senate and passed a companion bill in US House in order to end the prohibition of the marijuana, repair communities as well as supporting racial justice. Recently, the drug policy alliance has recently started working for legalization of Marijuana in New Jersey, New York as well as New Mexico. The chief purpose of the reform campaign is to legalize, regulate as well as tax Marijuana just like alcohol as well as New Jersey. The legalization should be done fairly.
It is highly crucial for the government to understand the importance of legalizing Marijuana. Legalizing the drug will help the government to reduce crime and violence both in US as well as at US Mexico border due to illegal selling and buying of the drug. Another social cause is that a good number of youths have been found to conduct disproportionate marijuana abuse that is harming young people of US along with sponsoring a massive level of violence and corruption. Besides that prohibition of marijuana is unwarranted government intrusion that raises question on the freedom of choice of the residents of the nation.
However, Monte et al. argued that various reasons are there behind the reluctance of the government to fully legalize marijuana for both medical as well as recreational purpose. Firstly, “as per the statistics of the FBI Unified Crime, 587,700 individuals were arrested in the year 2016, for violent criminal act associate with marijuana consumption” (Monte et al.). The list of rime also included heinous act like murder and rape. As a result, legalization of marijuana bears the risk of enhancing the burden of the nation’s judiciary system. Another reason behind banning marijuana is that drug busts of youth for marijuana related crimes carry harsh penalties that poses the potential to impose undue social harm that has lifelong consequences.
However, Petti and Calvin stated that, legalization of marijuana is the remedy of marijuana associated issue since it will enable the government as well as the social workers to educate people about the proper dosage of this drug and its negative impacts. Legalizing marijuana will enhance the quality and safety control. For instance, currently, people who are purchasing marijuana from the black market do not poses any idea about the safety standard proper usage as well as the quality of the product that has been sold to them. Legalization, in contrast, will immediately create a set of standard for safety as well as quality control. Like the alcohol and tobacco industries, legalization will definitely create a marijuana industry and thus people will know exactly what they are paying for. Besides that, enhanced safety will result in fewer burdens on the healthcare system of US. The number of serious issues due to overdose of unknown substances hidden in Marijuana will get reduced by a considerable amount. Wilkinson et al opined that “legalization of the drug will also result in decrement in gang related drug violence”. This type of violence is often seen in urban parts of the US. In states where marijuana id completely legal, people encountering injustice can turn to the police as well as court for seeking justice rather than practicing vigilantism.
According to several researchers, legalization of marijuana will allow the police department to focus on more violent crimes. The police department and court of US will get benefited after the legalization of marijuana in two ways. Firstly, it will provide those departments with more money due to enhanced tax revenue. Secondly, since too often the court and the police system are overwhelmed with handling cases where an individual is penalized simply because of posesing Marijuana, legalization will eradicate the problem. This will enable the departments to focus more on posesion on violent crimes.
Inciardi stated that legalization of marijuana posses the ability to enhance the economy of the nation to a great extent. According to a survey conducted in the year 2015, better than expected sell of marijuana at Colorado as well as at Washington in the past 3 three year have resulted in the collection of taxes more than 135million dollars along with fees on both medical as well as recreational marijuana. In the State, the sale totaled more than 996 million dollars. The next year, that is in 2016, the sales grew up to 30 percent than the previous year resulting in an abrupt hike in tax collection of 6.7 billion dollar. “Economists are assuming that by the year 2012, the increment will be near about 20.1 billion dollar” (Schauer et al). According to the local government of Colorado, the legal cannabis industry has contributed more than $58 million to the local economy though taxes as well as other fees (Hall and Megan). Thus it can be clearly understood that if Marijuana is legalized on a federal level, the benefits on the economy of the nation can be highly exceptional resulting in prosperity of the nation. According to a group of economist, federal legalization of marijuana poseses the potential of generating an additional tax of 131.8 million dollars by the year 2025. Not only increment in taxes, legalization of the drug also posses the potential to enhance the number of job opportunities as well as gross income of the residents of US. For instance, setting up dispensaries as well as nurseries for marijuana will be the first step for the states that will vote in favor of legalizing it. This will not only open up a vast job opportunity but will also pave the path for economic activity in the pot industry of those areas. In states like Nevada and California, it will generated more impact since in those areas infrastructure already exists.
