Marijuanais a stimulant drug that grows naturally in high altitude areas. Themost means of use are by smoking, where the marijuana leaves arewrapped and smoked as cigarettes. The drug has been in use since 2737B.Cand in some cases, it is used for religious and medicinal purposes.For example, the Rastafarians believe that it is a holy herb andthus, it is an important part of their religious beliefs. However,the most common use of the drug is recreational, where smokers use itfor leisure and euphoria. Marijuana has a very high usage in mostcountries of the world despite being illegal. However, since thereare no medical grounds for proper illegalization of the drug, itought to be legalized.
Firstof all, marijuana is the one of the drugs that cause addiction to theyouth. The use of the drug brings pleasure especially because it isillegal. This makes it adventurous to smoke the drug and thus, manypeople smoke it as a way of finding adventure (Hall & Diehm 1).The desire to do something illegal gives users a thrill, which is oneof the main reasons why the drug is mostly smoked by the youth(Ferner 1). Legalizing marijuana will remove the element of adventureand thus, it will no longer be attractive to young people. However,young people are naturally adventurous and legalizing it will likelymake it legal to find adventure legally.
Additionally,most smokers use the drug due to lack of information. The most commoninformation regarding marijuana is that it is bad and thus, peopleought to avoid it. However, if the drug is legalized, the governmentcan come up with structured means of teaching the youth the negativeaspects of marijuana (Ferner 1). It would be possible to inform thepublic about the drug just like in the case of cigarettes, wheremanufacturers are supposed to add warning messages to their clients.The state can control the use of the drug just like it does withalcohol and cigarettes and this would reduce the effects of the drug(Kmietowicz341).
Thesale of marijuana is also associated with organized crime groups asit involves cartels, which control the trade routes and markets. Thetrade routes include use of violence and bribery so as to protect thetrade. Legalizing the drug is an effective way of eliminating thedrug cartels which are the main source of illegal guns and drug warswhich have led to millions of death. Once the marijuana is legalized,there would be legal companies, which produce the drug and tradeopenly and thus, drug cartels and terror networks would be eliminatedthrough state control (Gary119).The illegal drug networks are also blamed for sponsoring terrornetworks across the world. These terror networks are the source ofprotection. The legalization of the drug would ensure that there iscontrol over the trade of drugs and thus, seal loopholes that arelinked to crime.
Marijuanais also a huge generator of revenue and this explains why drugcartels live large and they are able to buy immunity. The marijuanatrade generates billions of dollars annually and this is a source ofrevenue that can be a huge boost to the state. “The marijuanaindustry can generate billions of dollars per year if legalized andcontrolled and this would go a long way in helping to invest inpublic projects” (Nathan 1). The state can fund projects such asbuilding schools and hospitals through the revenue generated by taxescollected from the sale of marijuana. Critics argue that byillegalizing the drug, the state loses out on a wealthy source ofrevenue and uses much more money in trying to control the trade anduse of marijuana. Legalizing the drug would generate a lot ofrevenues for the state through controlled means.
Marijuanaalso has the potential to create job opportunities for many people asit generates a lot of income. The marijuana sector is well organizedright from the planting to the sale of the drug (Hall & Diehm 1).This shows that it can create employment for many people includingpoor farmers who are currently unable to negotiate for good returnsas the drug is not recognized by the state (Gary128).Colombia is the largest grower of marijuana and it has high povertyrates. The legalization of marijuana could create many jobopportunities and improve the economic status of many poor farmers.The jobs may, however, be created at the expense of users, who mayget addicted to the drug.
Clinicaltests also prove that the use of marijuana is safer than the use ofcigarettes and alcohol. While marijuana is equally addictive, thedrug takes longer use to become addictive than alcohol andcigarettes. Ironically, alcohol and cigarettes are legal yet they aremore likely to result in addiction than marijuana. Legalizingmarijuana would give the state and health officials the ability tospread information about the use of marijuana just like in the caseof alcohol and cigarettes and thus, users would make informed choices(Nathan 1). Marijuana has been proven to enhance memory in lowdosages and its effects are less dangerous than the effects ofcigarettes and alcohol. Additionally, the users of marijuana do notuse other drugs like alcohol and cigarettes and this lowers thenegative effects from the use of alcohol and cigarettes.
