Darren A. Benedict
3 February 2015
Why Marijuana Should Be Legal
Marijuana is something that’s not peculiar in today’s generation; music, TV shows, and movies seem to refer to it nowadays. The debate on whether marijuana should be legal has been going on for a long period of time now. The argument intensifies even more now that four states in the US have legalized marijuana for recreational use. When smoking marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) the leading stimulant is released. Receptors on nerve cells receive the stimulant and as a result the effects from marijuana will be experienced. THC is the one responsible for the psychological effects felt by marijuana users such as mild euphoria, and relaxation that usually last around 1-3 hours. Cannabis is used way back in ancient Egypt, and even George Washington praised hemp in some of his writings. So why must it fall under such heavy scrutiny now? With the legalization of marijuana, the government can regulate the drug by taxing and distributing it for consumption. I believe that marijuana should be legalized because it will lower down crime rate, improve the economy, and benefit the society from medical aspect.
The first reason to legalize marijuana is because of the vast health benefits that it can contribute to the medical industry, and therefore this would lead to higher and better quality of health standards. Sativex is a recent drug that uses cannabis as its main ingredient, and UK Company GW Pharmaceuticals discovered the drug for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. Sativex is a mouth spray that alleviates neuropathic pain, spasticity, overactive bladder and other symptoms of MS. Marijuana can also aid for patients with severe diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS. Marijuana can mollify nausea from chemotherapy of cancer patients, and for HIV patients’ marijuana can stimulate their eating appetite. Bill McCalberg, founder of Chronic Pain Magament Program, states that, “Cannabinoids found in marijuana have been shown to be effective in reducing pain.” The ongoing research on marijuana still needs to be carried on, so that the society can discover the full potential benefits that marijuana could help in the medical field.
Second reason to legalize marijuana is because it decreases crime rate in a significant rate. Often time drug busts on young people because of marijuana related issues turns them into lifelong criminals. The arrests really affect the mental especially to the adolescents, as they won't have a clean slate of record anymore. Imagine a young kid in a poor neighborhood trying to make decent money for college by carrying marijuana when suddenly he's busted. His dream to change his future by going to college suddenly got crushed because of the felony record. In Colorado State, the data from Uniform Crime Reporting Denver shows that crime rate decreased by 10.1 percent during the first 5 months after the legalization of marijuana; arrests in Colorado during the first 5 months of 2013 were 10,616, which then decreased to 9,539 during the first 5 months of 2014. This is a quite significant improvement in just a short period of time. If more states would legalize marijuana the crime rate across the United States would definitely plummet.
Third reason to legalize marijuana is because it yields a new source of income to the government. The legalization of marijuana can actually bring an economic relief to the United States. Controlling and correctly imposing tax on marijuana can significantly contribute to the growth of United States’ economy. The Economic Revenue and Forecast Council projected that Washington State alone would reap $207 million from marijuana tax revenue in 2015-2017 and $636 million in the next five years from recreational marijuana market. This will allow Washington State to have more employment opportunities to its citizens, which would then lead to lower unemployment rate. In Colorado State, it’s...
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