Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized
Thomas Szasz once said, “All drugs of interest to sane Americans have been termed illegal.” Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and amphetamines are illegal but commonly used in the world today. Among them, marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States and other parts of the world. However, the hot topic has been whether this drug should be legalized on not. Marijuana should be legalized in the world because of its scientific, social, and economic benefits to the society. The paper highlights some of the reasons why marijuana usage should be legalized in the world.
Taxing marijuana can be very profitable since this step could generate a considerable amount of revenues for respective countries (Head). Marijuana is widely used in various parts of the world, and it is quite expensive fighting its usage. According to Moffat, 0.5 grams of the drug can retail at $8.60 on the market. On the other hand, the cost of production is relatively low. It means that the profit generated from the sale of marijuana is relatively high (Moffat). If taxes are to be imposed on these profits, the government stands a chance to reap huge revenue from marijuana business and general usage (Illinois Association for Behavior Health 1). Therefore, the government should enact laws that allow marijuana to be sold freely, but taxes should be imposed on the trade. The income can be used to develop infrastructure and enhance standards of living in a country. Governments should consider taxing marijuana due to its high profits and widespread usage.
Other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco are far more harmful than marijuana. If the idea of being harmful to others is to be considered keenly, the ban on marijuana should not be on the top of the list. Marijuana is less harmful when compared to alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco in cigarettes poses grave health hazard to both smokers and non-smokers. It causes blindness, stroke, osteoporosis, heart diseases, and many forms of cancer to direct and passive smokers (Head). On the hand, marijuana controls chronic pain, and it is also an effective remedy for nausea and vomiting. However, it is worth mentioning marijuana only causes hallucinations, memory loss, paranoia, heart damage and so on. Nonetheless, despite marijuana usage comes with some negative health benefits, and it does pose a threat to public health, and it is less harmful than tobacco. Considering the fact that alcohol and tobacco use is allowed in many countries and states, marijuana should also be legalized.
The enforcement of marijuana-fighting law is unnecessarily cruel. Many people have suffered through arrest and judgement in a quest to fight marijuana usage in the world. According to Head, the American government arrests over 700,000 American citizens annually. The earth-shattering figure is even more than the entire population of Wyoming (Head). Some of these people are the breadwinners in their respective families and therefore highly depended on. Arresting and sending them in prison subjects their families and dependents to undue suffering. The situation has a negative impact on the economy as it increases the number of dependents in a country. It then leads to other immoral behaviors such as prostitution and crime. People are forced to find other ways to survive. Normally, most of these other ways are not morally acceptable in the society. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized to check the number of dependents in the country. The decision will have far-reaching benefits to the country.
The laws against marijuana hinder achievement of criminal justice goals in the country. The fight against marijuana leads to enhanced rebellion and underground crimes related to the use and distribution of the drug (Head). The situation is the opposite of what the criminal justice wants to achieve. Besides arresting, punishing, and rehabilitating lawbreakers, criminal justice has a goal to prevent other forms of crime in the society. It is normally hard to identify criminal activities related to marijuana distribution and arrest and punish perpetrators. It eventually leads to a situation where crime is thriving behind the scenes. At the end of it, the criminal justice fails to achieve one of its core goals of preventing crime in the society. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized to curb related criminal activities. If the government implements such a law, the justice will be able to fight and eliminate crime in the society successfully. In the long run, there will be peace in the society.
Marijuana has a low risk of abuse since it is less addictive when compared to other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Gupta documents in his essay that the society has been conditioned to believe that marijuana is highly abused. When compared to cocaine, marijuana is less abused and addictive. Marijuana causes dependence in around 9% to 10% of users, while cocaine captures around 20% of the users in the society. Heroin is on the higher side with an ability to hook 25% of its adult users, while tobacco is closer to 30% (Gupta). This statistic shows that the prevailing perceptions concerning the abuse of marijuana and its addiction are wrong. If other drugs such as tobacco are allowed in the society, then marijuana should also be legalized given that it has a lower risk of abuse and addiction. The government should consider this aspect and amend the law banning marijuana use in America and other parts of the world.
Marijuana has high medicinal value of people in society. According to Discovery Fit and Health Writers, marijuana is very effective in relieving nausea. Nausea is a major symptom mostly in cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. It can be used to alleviate this symptom. Besides, marijuana can be used with HIV/AIDS patients to enhance their appetite. Among its positive influences is the ability to relax muscle tension to reduce chronic pains (Discovery Fit and Health Writers). No other drug has such kind of medicinal value to people in the society. Tobacco and alcohol are allowed in many countries and states, yet they do not have any medicinal value to the human body. Therefore, marijuana should also be allowed given that fact is better than the other drugs in the medical field (Robson 723). Governments, in collaboration with medical practitioners, can legalize and incorporate the usage of the drug to enhance the health of the people in the society.
Many prominent and successful individuals in the world smoke marijuana. Amongst these people are Ted Turner, Maya Angelou, Martha Steward, Morgan Freeman, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Bloomberg, and many others. It, therefore, defeats logic that the drug is associated with destroying lives and development. It implies that the drug is not in any way related to the destruction of lives. Therefore, there is no basis to negative statement linking marijuana use to inability to develop oneself socially, economically, and even politically. Governments are therefore not supposed to legalize other drugs such as tobacco while banning the usage of marijuana. The supply and usage of marijuana should be legalized in the United States and other parts of the world.
Marijuana is a not a gateway drug since people who use marijuana are less likely to use other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. The society is made to believe that people who use marijuana can easily use other drugs. According to Petter, marijuana is a key to discouraging people from progressing to other drugs. The research conducted by this scholar involves 125 people suffering from chronic pain. Amongst these people, 83 were using marijuana as a prescriptive pain reliever. 42 of this sample population abstained shortly into the plan. Only two percent of non-smokers abstained, while a whopping 34% of smokers stopped using their medication (Petter). Essentially, this study shows that the use of marijuana can stop the user from taking other drugs, which are more destructive and, hence, need to be discouraged. Governments should lift the ban on marijuana to prevent citizens from getting harder and riskier drugs in the world. The move would enhance healthy and lower other forms of behavior associated with other drugs in society.
Marijuana is not associated with death due to excessive usage. Death is regarded as the extreme consequence of drug usage in the world. Many cases of death have been reported all over the world, but none has ever been linked to marijuana usage. On the other hand, 38,329 people died of drug overuse in the year 2010 (Jacques). The figures and records simply show that marijuana is safe even if overused. Other drugs such as tobacco and alcohol have been linked to death cases when used excessively. The government is supposed to ban such drugs but not marijuana since it has never reported to cause death. One of the reasons why the government swiftly moves to ban drug usage is the danger they to life. If this is the case, marijuana should not be among the drugs to be banned, and it should be legalized due to the fact its overdose has never been linked to death.
Drugs are normally banned due to their negative impacts on health, social, and economic development in the society. Human react to them differently. Alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and others all have varying impacts on users. Some of them are highly addictive and destructive. Marijuana is perceived to be a hard, highly addictive, gateway drug and highly destructive to own health and personal development. Due to these reasons why many governments have banned its usage. On the contrary, this negative fact concerning the drug is baseless and has no tangible evidence. Marijuana has a medicinal value, and it is not a gateway drug. Moreover, it is safer than tobacco and alcohol, and it is also used by prominent people in the world. Besides, governments may reap massive revenue by taxing user and sellers of marijuana. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized.