The Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

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The legalization of marijuana has become a notorious topic across the globe today, and just like any other argumentative topic, it has its support and an opposition as well. Every side of the argument has its valid points, as they feel firm about their positions on the topic of legalizing marijuana. Marijuana is an illicit psychoactive drug that is commonly used illegally but is also used for medicinal purposes. Despite its decriminalization, marijuana is among the leading frequently abused drug in the US and all over the world.  I am for the view that marijuana should be legalized in all countries. This stems from an assessment of fact that illegalizing marijuana is illusory and it should be legalized for its economic value, medicinal value, and for security purposes.

 In recent years, the legalization of marijuana has become a popular topic around the world with many people arguing that it is a serious drug that should not be made legal and accessible to people all over the world. According to Chu, legalizing marijuana could be a leeway to an excessive use of the drug because it will be easily and legally available to everyone (2015). They further argue that it could lead to an emergence of new users of the drug thus increasing its abuse. However, prior to legalizing marijuana, there are hefty laws that are going to be put in place to control its distribution, sale, and consumption. It is true that if stricter laws are not put in place, marijuana will be abused by several people leading to an increase in drug addicts. However, this should not be the reason for people to fail to support its legalization because the legalization of marijuana will come with heavy conditions that should be met by every individual wishing to use this drug (Lachenmeie & Rehm, 2015). Therefore, marijuana should be legalized because the concerns of abuse of the drug are addressed and they should not stop its legalization.

 Marijuana has a medicinal value and for this reason, it should be legalized in all states. Many patients who suffer from various illnesses such as glaucoma, cancer and its symptoms, multiple sclerosis, and other psychological disorders have always depended on marijuana for their treatment. Apart from its healing benefit, most patients suffering from terminal illnesses rely on marijuana as a pain reliever for chronic pain. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to force patients to endure excruciating and intolerable pain and face a horrific future when there is a solution for this kind of pain. Patients have a right to choose what type of treatment they need as long as it will relieve them from pain and they can choose the use of marijuana to relieve them from pain. Marijuana has a medicinal value and this is enough reason for its legalization (Geddes, 2018). If people support the legalization of marijuana, the use of marijuana to treat various health conditions could become a new industry in public health science because more study could be done on the drug to help cure a number of health conditions without any restrictions. Marijuana should be legalized to allow patients to use it freely without any restrictions.

The legalization of marijuana has an economic benefit to a country. With its legalization, the nation will reduce its spending on programs that are directed to the fight against the legalization of marijuana. In addition, it will reduce the money being spent on the fight against cartels that sell this drug illegally because many resources have been directed to the process of fighting the illegal sale of marijuana (McKinney, 2018). In most countries where marijuana is illegal, there are people who sell the drug and these are the same people who get involved in criminal activities as well as funding criminal activities in the society. However, if marijuana is legalized, these cartels will be left with nothing but to leave the streets and this means a reduction of criminal activities on the streets and the government spending on curbing the sale of illegal marijuana.

Additionally, the legalization of marijuana will help countries generate revenue from taxes. When marijuana is sold illegally, no taxes are collected, but if it is legalized, the government will collect tax from the marijuana trade and this revenue can be directed to other government programs such as programs that help drug addicts (McKinney, 2018). Governments should stop spending a fortune on the illegal sale of marijuana because marijuana is still easily available in the black market, but instead, marijuana should be legalized to save these funds and time wasted. McKinney notes that the legalization of the drug is a great opportunity for governments to generate revenue (2018).

Many people have always linked marijuana to mental and physical health problems such as breathing problems.  Nonetheless, we should note that these health problems are nowhere close to the severe health problems caused by legalized drugs like alcohol and tobacco (Cohn et al., 2017). The use of tobacco can lead to lung problems and in fact, it is the number one cause of deaths from lung cancer. Likewise, the excessive use of alcohol, which is legalized, is linked to substantial health conditions such as liver diseases, heart diseases, kidney problems, pancreatitis, cancer, immune dysfunction, addiction, and the overall health and wellbeing of an individual. Therefore, before illegalizing marijuana and legalizing alcohol and tobacco, the stakeholders should check the health benefits and the effects of the drugs and it is apparent that marijuana does not have several adverse health effects like other legalized drugs.

The legalization of marijuana will lead to a reduction of marijuana-related criminal activities and violence (Geddes, 2018). It will also help eliminate the black market sale of the drug. Today, due to its illegalization, marijuana has remained a common drug in the black market and this has increased criminal activities in the streets since most people who peddle illegal marijuana are criminals. In most countries where marijuana has been illegalized, there is the presence of gang violence and crimes on the streets because of its black market sale. Many young people drop out of school to indulge in the sale of illegal marijuana in the streets and they end up becoming criminals and indulging in violence on the streets. Marijuana has remained illegal in many countries but unfortunately, drug cartels and gangs still carry out the sale of marijuana on the streets making the streets dangerous for everyone. However, if marijuana is legalized, the marijuana business will be made legal and this means that there will be no more gangs in the streets to sell the drug leading to a reduction of marijuana-related crimes in our societies.

  In addition to reducing marijuana-related violence, the legalization of marijuana will lead to a reduction of deaths and injuries caused by the illegal sale of marijuana. According to Geddes, there have been many reported deaths on the streets that have been caused by smuggling and selling illegal marijuana (2018). The people who indulge in the marijuana trade in the black markets are always drug addicts and criminals and while dealing with their clients, they do not think rationally with their clients and this leads to fights that can, later on, lead to the death of the buyer or the seller. In addition, most marijuana sellers are criminals who are well known for murder and other burglary crime. Since marijuana is illegal, patients who are in dire need of marijuana for medicinal purposes will end up on the streets with such criminals thus endangering their lives and some of them end up mugged and killed on the streets as they try to get the drug for their condition. Nonetheless, if marijuana is legalized, such deaths and injuries will be at reduced levels but if the drug remains illegal, the illegal marijuana trafficking will continue with an increase in marijuana-related crimes.

Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana will promote its responsible use, as people will be allowed to buy and use the drug legally. Many people abuse marijuana because they are forced to buy the drug illegally and there are no guidelines on the limits and how to use the drug. Many young people are now abusing marijuana because they get illegally and thus do not care about its detrimental effects and the repercussions of abusing the drug. Yet, if marijuana is legalized, those who abuse the drug after buying it from the black markets will now use the drug responsibly because they will now buy what is enough for either their medicinal use of recreational use legally as they will not be forced to buy big amounts which lead to abuse. The legalization of marijuana will lead to a reduction of marijuana abuse and encourage the responsible use of this drug of the people of the stipulated age by the law (Casper & Joukov, 2018). On the same point, the people who abuse marijuana do not know about its medical use and those who know its medicinal use have no idea of the amount that should be used. However, if it is legalized, the sick who need the drug will now know the exact amount they need to use without abusing it and hospitals will also be free to use the drugs on patients who need it for pain and healing.

 The legalization of marijuana can aid in the creation of job opportunities. Marijuana is among the most popular grown cash crops in the world today. With its legalization, many people will now grow the cash crop without fear, process it, and distribute it for sale because there are no restrictions (McKinney, 2018). This will create several job opportunities and this means an economic gain to the people and the state too because this drug will no longer be available for sale in the black market.

Opponents of the legalization of marijuana argue that this drug should not be legalized because it is a dangerous drug that is harmful to people’s mental and physical health. They further argue that the legalization of marijuana will lead to an increase in the use and abuse of the drug because it will be readily available in the market. Moreover, according to Casper and Joukov, the abuse of marijuana can lead to schizophrenia and an increase in crime rates (2018). However, despite the arguments against the legalization of marijuana, marijuana should be legalized because of its health benefits and because every individual has the right to use it as a recreational drug as long as the individual does not abuse the drug. Patients should not be forced to endure severe pain when there is a viable option like marijuana that is not legalized for use. In addition, marijuana should be legalized and the argument that it will lead to its increased use is misleading because the legalization will come with laws that govern the sale and use of marijuana.

The notion surrounding the legalization of marijuana has created several intense arguments from all quarters of the world. Despite the documented evidence of its health benefits, many states are still not for the idea of the legalization of marijuana. Moreover, many countries fear that the legalization of marijuana will lead to the abuse of the drug as well as an increasing use of the drug among the young people because it will be easily available in the markets and this can worsen the state of public health. However, we should note that the legalization of marijuana comes with numerous health benefits as well as economic, and security benefits (Kilmer & MacCoun, 2017). Moreover, the legalization of marijuana will help reduce the racially skewed arrests in the society as well as a reduction in criminal activities perpetrated by the gangs that sell marijuana in the black market (Chu, 2015). For the above reasons, marijuana should be legalized in all countries.

 In conclusion, the legalization of marijuana has become a complex topic in the world today. Some countries are advocating for it while others opposing its legalization citing health problems and addiction. Marijuana still remains illegal in several countries while some countries have gone ahead to legalize the drug. However, with proper education on the drug and hefty laws to govern its legalization, marijuana can be legalized without any criticism and opposition because of its economic, health, and security benefits. The legalization of marijuana will not only benefit the patients who need the drug but it will also significantly reduce marijuana-related crimes and violence thus improving security on the streets as well as save governments from spending on marijuana-related fights and laws because there will be no black market selling of marijuana.

 The current illegalization of marijuana has failed to work for several countries because people continue to abuse the drug. In spite of its prohibition, marijuana has remained the world’s most abused drug among the young people and many of them have ended up as addicts and others with criminal records after being found selling marijuana or abusing the drug. In fact, most people who abuse marijuana are always involved in organized crimes and violence causing the state a fortune to deal with marijuana trafficking and its related crimes. Therefore, the illegalization of marijuana is not a solution but a challenge to many states that can only be solved by its legalization.


Casper, S. M. & Joukov, A. M. (2018). The Implications of Marijuana Legalization on the Prevalence and Severity of Schizophrenia. Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine.  28, 175.

Cohn, A. M., Johnson, A. L., Rose, S. W., Rath, J. M., & Villanti, A. C. (2017). 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), 203      213.

Chu, Y. W. L. (2015). Do Medical Marijuana Laws Increase Hard-Drug Use? The Journal of       Law and Economics, 58(2), 481-517.

Geddes, J. (2018). The Marijuana Nightmare: Trudeau is Legalizing Weed but it hasn’t been pretty.  Maclean's, Retrieved from

Kilmer, B., & MacCoun, R. J. (2017). How Medical Marijuana Smoothed the Transition to Marijuana Legalization in the United States. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 13, 181-202.

Lachenmeier, D. W., & Rehm, J. (2015). Comparative Risk Assessment of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis and other Illicit Drugs using the Margin of Exposure Approach. Scientific Reports, 5, 8126.

Maier, S. L., Mannes, S., & Koppenhofer, E. L. (2017). The Implications of Marijuana            Decriminalization and Legalization on Crime in the United States. Contemporary Drug    Problems, 44(2), 125-146

McKinney, L. (2018). Growing REVENUE: The Economics of Marijuana Legalization. Capitol Ideas. Vol. 61 (2), 29-31.


December 12, 2023

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