In the world of politics for the past decade, marijuana has been a controversial topic. Society is divided in opinion whether the legalization of medicinal and recreational should surpass ballot votes. Although there are exceptional points that represent why some are against legalization, there are superior points that represent why most are pro-legalization. About 61%, every six-in-ten Americans support the marijuana legalization. This number has nearly doubled what it was nearly a decade ago in 2000 – 31%. Most democrats are pro-legalization, as are independents by 65%. (Pew Research) Twenty-nine states have legalized the drug for medical purposes and have found benefits that immerse. Marijuana usage should be legalized for medicinal and recreational use throughout the United States to increase economic and sociological factors.
An important theme that follows legalization are found to be economic opportunities. When the government figures out how to tax and control the sale and marketing of the drug, they can use that to their advantage. The taxation of medicinal or recreational marijuana would generate extra money for the government to put towards sociological standings such as schools, roads, oil spillages, poison water outbreak and the rebuilding of towns. It would be beneficial to the economy as it would provide jobs for growers, distributors, and retailers. With the creation of jobs, it would allow the government to tax the drug the same way as alcohol and tobacco. In surrounding developed countries, such as Canada, they estimate the cannabis industry is worth $19.5 billion, highest assumed (Osborne & Fogel). Furthermore, while the economy benefits from taxation, the government can begin saving money from the criminal justice system, benefiting the economy and society. Marijuana decriminalization will reduce the needs for prosecutorial, judicial, correlational, and police resource spending by roughly $7.7-$13.7 billion a year (Pg. 2, Evans). With these savings, and decreasing activity in the court systems, crime rates decrease.
Evidence has been found that the legalization of the cannabis market produces a decrease in crime rates. The legalization of recreational marijuana has caused a significant decrease in crimes related to rape and theft. The likelihood of the use of street drugs has too seen an evident decrease. Statistics found at counties on Washington and Oregon's borders have found that the consumption of marijuana has risen since the legalization, and the effects of THC show less aggressive mechanisms while alcohol and other illegal substances do. Legalization becomes a legal market in which offers more safety and reliable products, thus the risk of being victimized after purchasing, decreases. Cannabis allows people to be in a state of relaxation and euphoria; while the consumption of cannabis increases, the likelihood of engaging in violent activities is likely to be reduced (Dragone, Prarolo, Vanin, Zanella; 12). Furthermore, it is seen that crime rates related to homicides and aggravated assaults have reduced due to a drop in drug-law; it is found that the reduction of crime rates will drop by 15-25 percent. Cannabis is categorized as a criminal, street drug because of the lack of legalization and regulation.
It has been argued that it is unjust to keep marijuana illegal – there are more harmful substances in the economy that are legal. Substances such as alcohol and nicotine are legal and regulated in such ways that make them less ludicrous. Individual's feel that if it is legal for society to purchase and consume alcohol in lethal quantities, it should be legal to do the same with marijuana. Alcohol and cannabis have similar effects, yet cannabis is far less addictive. By bringing cannabis out into the open it would allow responsible usage. Regulating cannabis such as alcohol and tobacco/nicotine would bring people to be responsible about their recreational pastime. To protect and promote public health, cannabis regulatory interventions may include age restrictions, time and day of sales, packaging restrictions, and monitoring potency. Like alcohol, cannabis regulation should be limited to passive exposure, meaning prohibiting the usage in public locations and in the presence of minor children. Driving laws for cannabis can be regulated such as alcohol – impaired driving on cannabis should be prosecuted such as alcohol. “Rates of alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities have decreased since 1982, with some of the credit being given to laws aimed at deterring intoxicated driving” (APHA). Arguments opposing legal cannabis often center on personal autonomy.
Although the legalization of cannabis is beneficial to the economy and society, some argue that concerns still exist. Arguments made against health implications are often brought up. Anne Durkin argues that THC, the active chemical in cannabis can affect the brain's receptors causing negative effects on perception, coordination, and cognition. A study has shown that cardiac, pulmonary, hepatic, bronchi and trachea damage, and vascular disorders are at an elevated risk. Furthermore, The World Health Organization reports that marijuana is associated with mental health – depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and psychosis. Durkin argues that there is no effective policy that can be put into place to safely disperse and consume medical cannabis – it will be a constant risk factor on society (Durkin).
For the past decade, marijuana has been controversial to voluminous in society. Society is divided in opinion; pro-legalization and against legalization. Although Durkin makes exceptional points regarding the implications that legalization can cause, there are superior points that represent why legalization would be beneficial. Marijuana usage should be legalized for medicinal and recreational use throughout the United States to increase economic and sociological factors. More than 60% of Americans support the legalization of medical marijuana. This number has nearly doubled what it was nearly a decade ago in 2000 – 31%. While it has been controversial in politics for decades, most democrats are pro-legalization, as are independents by 65%. (Pew Research) Immersing benefits have been seen after the legalization in developed countries as well as twenty-nine states in the U.S.
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