Should Cannabis Be Legalized?

The legalization of medical marijuana has been a national enigma that has lasted decades. Examples of legalization of cannabis in other nations have turned out to be a success. Crime rates drop, the economy gains a new source of income through taxation, and money is not spent in the pursuit to stop the distribution of marijuana. So where is the harm in legalizing pot? In short there is no harm, just misbeliefs and misconceptions. Weed is sought out to be a very influential drug and some say it is even a gateway drug to other more potent substances, yet this tends not to be the case. Just because some serious drug users started off by using pot does not mean that marijuana necessarily was the influence to the heavier drug usage. For example, “in 2009, 2.3 million people reported trying pot — compared with 617,000 who tried cocaine and 180,000 who tried heroin” (http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/29/marijuna-as-a-gateway-drug-the-myth-that-will-not-die/). So what happened to the other million and so individuals who’ve tried pot and not cocaine or heroine? Could it possibly be that the people who were survey twisted the truth or could it be that marijuana does not influence other drug usage?

Indeed we can see the downfalls in using marijuana, the laziness, the unproductiveness, etc., but there are  also some good qualities the drug contains. First and foremost the main use of medical marijuana is obviously to aid the sick. Marijuana is used to alleviate the symptoms that other drugs cannot. Marijuana is used to ease nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemo, and use to alleviate muscle pains in general. So cannabis is essential in the lives of those who rely on it to ease the pain. And for this reason there should be no question about legalizing medical marijuana. It is clearly a no brainer. In this case “they found that medical marijuana can help alleviate some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS)” (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/04/28/medical-marijuana-may-treat-symptoms-ms-ineffective-for-other-brain-disorders/), so imagine the great relief it would be to a person suffering with multiple sclerosis to be able to treat some of it’s symptoms. And from my perspective if the drug is able to help people, why not allow it for its medical purposes?

The legalization of medical marijuana is one debate, but the legalization of marijuana is another. Recreational marijuana is viewed as a powerful drug although the effects are not as harmful as other legalized drugs. One great argument for the legalization of marijuana is that weed never killed anyone. To this day there is no deaths based on marijuana. No overdoses or anything similar to it. Statistically more people die from drinking water and although irrelevant it has a lot to say about the drug. Although mistakenly viewed and a harmful drug, cannabis is responsible for no deaths.

It honestly makes no sense to make a harmless substance illegal, while legalizing more dangerous ones. Tobacco and alcohol are responsible for hundred of thousands of deaths annually, yet they are legal. Both substances can be addictive and even “lead to liver disease, neurological problems, certain psychiatric issues and may increase your risk of several types of cancer.” (http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/20/health/marijuana-versus-alcohol/). So the question arises why not legalize a substance that has no long term affects and does not add on to country annual death count? It is unfathomable to think that there are substances out there that kill people daily and are completely legal, while a plant that has a medical purpose, is illegal.

Many states have already legalized medical marijuana dispensaries and some even legalized marijuana for recreational use, but not why the whole nation? Colorado, just one state, made about twenty nine million dollars off marijuana taxes from January to July. Recreational Marijuana “sales have surpassed medical marijuana sales. The milestone is largely symbolic, but the overall trend shows a strong increase in recreational sales since the spring.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/09/11/colorado-marijuana-tax-revenues-surge-as-recreational-sales-surpass-medical-for-the-first-time/), so it honestly makes no sense to legalize marijuana and collect the taxes from all fifty states. We are already in a recession, so the taxes made from the sales of recreation and medical marijuana can surely even help lower our hefty debt. America is in debt for trillions of dollars, so why not add another source to help fuel our economy?

One user tried to argue that marijuana should not be legalized because in the recent years the usage of medical marijuana in our youth has skyrocketed. But quite in the contrary, the legalization of marijuana would lower the number of youth who use marijuana. Teenagers smoke marijuana in an attempt to fit in, but legalizing marijuana would only take away from the cool factor that the “illegal substance” brought. If weed was legalized, it would no longer be as cool. It would just be another legal substance like tobacco and alcohol and although many teenager also use those substance, I am sure there will be less marijuana users in our youth. They would no longer receive the thrill from smoking pot, it would no longer be an illegal substance, they would just be underage users.

The United States has to spend a lot of money it does not have in the effort to stop the distribution of marijuana. Countless individuals are thrown in jail for possession, and distribution of marijuana, so that just means the United States has to pay for the imprisonment of these individuals and that tends to be very expensive. The usage of police force and the need for the DEA could also be avoided with marijuana. These officer can focus on more important things than a 17 year old kid smoking pot. So overall the US can also save money by legalizing weed. “More than 300 economists, including three nobel laureates, have signed a petitioncalling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840.html) and this only means more money for other more important issues, such as poverty in the United States. Therefore, by saving money and gaining money through taxes, the US can surely gain a lot from the legalization of the drug.

Overall the legalization of marijuana can be seen as a very positive thing to many americans. By legalizing the drug, we save money, gain money, cut our crime rate, help our youth, and even help the sick. Legalizing marijuana has many beneficial aspects and can really help stimulate our economy. In short there is very little to no reasons to why marijuana should not be legalized. It should be legalized especially because there are more powerful and lethal substance that are legal and have no positive components to it, marijuana can actually be resourceful.

Science has even helped prove the usefulness and it’s effect on the human brain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeF6rFN9org

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