The legalisation of cannabis has actually long been a disputed topic, and not just in Australia But all around the world. Individuals’s views in this location vary considerably, with numerous affordable arguments for and versus the issue. In this report, previous research studies and literature will be evaluated providing an understanding into the possible consequences of legalising cannabis in addition to the views and debates regarded to the concern. The organisation, Gallup has been analyzing America’s attitude towards the legalisation of marijuana because the late 1960’s.
Their studies reveal that in the past Americans have actually been opposed to the concern, with simply twelve percent supporting the drug’s legalisation in 1969. However, in 1977 this number increased to 25 percent, and in 2000 increased once again to 31 percent (Carroll, 2005). According to a new study by Gallop, the amount of Americans in favour of cannabis’s legalisation today has now skyrocketed to a fascinating fifty percent.
Consisting of people between the ages of eighteen and twenty nine most in favour of its legalisation, and individuals sixty five and older proved to be most opposed to it (daily mail press reporter, 2011) A primary concern in the debate connecting to the legalization of marijuana is whether consumption would increase and by how much.
Lots of people are concerned that if the drug became legal it would end up being more accessible, cost effective, and acceptable in society, making a boost in intake a huge possibility. Rand, a drug policy research study centre, conducted a research study that supports this argument.
“Arise from these studies recommend that routine use of marijuana will Increase both in occurrence and in terms of typical level of use with a fall in the financial rate of cannabis and a decrease in the enforcement risk of using marijuana. The precise boost in use, especially in regards to average amounts taken in among users, stays unclear because of insufficient analyses of conditional demand.
However, it is clear that the number (prevalence) of regular users will rise in response to both (Pacula, 2010).” According to Rand there is still an uncertainty towards how much marijuana consumption will increase post-legalisation, however, their models suggest that numbers could increase by fifty to one hundred percent or more. This would depend on the retail price, availability, advertisement and the federal response (Kilmer, 2010). If more people are using the drug, more people will be open to the health disadvantages marijuana has on the human body. The primary reason why marijuana has been illegal in the past is because the drug does have many adverse health effects. In the same way the government protects people on the road by making them wear seatbelts; they also want to protect members of society from falling to the consequences involved with consuming marijuana.
The government does have a certain level of responsibility over the safety of society, which is why many people believe that marijuana should remain illegal. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has surveyed and conducted many scientific research projects, all showing that excessive marijuana use has a serious effect on a user’s memory, social skills and capability to be educated (buddy, 2006). Intensive use can also lead to many long term effects such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders as well as an increased risk of getting bronchitis, lung cancer and other diseases of the respiratory system (NSW Government, 2011).
Despite these effects of marijuana usage, it has proved that marijuana is no more harmful than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco. Which brings into question, why should marijuana be illegal when alcohol and tobacco consumption is allowed? An investigation by the British Medical Association actually went on to prove that alcohol and tobacco are far more addictive than marijuana. In fact, the drinking of alcohol and the use of cigarettes result in more deaths per year than does the use of marijuana.(marijuana safety, 1999) ” Alcohol is more toxic, more addictive, more harmful to the body, more likely to result in injuries, and more likely to lead to interpersonal violence than marijuana” (safer choice,2010) If marijuana were to be legalised it could provide a safer alternative to alcohol and more harmful drugs.
Substituting these drugs with marijuana could be a successful approach to the battle against substance abuse. Amanda Reiman describes what she has found in her study about the substitution of other drugs with marijuana. “Substituting cannabis for alcohol has been described as a radical alcohol treatment protocol. This approach could be used to address heavy alcohol use in the British Isles – people might substitute cannabis, a potentially safer drug than alcohol with less negative side effects, if it were socially acceptable and available.”( Reiman, 2009) Similar studies in this area went on to suggest that legalising marijuana will decrease road accidents. By viewing statistics in areas where the drug has been allowed, researchers have found that there was nearly a nine percent reduction in traffic deaths (science daily, 2011).
Marijuana has actually proved to have many medical uses, although sometimes they are completely overlooked. In the past, many studies have shown the drug to have several beneficial effects, these include, effective pain relief as well as providing aid to the side effects of chemotherapy and the symptoms of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma and other serious illnesses.(co-ed magazines, 2010) In 1997, the National Institutes of Health published a report specifying the possible medical uses for marijuana. The report emphasized five areas of medical care that were most applicable. These included Stimulation of appetite and decreased cachexia, Controlled nausea and vomiting linked with cancer chemotherapy, Decreased intraocular pressure, pain relief and finally, the benefits in area of Neurological and movement disorders By allowing marijuana consumption the government would be providing many people with a cheaper and effective alternative for pain relief and other medical impairments.
Legalisation could also lead to further medical research and findings on the medical uses of the drug.( National Institutes of Health, 1997) ‘Though the benefits of medical marijuana are ignored by the federal government, many scientists seemingly agree that the benefits of marijuana from a medicinal standpoint heavily out weigh the risk when it comes to aiding patients’ (Gallagher, 2012) When looking at marijuana legalisation from an economic perspective many advantages are noted. a study lead by Dr. Jeffrey Miron reported that once legalised, If marijuana were to be taxed similarly to the taxation system used on alcoholic and tobacco products, Governments could be looking at annual savings and revenues of up to fourteen billion each year.
This includes savings in areas like prohibition enforcement which is said to be around 7.7 billion dollars. Over 500 other economists are supporting Dr. Jeffrey Miron’s study and are calling for a debate considering the reason and basis behind marijuana prohibition. (Miron, 2005) Overall, views on the legalisation of marijuana vary greatly among the people of Australia and the world. Past literature and in depth studies have revealed many advantages and disadvantages in regards to the drugs legalisation. Society’s arguments are centred around, the effects on marijuana consumption, health effects, health benefits, economic advantages and its harmfulness in regards to other legal drugs.
Vandaelle, I. (2012, Janurary 17). Majority of Canadians support legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana, new poll suggests. Retrieved 2012, from National Post: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/01/17/majority-of-canadians-support-legalizing-or-decriminalizing-marijuana-new-poll-suggests/ 10 Major Health Benefits of Marijuana. (2010, September 2). Retrieved 2012, from Coed magazine: http://coedmagazine.com/2010/09/02/10-major-health-benefits-of-marijuana/ Cannabis is The Answer To Booze Problems. (2011, October 16). Retrieved 2012, from imarijuana.com: http://www.imarijuana.com/tag/medical-cannabis-dispensary Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, Preliminary Research Suggests. (2011, November 29). Retrieved 2012, from science daily.com: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111129123257.htm Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths, Preliminary Research Suggests . (2011, november 30). Retrieved 2012, from The rational response squad: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/30694 Record high: Gallup poll shows FIFTY per cent of Americans favour legalising marijuana. (2011, october 18). Retrieved 2012, from mail online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2050348/Legalisation-marijuana-50-Americans-favour.html Carroll, J. (2005, November 1). Who Supports Marijuana Legalization? Retrieved 2012, from GALLUP: http://www.gallup.com/poll/19561/who-supports-marijuana-legalization.aspx Debate on legalising marijuana . (n.d.). Retrieved 2012, from Hun pages: http://ange1ica1.hubpages.com/hub/Debate-of-Legalizing-Marjuana Gallagher, P. (2012, April 30). Are the benifits of medical marijuana being completely overlooked. Retrieved 2012, from Activist Post: http://www.activistpost.com/2012/04/are-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-being.html Kilmer, B. (2010, September). Insights on the Effects of. Retrieved 2012, from Rand: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/testimonies/2010/RAND_CT351.pdf