Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
The current debate regarding the legalization of marijuana has been going on for a while now, and there is a chance that it will not come to an end in the foreseeable future. Marijuana is a drug obtained from Cannabis sativa, a herbal plant. It is known to grow in many climates worldwide and is used by people for numerous purposes. While proponents support the legalization of marijuana, its opposers are against its legalization. In my viewpoint marijuana should be legalized. This essay discusses the reasons why legalizing marijuana is better than prohibiting it.
The first reason why marijuana should be legalized is that it would make the country extra income. It is estimated that making marijuana legal would earn the country up to $18 billion annually. The benefits would come from tax revenue from the sale of marijuana and saving from the justice system, including the high cost of keeping smokers in jail. It has already been established that even with marijuana being illegal, people are still going to smoke it, so the state might as well earn money from it.
Marijuana is Better than Alcohol
Another reason why marijuana should be legalized is that it is better than alcohol. Compared to other legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, marijuana is less harmful (Tanco, Dumlao, Kreis, Nguyen, Dibaj, Liu, & Bruera, 2019). As such, keeping it illegal is hypocrisy. As a matter of fact, cannabis has been found to have health benefits such as easing sclerosis symptoms, preventing epilepsy, and treating glaucoma. Additionally, there is no viable health ground to keep it illegal, and gone are the days when it was deemed dangerous. Tobacco is deemed more addictive than cocaine and there is no proof that cannabis leads to physiological addiction. If the state bans marijuana, they might as well ban other moderately risky pastime activities such as bungee jumping and eating burgers.
Majiruana leads to Worse.
Opponents of legalizing marijuana are of the opinion that marijuana should be illegal because it is a getaway drug to other worse drugs. They argue that hard drug abusers start with using soft drugs like marijuana before proceeding to the hard ones. Addiction experts posit that marijuana has the potential to introduce its users to other serious substances. A study carried out in New Zealand showed that regular marijuana users were sixty times more at risk of trying out other drugs than young individuals that have never smoked marijuana in their life. Cannabis seems to be getting stronger by the day. In the 1960s, hippies puffed cannabis that has about 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical ingredient responsible for psychological effects (Pacula & Smart, 2017). Currently, some marijuana strains have up to 30% THC levels. While this reasoning is justified, it does not take away from the fact that marijuana is much less harmful than alcohol and can boost the economy if legalized.
In closing, marijuana should be legalized because, compared to alcohol, it is less harmful. Additionally, the country can benefit from the tax sales if made legal. On the downside, opposers argue that marijuana is a gateway drug to other hard drugs. People should keep an open mind in this debate as nobody knows the turn it will take in the future.
Pacula, R. L., & Smart, R. (2017). Medical marijuana and marijuana legalization. Annual review of clinical psychology, 13, 397.
Tanco, K., Dumlao, D., Kreis, R., Nguyen, K., Dibaj, S., Liu, D., … & Bruera, E. (2019). Attitudes and beliefs about medical usefulness and legalization of marijuana among cancer patients in a legalized and a nonlegalized state. Journal of palliative medicine, 22(10), 1213-1220.