The Legalization of Marijuana

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Is it better to allow marijuana than not? This topic has sparked heated debate in a number of countries. However, other countries, such as Colombia, have decriminalized drug usage and possession, while it is legal in others, such as Uruguay and Spain. The states of Colorado and Washington in the United States have allowed marijuana for commercial use. Nonetheless, other people do not believe it is appropriate to allow it, citing the fact that it creates mental health problems, has a negative impact on physical health, and is harmful to some people. While the opponents might say that marijuana is bad, other people want it to be legalized and be used for recreation and perhaps used as medicine. Their basis of the argument is that the drug is good for relaxation, has medical applications and it is safer to use compared that other legalized drugs such as alcohol or coffee. While legalizing marijuana is not a bad move, there is a need for enforcing laws and rules that guide the consumption, possession, selling and growing of marijuana around the world.

According to Hawkins, keeping marijuana illegal is beneficial both financially and in having many people not going to prisons (1). The author argues that the cost of legalizing the drug is expensive. Hawkins believes that the cannabis is incredibly addictive to some individuals in the long run and he further adds that quitting it would be the hardest thing (2). Anderson agrees with Hawkins on the fact that the use of the drug leads to addictiveness (2). However, Anderson further indicates that the drug is dangerous for people with AIDS and that using it can worsen the unhealthy conditions (3). On the other hand, the opponents maintain that marijuana damages the health of the users. According to New Health Advisor, smoking marijuana affects the respiratory system hence posing a health risk which can cause lung cancer (1). Furthermore, New Health Advisor noted that majority users of cannabis were diagnosed with psychosis or schizophrenia at later stages of their lives (1). There is fear that Marijuana can jeopardize the young generation and the future leaders because the drug affects the proper development of the brain (New Health Advisor 1). The medical marijuana claim has no substantial evidence of prevention of Alzheimer and Glaucoma. Anderson acknowledges the above statement, and he further illustrated that there is not enough evidence on the same (2) All the opposing side have similar reasons to why the drug should be made illegal.

Legalizing of weed cannot reduce the rates of crimes in a country or region as many believe, however, it escalates the crime claims the opposition. Hawkins argues that the drug should never be legalized based on a case study of Amsterdam, a country that legalized marijuana in efforts to reduce crime rates but instead they rose. According to New Health Advisor, legalization of weed will increase its use and the public safety will be endangered (1). The above is attributed to the fact that people under the influence of the drug feel high and cases of accidents and fights will be rampant. The decimation of people lives is likely to occur if legalization is approved. Users of the drug often lose their jobs, drop out of school among other things. Marijuana has different effects on people since other can feel motivated to work while others get frustrated, confused and violent hence leading to low quality of life since they will not be able to support themselves or their families (Hawkins 2). Additionally, there are high chances that the sex life of drug users are likely to get affected because smoking can lead to impotence in males. However, the opponents argue that bad breaths and risks of getting testicular cancer in men are areas of concerns and the reason why the drug should never be legalized across the globe (Anderson 3).

Perhaps the above opponents are right about cannabis, and it should be illegalized anyway. There are concerns about how the drug is illegal. For example the situation of marijuana as a medicine. But is there research that proves that marijuana is medicinal? From research, there is none, what exists are claims by some of the people that it might act as a prevention of glaucoma and Alzheimer (Bell 2). However, there is a need for the public to get information on this claim because other might be using the drug thinking that it is of medicinal purposes the opponents' views seem to have some validity in it. For instance the case of having mental health and physical health issues in some individuals. Although no specific research that indicates a direct relationship between the drug users and the associated health problems, it is well known that smoking affects the respiratory system and can cause lung cancer and other complications. Awareness on this issue needs to be aired out to the users to understand the health risks they are exposed to while using the drug. Conversely, the claim of users decimating people lives also has some validity in it. Although other people might lead a ruined life without any history of using cannabis, the above claim might be true considering the effects of the drug (Merino 9).

The side which favors legalization would argue against the opponents’ views. Legalizing marijuana will not cost the country or government much money. Instead, it will save billions of money. On an annual basis, $6 billion is lost to the enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration of marijuana in the United States alone (Bell 1). He further argues that the prisons are crowded with the drug offenders and other minor crimes such as possession of the drug. According to Bell, the offenders are overburdening the already busy police force which could be investigating other crimes that are of state concern such as terrorism. Minor offences such as possession of marijuana and smuggling will be eliminated if legalization is approved. Considering the number of violence and killings that are caused by the illegality of the drug, there is a need for legalization. An example of this situation is how Mexican cartels gain 60 % of their profits from the sale of the drug and alongside they murder approximately 6,000 people annually. However, with legalization, the killings can stop instantly (Bell 1). The opponents contend on the fact that cannabis has medicinal applications. According to Rough, there are studies that have shown the potentiality of the drug shrinking the cancerous tumors in the brain (2). However, Rough further argues that research has found that the drug can reduce epilepsy and seizure by 54% (3). Additionally, the author noted that use of cannabis reduces anxiety and depression.