According to researchers, only at Nevada, legalization of recreational marijuana can support more than 41,000 jobs till the year 2024 (Schauer et al). This in turn, has the potential to generate over $1.7 billion in labor income. According to the study of the ICF, approximately 81,000 additional direct as well as indirect jobs opportunities will open up at California if marijuana sale is legalized. This also demonstrates an increment in the total labor income by 3.5 billion dollar. MacCoun and Peter Reuter opined that legal marijuana provides the possibility of tremendous benefits to the economies on local as well as national scales. If marijuana becomes legalized in the national level, the companies dealing with this drug will be free to list their stocks on all US exchanges and hence enhancing liquidity and opening up access to many more investors.
Inciardi stated that regulating as well as legalizing marijuana poses the potential to bring one of the largest cash crops under the law. Apart from creating job as well as economic opportunities legalization of marijuana will be beneficial for the medical purpose. DPA has also suggested as well as recommended product safety when it comes to legalization of marijuana. According to researchers, “some of the major health benefits of Marijuana include it can treat alcoholism as well as drug addiction” (Cohn et al). Along with this, depression, post traumatic disorder, cancer as well as social anxiety can also be treated with the help of this drug.
However Wilkinson et al. argued that, legalization of this drug will enhance the number of smokers in the nation. Globally, more than 1.3 billion people smoke globally and legalization will act as a catalyst to this issue. Besides that the death for consuming marijuana has crossed 5 million in the year 2018. Researchers have also found that marijuana imposed highly negative impact on the physical health of the individual. Every small amount of marijuana poseses the potentiality to cause temporary mental instability. McGinty et al opined that consumers should consider that requesting information on the use of fungicides, fertilisers, pesticides and any residual solvents. Similarly, cocaine and cannabis are also considered to be in the chief category. The fat that medical marijuana posses the ability to treat medical issues that includes Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal cord inquiry, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Epilepsy, Arthritis, insomnia, inflammatory bowel diseases as well as insomnia cannot be ignored.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that benefits of marijuana, both in medical as well as recreational purposes outweighs its negative impact as well as side effect. These herb posses the potentiality to treat a good ranges of physical as well as physiological issues. Considering the fact that it is the best way to treat diseases like cancer, insomnia as well as other mental disorders through natural treatment, it can be the best remedy and hence should be legalized in the US.
Inciardi, James A. The drug legalization debate. Sage, 1999.
MacCoun, Robert, and Peter Reuter. "Interpreting Dutch cannabis policy: reasoning by analogy in the legalization debate." Science 278.5335 (1997): 47-52.
McGinty, Emma E., et al. "Public perceptions of arguments supporting and opposing recreational marijuana legalization." Preventive medicine 99 (2017): 80-86.
Miron, Jeffrey A. "The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts." Report to Change the Climate(2003).
Monte, Andrew A., Richard D. Zane, and Kennon J. Heard. "The implications of marijuana legalization in Colorado." Jama313.3 (2015): 241-242.
Petti, Theodore A., and J. Calvin Chatlos. "2.1 Perspectives on Marijuana Legalization: National and New Jersey Status." Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 56.10 (2017): S3.
Wilkinson, Samuel T., et al. "Marijuana legalization: impact on physicians and public health." Annual review of medicine 67 (2016): 453-466.
Schauer, Gillian L., et al. "Toking, vaping, and eating for health or fun: marijuana use patterns in adults, US, 2014." American journal of preventive medicine 50.1 (2016): 1-8.
Cohn, Amy M., et al. "Support for marijuana legalization and predictors of intentions to use marijuana more often in response to legalization among US young adults." Substance use & misuse 52.2 (2017): 203-213.
Finney, John W., Keith Humphreys, and Alex HS Harris. "What ecologic analyses cannot tell us about medical marijuana legalization and opioid pain medication mortality." JAMA internal medicine 175.4 (2015): 655-656.
Hall, Wayne, and Megan Weier. "Has marijuana legalization increased marijuana use among US youth?." JAMA pediatrics171.2 (2017): 116-118.