The issue of legalizing marijuana, also known as Cannabis Sativa, has been controversial for a long time, and has become even more so in recent years. Cannabis Sativa is a plant that has been used for a variety of purposes by many cultures for thousands of years. Not only does the Cannabis Sativa plant produce Marijuana, it also produces Hemp. Hemp was used to make food, clothes, shoes, ropes and paper, making it a very useful cash crop. Legal up until 1937, Marijuana was used in America for recreational use, medicinal, and industrial products as well. In the 1960’s the government’s war on all drugs was created putting Marijuana in the same category as Cocaine, Heroin, and Morphine. Today Marijuana remains a schedule one drug to the federal government. With new medical studies and evidence emerging over the last decade about Cannabis, some states are beginning to rethink their stance on this issue. Over twenty states have now either decriminalized or legalized for medicinal use. Two of those states have legalized recreational use for adults starting in 2014. With the many benefits Cannabis can provide for the economy, industrial, and medicinal uses, it should be legalized.
One of the issues most overlooked in the legalization of Cannabis, is the beneficial influence it would have on our economy. Some people against legalization argue there would not be any benefit and Marijuana would only burden our already weak economy. Writer for U.S. News & World Report, David Evans says, “The argument that we can tax and regulate marijuana and derive income from it is false. The increased use will increase the multitude of costs that come with marijuana use. The costs from health and mental wellness problems, accidents, and damage to our economic productivity will far out strip any tax obtained.” I do agree that there should be some concern with accidents happening from impairment, but strongly disagree legalization would damage the economy.
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