Positive Effects on The Legalization of Marijuana
A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteedOrder Now
The legalization of marijuana will bring in much needed revenue to the US economy through tax revenue, the creation of jobs, decrease in the number of those incarcerated for marijuana possession, and help treat various health conditions that would otherwise cause an enormous amount of pain. Although marijuana is often looked down upon as a Schedule I illegal drug, this medicinal plant has been around for more than a decade and has been used for more than the “get high” purpose. Marijuana is non-toxic compared to multiple types of medications now on the market and it has never caused an over dose. It is also less expensive, if legalized than most of the overly priced medications provided by pharmaceutical companies and as inexpensive as the recreational use of cigarettes and alcohol. Its short and long term side effects have also been minimal when compared to other opiates.
Marijuana is a medicinal drug that comes from a hemp plant called “Cannabis Sativa.” As per Harvard’s Health Letter written September 2004 which states, “In the 19th century marijuana extract (was) dissolved in alcohol (and) was a popular home remedy. Queen Victoria herself (was) a user (and) by some accounts, her doctor prescribed it to relieve her menstrual pain” (6). This is only one of Marijuana’s many prescribed functions, it has also been known to treat Cancer, AIDS, and Alzheimer’s disease patients. Marijuana’s safety and efficiency in treating these conditions helps large groups of ill distressed patients. It helps relieve severe nausea cause by the treatment of chemotherapy in Cancer patients. Provides an enhanced appetite, for weight loss, and muscle wasting in patients with AIDS, and may inhibit the growth of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain which are believed by many researchers to be the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as relieving their pain.
There are some medications on the pharmaceutical market like Marinol and Dronabinol which help patients with some of the same symptoms marijuana will but patients suffering from these health conditions at times cannot swallow the pills or keep them down. They have no other choice but to choose the “illegal drug” which helps them with their medical need. Not having the physical ability to take the “legal drug” orally to treat their conditions forces them to find other alternatives and ways to administer their medication. It seems unethically immoral to have these individuals suffer through their condition. This being one of the reasons marijuana should be legalized. It gives a chance for people who are at their last resort to continue to live life as they should with the proper care they need and not be deprived from this therapeutic plant. If the Cannabis plant becomes legal for these patients they will be able to receive the health care benefit they need at a way more reasonable price, which surely they need given the numerous dollars they spend each year on treatment.
Not only is it important to provide individuals with certain medical conditions proper health care, but also some help decrease the number of those incarcerated for possession. As stated in Matt Mcgrath’s essay “Marijuana Should Be Legalized,” “The vast majority of these millions of marijuana smokers are otherwise law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families and contribute to their communities; they are indistinguishable from their non-smoking peers, except for their use of marijuana. They are not part of the crime problem and should not be treated like criminals. Arresting and jailing responsible marijuana smokers is a misapplication of the criminal sanction which undermines respect for the law in general” (McGrath). Jail cells are overly crowded with misdemeanors such as the possession of marijuana. “The FBI reports that police arrested 695,000 Americans, the highest number ever recorded, on marijuana charges in 1997 (the latest year for which data are available), and more than 3.7 million Americans this decade; 83% of these arrests were for simple possession, not sale.” “Presently one American is arrested on marijuana charges every 45 seconds” (McGrath).
This energy and man power should be focused on real issues such as violence, homicide, and the sale of other major illegal substances that take hundreds of life each and every day as seen on televisions news shows and read in daily newspapers. Marijuana users have not been known to cause the malicious injuries or damaging life threatening disorders that other illegal substances have. Nor does it have the same effects as legal substances such as alcohol which is used in excessive overdose can cause poisoning and at times lives, or life threatening conditions, but its still considered legal. There has never been an incident in which a person who smokes marijuana has faced this type of outcome. This is also not a physically addictive drug. By these findings one can agree with Mcgath’s essay again when he stated “Congress needs to acknowledge this constituency exists, and stop legislating as if marijuana smokers were dangerous people who need to be locked up. Marijuana smokers are simply average Americans.”
A much needed use of jail cell space and proper incarceration charges also brings up the issue on tax payer money used in order to keep this system going. If marijuana is legalized much needed tax revenue as well as a great deal of jobs would be available through this bad economical status. As per Nick Gillespie’s argument “The U.S Should Implement a Sin Tax to Increase Budget Revenue,” “Based on estimates from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Americans spend at least $64 billion a year on illegal drugs. And according to a 2006 study by the former president of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Jon Gettman, marijuana is already the top cash crop in a dozen states and among the top five crops in 39 states, with a total annual value of $36 billion.”
Why not use the money from already known prospecting region and make it legal in order to tax it accordingly. He also states “A 2005 cost-benefit analysis of marijuana prohibition by Jeffrey Miron, a Harvard economist, calculated that ending marijuana prohibition would save $7.7 billion in direct state and federal law enforcement costs while generating more than $6 billion a year if it were taxed at the same rate as alcohol and tobacco.” Legalizing this industry would create the extra money this economy needs to help get back on it’s feet. Not to mention the jobs this business would help create.
The growing of marijuana would create a wide range of jobs for a needed society. It is said to germinate and develop a Cannabis plant could be fairly simple for some. “The plant is in essence a weed that grows very well, despite climate and soil, and can be made to grow in all fifty states. Indoor growing can naturally be used, but this would really only be feasible in cultivating exotic indica strains that are high in THC and require specific nutrients and environmental attention to flourish. Harvesting of the hemp would not be a problem, since the machinery to do so has been around for a long time” (McGrath). In this struggling economy jobs are not readily easy to find and some resort to the sale of marijuana as their only form of income.
This largely populated community often resort to government assistance as well. That puts a big struggle on the rest of the working community to have to use their tax paying dollars in order to take care of this population. If marijuana were to become legal for some of these suppliers they would not be looked down upon as a drug dealers endangering the society. Giving some of these individuals the opportunity to become a part of society in a legally structured way can help them get back on their feet. It offers them a chance to move forward with their lives by having a chance to pursue other careers. Selling marijuana is not as easy task and it requires a type of entrepreneur, sales, and business management skills needed in the work place.
There are multiple reasons positive effects on the legalization of marijuana and this is an issue that will continue to be considered for a number of reasons. There are multiple groups fighting for the legalization of this hemp plant. Stroup R. Keith is the founder and executive director of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML), an organization that advocates the legalization of marijuana. His essay “Marijuana Should Be Legalized for Recreational and Medical Purposes,” he argues, “It’s time we put to rest the myth that smoking marijuana is a fringe or deviant activity, engaged in only by those on the margins of American society. In reality, marijuana smoking is extremely common, and marijuana is the recreational drug of choice for millions of mainstream, middle class Americans.
According to 1994 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) data,1 between 65 and 71 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some time in their lives, and 10 million are current smokers. A national survey of voters found that 34%-one-third of the voting adults in the country-acknowledged having smoked marijuana at some point in their lives. Many successful business and professional leaders, including many state and federal elected officials from both political parties, admit they have smoked marijuana.” These statistics prove there is a very high demand among very large groups of individuals favoring Cannabis. Citizens, electors, voters, residents and taxpayers should all benefit from the positive outcomes of the plant and legalize marijuana.
Nick Gillespie. “The U.S. Should Implement a Sin Tax to Increase Budget Revenue.” Opposing Viewpoints: The Federal Budget. Ed. Amanda Hiber. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Bucks County Community College-OVRC.
Stroup, R. Keith. “Marijuana Should Be Legalized for Recreational and Medical Purposes.” At Issue: Marijuana. Ed. William Dudley. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Bucks County Community College-OVRC.
McGrath, Matt. “Marijuana Should Be Legalized.” Current Controversies: Illegal Drugs. Ed. Charles P. Cozic. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Bucks County Community College-OVRC.
Reefer Rx: Marijuana as medicine.” Harvard Health Letter 29.11 (2004): 6-7. Academic Search Elite. EBSCO.