Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized
Legalization of Marijuana is an alternative that ought to be given a chance though the issue has raised a lot of controversy over the years. For a long time now, marijuana has been considered as a destructive drug, and thus has remained to be illegal in most nations of the world. Actually, most people have opposed the drug mercilessly hiding logic under the assumption that, “drugs such as marijuana has negative affects, and hence should be illegal” (Mathre, 1997, p.1). However, in the real sense, marijuana is not bad or harmful as compared to some substances that have been legalized such as alcohol and cigarettes. Moreover, the drug becomes addictive and harmful only when abused.
In accordance to Boire and Feeney (2007), Cannabis is found in the Controlled Substance Act as a substance with high abuse potential. Although most people argue that legalizing the drug would increase its use and abuse, marijuana should be legally recognized since the drug will be of use in treating certain illnesses and sicknesses and also minimize on the huge amount of cash invested on law enforcement. The marijuana plant is known to be a very important natural resource, and thus, its legalization would definitely improve the lives of many people. In short, marijuana should be legalized (p.23).
Marijuana has offered several uses across a wide range of categories, including medical and recreational uses as well as industrial uses. As a matter of fact, there is an urgent need to reconsider the morality of marijuana, and even though the conservative public declines to accept the several marijuana benefits, radical change is required regarding the issue. For quite sometime now, the benefits of medical marijuana have raised divided public opinion. In relation to Moffatt (2010), some people argue that the drug is a calming medicine that has been withdrawn from patients via set of laws based on claims that are false. On the other hand, others claim that the drug is a hoax that takes advantage of people’s natural sympathy for the sick. Marijuana has a medical history of more than 5,000 years though it declined in the 20th century. The 1937 marijuana tax act was implemented to prevent abuse of the drug through non-medical uses, but the law made it so difficult to obtain marijuana even for medical purposes. In reference to Guyism Staff (2010) Medical research has proven that marijuana has an analgesic, appetite stimulation, and anti-emetic properties that make it useful medically. These properties imply that marijuana can relieve pain, induce hunger, and relieve vomiting and nausea respectively. A large number of people suffering from severe chronic pain are injected with marijuana without unnecessary fears of after-effects related to most of the medicines prescribed today.
In general, Cannabis has been a more effective drug as compared to conventional drugs in many occasions. In deed, declining to administer marijuana to patients on their sickbeds is not essential and should be considered cruel. Medical use of marijuana does not cause the public any harm and neither does it encourage illegal drug trafficking (Mathre, 1997, p. 23). Medical organizations and physicians have gradually increased their support for medical Cannabis research since 1996. However, most people claim that acceptance of medical marijuana would increase drug abuse, but this is not the case because the government should take the initiative of regulating its use.
Moreover, marijuana has been used for years to treat patients with multiple sclerosis, seizures, and tourettes. According to Guyism Staff (2010), several doctors in Californian have reported to have successfully used marijuana to treat patients with cases of migraines. Additionally, the drug has been used to considerably slow down the growth of tumor in the brain, lungs, and breasts. Studies have also shown that marijuana helps in lowering intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients’ eyes.
In accordance with Boire & Feeney (2007), marijuana should be legalized in order to save governments a lot of money which is invested in making the drug illegal. For instance, in the U.S the state, federal, and local governments are participating in the “war against drugs”. The government spends billions of dollars annually in chasing drug addicts (p. 33). More often, such people get locked up in rehabilitation centres and prisons, and the government has to foot the bill. Apparently, taxpayers have to pay for the health care, housing, food, court costs, and attorney fees to keep away such people. Debatably, governments could save billions of dollars annually if they stopped spending money on locking up marijuana users. Additionally, governments would be in a position to collect taxes on marijuana if it was made legal, and thus would generate enough money to sponsor drug education programs that are effective.
Generally, legalization of marijuana accompanied by proper regulation by the government would greatly benefit the society in general, save taxpayers money, and eliminate the small number of risks associated with its use. Apart from this, the economic benefits to be derived from legalization of the drug outweigh the minimal social and health dangers connected to the drug. In line with Boire & Feeney (2007) “Cannabis is quite different from drugs such as tobacco, heroin, and cocaine because its use does not come with harmful effects” (p.8). Unlike the three mentioned drugs, marijuana has no overdose possibilities and physical addiction. In contrast to the claim that marijuana destroys brain cells, several wide-ranging studies have discredited this argument. However, there is some truth in the claim that Cannabis smoke contains ‘tar’ four times as that of a regular cigar. However, this single fact is not good enough to sustain the illegalization of marijuana. Quite the opposite, majority of the people who smoke Cannabis annually smokes less than once weekly. Moreover, the ‘tar’ content in Cannabis smoke can be vaporized just like in Amsterdam hash bars (Boire & Feeney, 2007, p. 17).
In the same context, marijuana should be legalized because several studies have proven that prohibition does not help much since the drug is available in almost every region of the world. According to Moffatt (2010), “so far, there is no solid evidence that illegalization of the drug minimizes its use and abuse”. On the contrary, various theories such as the ‘forbidden fruit theory’ propose that ban might in fact increase its use. Apparently, anyone can buy the drug regardless of their age so long as they have money. As a matter of fact, it is much easier for high school kids to obtain Cannabis than it is for alcohol since the latter is legal and thus regulated to be sold to people of the recommended age. In relation to Boire &Feeney (2007), if the main goal is to lessen drug consumption, in that case it would be wise to focus on straightforward and open programs of educating the youth, establish treatment centres for drug addicts, and impose drug regulations. Prohibition is never a solution, but treatment and education are better options (p. 30).
Fundamentally, legalization of marijuana has several economic and societal benefits that include generation of tax revenues. The question on whether to prohibit or legalize the drug doesn’t determine whether a person uses the substance or not. Prohibition of the drug has increased its use, and legalization would release billions of dollars that have been used in making the drug illegal (Boire & Feeney, 2007, p. 31). Marijuana has important and exceptional medicinal role to play. Lastly, prohibition of Cannabis has only crime rate and abuse of the drug. Furthermore, the drugs’ legalization will aid in saving the money spent on law enforcement of the drug hence increase revenue. Governments should aim at regulating marijuana in a way similar to that of regulating alcohol. Consequently, governments would make billions of dollars by taxing Cannabis as a lawful product. Moreover, the quality and potency of marijuana sold to consumers will be regulated just like that of cigarette and alcohol, thus making the substance consistent and safer.
Boire, G. R & Feeney, K (2007). Medical Marijuana Law. New York: Ronin Publishing.
Guyism Staff (2010) .10 major health benefits of medical marijuana. Retrieved November, 26th 2010 from http://guyism.com/lifestyle/10-major-health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana.html
Mathre, L. M. (1997). Cannabis in medical practice: a legal, historical, and pharmacological overview of the therapeutic use of marijuana. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publisher.
Moffatt, M. (2010). Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana? Retrieved November, 26th 2010 from http://economics.about.com/od/incometaxestaxcuts/a/marijuana.htm