Legalization of Marijuana: Benefits and Statistics
The topic of legalizing marijuana has been a topic of controversy for quite some time now not only throughout our local streets, but throughout the local and into the state government. The legalization of marijuana is such a controversial topic because some are for it and some are against it. People are for the legalization because of the great uses it has towards medicine, the money that could come from the taxation of legalized marijuana, and the emptying of prisons because of the releases of marijuana offenses. The list could go on and on. Other people are against the legalization because it is considered a “gateway drug”, or because the legalization of marijuana would eventually lead to the legalization of harder drugs such as heroine or cocaine. Despite the negative comments about the drug, marijuana should be legalized because it would give the U.S. a huge amount of money from the taxation and regulation of the drug, its uses would greatly impact our health throughout the medical field and throughout our own well being, and would help our fight with the war on drugs and our overcrowded prisons.
Marijuana has a pretty broad history throughout not only the United States, but also throughout China, Mexico, Europe, and many other countries throughout the world. According to Cannabis Now magazine, it is believed that marijuana reached North America with Christopher Columbus in 1492 A.D. and initially was only used to make industrial goods and didn’t become popular for its recreational use until the early 20th century (“History Of”). From 1850 until 1942 marijuana was used and prescribed for multiple medical conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. Marijuana is considered a mild hallucinogen with many short-term affects impacting mood, physical behavior, and neurological functioning such as euphoria, increased appetite, hallucinations, excitement, enhanced recollection, stress reduction, joviality, increased awareness of sensation, and creativity. Marijuana’s most active chemical compound is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known and abbreviated as THC. Marijuana at this time was not considered a threat, though marijuana was added to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 along with heroin and LSD, making it completely illegal (Narconon).
If The U.S. legalized the use of marijuana, we would be creating millions of extra dollars just from taxing the drug. Caroline Fairchild explains to the Huffington Post that the federal legalization of marijuana would offer a huge amount of revenue. A study done in 2010 by Cato estimated that legalizing marijuana would create $8.7 billion in federal and state tax revenue annually. Washington and Colorado are two states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and both will be used to measure possible fiscal impacts. Washington estimates that the state will make an additional $1.9 billion in revenue in five years because of the legalization of marijuana (Fairchild). This averages around $380 million a year, which could be a huge impact on the state of Washington. State and local governments will also be able to save billions that they spend trying to regulate marijuana use. This extra money would greatly impact the United States and could create multiple new opportunities and advances for our country.
The possible uses of marijuana towards the medical field are huge. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Medical marijuana is legalized in 18 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Another 10 states are considering legalizing medical marijuana. There are tens of thousands who could benefit from the usage of medicinal marijuana but aren’t allowed to because there are states that are against the...
Cited: Fairchild, Caroline. “Legalizing Marijuana Would Generate Billions in Additional Tax Revenue Annualy”. Huffington Post. 20 Apr, 2013. Web. July 18, 2013. www.huffingtonpost.com
Kotler, Steven. “Who is Secretly Working to Keep Pot Illegal?” TruTv.com. Web. July 18, 2013. www.trutv.com/conspiracy/in-the-shadows/pot-illegal
McDermott, Mat. “Perfect Plant? 7 Great Uses For Industrial Hemp”. Treehugger.com 20 Apr, 2013. Web. July 18, 2013. www.treehugger.com
Marijuana Today. “Medical Marijuana”. July 18, 2013. Web. www.marijuanatoday.com
Narconon International. “Marijuana History”. July 18, 2013. Web. www.narconon.org
NORML. About Marijuana. State Info. Web. July 18, 2013. www.norml.org
ProCon.org “Medical Marijuana”. ProCon.org. Web. July 18, 2013.
Stevens, Amanda L. “Legalizing Marijuana Allows Police to Focus on Violent Crimes”. Rawstory.com. Web. July 18, 2013. www.rawstory.com
Westphal, Kelsey. “Marijuana: Times Are A ‘Changing’”. Cannabis Now Magazine. 19 Feb. 2013. Web. July 18, 2013. www.cannabisnowmagazine.com
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