The opposition concerns on the health problems of the drug are nothing but a lie. Use of the drug has proven to demonstrate health benefits. Bell says that cannabis reduces glaucoma and helps patients undergoing chemo in reducing the depressions and fighting the conditions off the skin (1). Legalizing the drug would make way for researchers to discover news ways of using the drug and help doctors in administering the drug for medical conditions. It should be noted that a significant number of states in America and other countries have legalized marijuana and they are still normal like other regions. The above signifies that legalizing the drug would not bring a notable change. As compared to other legalized recreational drugs such as alcohol, marijuana is less toxic, in fact, it is 114 times safer than alcohol (Merino 4). Opponents argue that legalization would lead to increased use. However, legalization would give rise to the decrease in use among the teens. For example, after the legalization of cannabis in Colorado America, the usage has dropped from 22% to 20% by 2013 due to the efforts of regulations restriction and public education (Merino 5). Also, the perception that crime rates increase as a result of legalization is not true. To clear doubts of whether the legalization is beneficial or not, legalization has proved to generate revenues. An example is Colorado which gained an approximately $73 million in income in the first year of legalization which proves that legalization of marijuana is beneficial both to the taxpayers and the government (Rough 2).

Marijuana legalization is the appropriate move to take globally. Traditionally, people believe that marijuana is used to alleviate a lot if medical ailments such as treatment of nausea, a condition extreme for cancer patients, restoring appetite. Other cultures believe that cannabis is the safest sleeping aid. Cannabis has been used for decades, and no deaths have ever been reported or recorded. Merino argue that legalization of the drug will see the disappearance of the black market and the dealers or sellers will be required to have licenses and follow regulations (14). Drug dealers in the black market are reaping billions of money from the sales of the drug. However, dealing with drug smugglers is risky and can lead to death in some situations (Anderson 1). After legalization, for example, users will be required to be ID holders and must of a certain age to them to buy or use the drug just the same as in alcohol and other drugs. Taxations realized from marijuana legalization can produce billions of dollars profits per annum which will boost the country’s economic development. However, if the drug is administered well as a medicinal drug, cases of respiratory risks as a result of smoking will be reduced drastically (Bell 2). Additionally, legalization will open ways for researchers to investigate the uses of the drugs and prove the many claims about it. Legalization of cannabis should be respected because it proves that there are many benefits as compared to making it illegal (Merino 16).

Despite the fact that marijuana has several toxic chemicals, it is not much different from other legalized drugs such as cigarettes or alcohol. There are not any beneficial or medicinal in the consumption or use of cigarettes of alcohol, but marijuana has a lot of advantages if made legal as a recreational or medicinal drug (Rough 2). Despite the side effects such as memory perception, euphoria and impaired thinking, marijuana is less addictive to the majority of users, and the drug is less abused. The side effects of the drug are less risky as compared to the side effects of other legalized drugs. Research shows that is it dangerous for a drunkard to drive as compared to a marijuana user who is high. The chances of a drunk person causing accidents and danger to the public safety are greater than that of an individual who is high. Merino says that drug can be legalized and enact decriminalization of possession and use to control abuse of the drug (8). The drug can generate benefits to the nations while those who choose to use the drug for recreation can enjoy smoking, injecting or eating the drug as it pleases them. Legalization of marijuana will reduce the prevalence of criminal activities at the same time eliminating the black market. Both the detractors and supports of marijuana legalization would enjoy the revenues realized from legalization. On top of the above, the creation of job opportunities will be made, and everybody will benefit because idling youths will be busy working hence having little time for drugs.

Legalization will encourage education among the youths and the entire society on the risks involved to die to the abuse and use of the drug. Prisons will be less crowded since the minor offenders of marijuana will be out of jail. Additionally, the police force will not be wasting their investigative time investigating on marijuana offenders hence dedicating their time to other sensitive crimes (Bell 2). Conversely, the courts and parliaments will not take their precious time in the enforcement of laws against marijuana. Lots of money is annually used for law enforcement, prosecution and incineration of marijuana, all this will end, and everyone will benefit from the money that will be saved as a result (Merino 12). However, no side of the detractors of supporters will lose anyway as a result of marijuana legalization, because the drug will be legal just like cigarettes or alcohol and it will be up to individuals to decide whether to use it or not. Everyone has a right to freedom of choice. Hence those who feel like using the drug will and those who think it is bad to use will refrain.

In conclusion, it is evident that the debate on whether the drug should be legalized or made illegal is a hot one. The opposing side argues that the drug should never be legalized because it will increase its use, addictive, leads to mental and physical illness, endanger the safety of the public results in increased criminal cases among youths and other reasons. However, those who support the legalization of cannabis argue that it is used in medicine application such as reduction of glaucoma, epilepsy and an excellent remedy for relaxing for instance sleeping. Other reasons for legalization include source of revenue, decreased criminal activities and medicine source. Nonetheless, there is some validity on the fact that the drug should remain illegal because there is no approved claim that marijuana can treat some medical conditions. Additionally, the drug can prove addictive to some people, and it can jeopardize the future of youth and the quality of life of users. However, legalization should be honored because marijuana has never killed anyone since its inception, can generate high revenues, job opportunities and will make way for researchers to do more in identifying the medicinal uses of the drug.

Works Cited

Anderson, Dave. “Top 10 Reasons Medical Marijuana Should Be Illegal.” Top 10 Lists | ListLand.Com, 9 Feb. 2016, Accessed 10 June 2017.

Bell, Gabriel. “12 Reasons Weed Should Be Legal.” Heat Street, 21 Apr. 2017, Accessed 10 June 2017.

Hawkins, John. “John Hawkins - 5 Reasons Marijuana Should Remain Illegal.” Townhall,, 21 Jan. 2014, Accessed 10 June 2017.

Merino, Noël. The Legalization of Marijuana. Farmington Hills, MI, Greenhaven Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.

“Why Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized?” New Health Advisor, 20 July 2015, Accessed 10 June 2017.

Rough, Lisa. “Should Marijuana Be Legalized? 10 Arguments in Favor.” Leafly, 1 Feb. 2017, Accessed 10 June 2017.

December 15, 2022

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