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Currently in the United States, the District of Columbia and 10 other states have adopted the laws regarding legalization of recreational marijuana, while a handful of other states have only allowed it for medical purposes. The legalization of Marijuana itself has been a long-debated topic within the last decade or so. One side of the debate says that it can benefit us in so many ways that can help give back to the country, in a sense. The other side says that it’ll just make everything bad and just harm people even more.
I think that if people had a much better understanding of the benefits of the drug, they could possibly be pro marijuana. But what I want to discuss, is the reasons on why Marijuana should be legalized Nationally. Now since Marijuana has only been legalized in about 10 states, all my information will be presented from that point of view. Then, I’ll talk about my counterargument, on why it shouldn’t be legalized.
Although, I believe that with well thought out laws, legalizing marijuana nationally can help us out as a country in the long run.
First, what can help people to better understand what marijuana is, is if they can be better educated on what the drug does. So, there’s two types of plants, and they are Sativa and Indica. The Sativa plant is much taller and slimmer, while the leaves are also longer and thinner. It is also more of the head high, so it gives you more alertness, energy and creativity.
It is said that sativa is better for daytime use. (Cresco labs, 2018) Also, within Sativa there are two types of cannabinoids that naturally occur in the sativa plant. The names of these cannabinoids are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is more associated with the “high” feeling, while CBD is associated more with the relaxation feeling or pain relief. The reason for this is because THC contains a psychoactive component which is what causes that “high” feeling, whereas in CBD that component is missing which is why you don’t get that “high” feeling. While that might be all for just the sativa plant, the other plant that is named Indica gives you a different set of benefits. The Indica plant is shorter and bushier with leaves that are shorter and wider. Indica gives you more of a body high, with much relaxation which can then lead to that sleepy feeling. It is also an appetite stimulator and helps lots with pain relief. Both plants definitely have many differences, but the biggest benefit that has been found is pain relief. Another thing that people may not know, is the many different ways to consume Marijuana. It’s not just by smoking the plant alone, there are oils that can be extracted from the plant itself to also smoke and to use for cooking. Many people use it for cooking to use as oil or butter. It is said that that is better way for it to be consumed.
Next, here are some of the many benefits of legalizing marijuana. One of the biggest things is that there are many health benefits that marijuana can help with. In an article written by a Harvard University medical doctor, he talks about the many benefits that patients have claimed to receive by consuming marijuana. Many of which was discussed in the paragraph before this one. “Patients do, however, report many benefits of CBD, from relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy.” (Petergrin spoon MD, 2018) The Doctor also discusses an important statistic that says, “About 85% of Americans support legalizing medical marijuana, and it is estimated that at least several million Americans currently use it.” This statistic is important because, as it is people support the legalization of the drug, so why not make it legal nationally. Other reasons that support legalization of the drug, according to a Journal Article, says that legalizing marijuana could reduce the criminal justice system involvement and costs. In Oregon, from 2014 to 2016, the arrests/convictions went from about 2,500 to about 500. (www.Drugpolicy.org, 2017) It can also increase the tax revenue, which can then help support the state in various ways. For example, Colorado distributed $230 million to the Colorado Department of Education to fund school construction, early literacy, bullying prevention, and behavioral health. Another few points made within the journal article was that it could reduce the power of criminal drug syndicates and help reverse the failure of the current drug policy in the United States. (McGinty, E. E., Samples, H., Bandara, S. N., Saloner, B., Bachhuber, M. A., & Barry, C. L., 2016).
Furthermore, with most heavily debated topic, there is always cons. Especially, with the legalization of Marijuana. One of the most common arguments against legalizing marijuana is that it will increase crime rates, due to the drug world it currently sits in. In an article by Forbes magazine, it is said that legalizing the drug has led to more crime rather than less. (Adams, 2018) Another reason for not wanting to legalize marijuana is because of the social implications it will have on younger generations to come. In our current society today, nationally the use of Marijuana is unaccepted according to a book on criminology. Not only is the drug socially unaccepted, but more people will be tempted to try legalized controlled substances which could result in an increase of substance abuse related problems. (P.J. Schram, S.G. Tibbetts, 2018) Also, legalizing the drug can cause more DUIs. As it is, in 2016, 20.7 million people aged 16 and over drove under the influence of alcohol.
Lastly, some methods to forming the legalization of marijuana at the National level would first be by educating the public on the drug. Creating seminars for the public and policy makers will better inform the American society on the drug’s use, health benefits, and pros to making it legal. This can help society best decide what the country needs and can benefit from as a whole. Since Marijuana is a drug making its way up on being legal, its best that people have the opportunities to be educated on the facts about it. Another reason why marijuana should be legalized is because 25 states already have some sort of legalized marijuana (Schram, Tibbetts, 2018). This shows the amount of support that society has for the popular drug. In the state of California, specifically Southern California, the popular use of marijuana shows the societal acceptance it has here. If society is able to see the health benefits, social, and psychological implications it can have on people; marijuana can become legal. Living in the most stressed and addicted nation in the world, marijuana would be a safer and natural drug to use to relieve the stress and anxiety of the stressful American life.
In conclusion, it is possible for people to be more educated on the uses, health benefits, and the pros of legalizing marijuana. 25 states have already passed the legalization of marijuana and have had success from the data collected. There has been an increase in state revenue, decrease in crime, and law enforcement can focus on more serious crime that needs to be dealt with in the specific states. Although the negatives may have valid points to the debate, there are better than bad ones. There is space for change in this ever-changing world. Society adapts with the times and by seeing the change in society from more than half the country, shows that marijuana should become legal. In all, marijuana is a natural and safe drug to use and consume compare to others, it can help save lives and improve the lives of others; all society needs to do is give it a chance in the national scale.
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