legalizing marijuana

Topics: Cannabis, Legality of cannabis by country, Medical cannabis Pages: 5 (822 words) Published: April 16, 2014
Chris Martin
Legalizing Marijuana
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, and by numerous other names, is a preparation of the cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug and as medicine. Contemporary uses of cannabis are as a recreational or medicinal drug, and as part of religious or spiritual rites. Throughout this paper there is a vastly debatable discussion between legalizing marijuana and regular marijuana use. Both sides of the argument have their pros and cons. Medical marijuana has been proven to be less harmful than other legal tobacco products, and is a natural drug for relieving pain. Marijuana has the potential to raise the United States out of its economic struggle if taxes were included with the sale of cannabis. The legalization could be positive by lowering the crime rate and creating more jobs. The government does not know to regulate the production or distribution of marijuana so there is resistance to legalize. Even though marijuana has a negative stigma attached by the government and public; it is natural and effective in advancing medicine, financial stability, and overall lowering the crime rate and jail population. Cannabis has had an extended history of repeated use in the United States. First, from 1900-1940, marijuana, including opium and cocaine were considered part of everyday drugs. As time passed the United States became strict upon crack and opium, but eventually marijuana became illegal in the 80’s. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, scientific studies started to discover that marijuana can significantly cure people who have become ill. “Medical marijuana has been tested to help with cataracts, cancer, and severe depression just to name a few” (Zeese 1999). Cannabis has been part of humanity's medicine chest for almost as long as history has been recorded. Of all the negative consequences of marijuana prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. Research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations support granting patient’s immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician's supervision. Something that cannot be argued is the stimulation, or boost, selling and taxing marijuana will provide to both the state and national economies. Take the lone state thus far to implement selling recreational marijuana, Colorado. On the first day of 2014 alone, cannabis shops opened across the state totaled over $1 million in sales, according to multiple sources. Combine that with a nearly 29 percent tax rate statewide there is major profit. Debaters of marijuana’s legalization have long argued that regulated sale of the drug would drive down production costs and the retail price. The availability of cheaper, legal cannabis would generate precious tax revenue and refocus drug enforcement efforts on more socially harmful narcotics such as cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth. “On the black market, a lot of folks are compensating drug dealers and everyone else in the supply chain for the risk of arrest and incarceration,” (Union 2007). “If marijuana was fully legalized and you could grow it outdoors like any other commodity, the production costs would plummet over 90 percent” (Union 2007). There may be a positive net fiscal impact for states from legal marijuana. A 2010 study by the libertarian Cato Institute, co-authored by Harvard’s Miron, forecast that states could save $17.4 billion annually from reduced drug enforcement costs and increased tax revenue, assuming marijuana production and sales were legal nationwide. Those gains could...
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