Additionally,the statistics on deaths from the use of marijuana or marijuanaoverdoses are negligible. Studies point out that the use ofcigarettes and alcohol results in more deaths than marijuana. Theeffects of marijuana only set in at extremely high dosages and unlikethe use of alcohol. According to Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention,alcohol is directly related to the death of 40, 000 people per year(Ferner 1). The use of marijuana does not have such high death ratesand the use of marijuana could reduce this death rate considerablybecause the users of marijuana do not use alcohol. This is becausemarijuana requires low dosages to achieve euphoria, unlike alcohol,which requires high dosages to acquire euphoria. Additionally,marijuana has a lower risk of cancer than alcohol and cigarettes andit ought to be legalized because it is clinically safe unlike alcoholand cigarettes, which are legal.
Theillegalization of marijuana has also been proven to facilitate racismamong security officials. Most police officers arrest black people ondrug related crimes. However, white people have been found to usemarijuana at an equally high rate. The police easily arrest blackpeople on drug charges even if there is no proof (Clements& Xueyan 192).Marijuana is thus used for racial profiling and unfair treatment ofblack people by security officials (Hall & Diehm 1). Once themarijuana is legalized, the racial profiling of black people as drugpushers would reduce considerably and reduce racism (Ferner 1). Thesociety has been struggling to end racism in all sectors of thesociety but as long as security officials use drugs as the basis forharassing black people, racism will continue to be a legallysanctioned vice.
Theillegalization of marijuana is also costly to the state as drugrelated charges and arrests constitute about 25% of the prisonpopulation. The state uses a large amount of its revenues to controldrug trade, arrest and prosecute those who are arrested on drugrelated charges (Clements& Xueyan 192).Most of the arrests made regarding drugs are related to marijuana(Jacques 1). This is revenue that could be used in developmentprojects especially because the drug trade continues to flourishdespite the numerous controls that have been put in place. It is thuswise to legalize the drug in order to lower the money used incontrolling the trade and use of marijuana and instead, earn incomefrom it through taxes (MacDonald138).In fact, since the drug was illegalized, the trade and use continuesto flourish despite extremely punitive laws that have been put inplace to limit the trade and use of marijuana.
Theborder between America and Mexico is termed as a dangerous zone dueto the drug trade that takes place across the border. This hasdiscouraged cross- border trade and forced the government to investin high security intelligence in order to control drug trade. Thevolatility of the border is due to wars between security officialsand drug cartels (Clements& Xueyan 192).The trade of marijuana is especially the main driving force behindthe insecurity (Gary116).The wars have discouraged settlement and trade and this is costly tothe state. The legalization of marijuana would make the border safeand this would encourage trade and peaceful coexistence betweenpeople on both sides of the border.
Marijuanaalso has cultural values for communities that have grown the drug formany centuries. The Rastafarian movement, for example, calls it theholy herb and most of the adherents use the drug for religiouspurposes. Illegalizing the drug means denying people a chance tofreely practice their cultural beliefs without discrimination(MacDonald127).Cultural discrimination is an abuse of human rights as it is illegalto discriminate a group of people based on cultural beliefs. The drugthus ought to be legalized so that those who attach cultural value tothe drug can use it without discrimination.
Despitesome cases of health problems, clinical tests prove that themarijuana has many health advantages to users. To begin with,marijuana has been proven to be a strong painkiller and it is usedmedically for patients who suffer from terminal illnesses. It hasalso been found to cure migraines due to its chemical componentswhich are healthier than most manufactured painkillers (Nathan 1).Marijuana has also been proven to prevent cancer, a major killer inthe twenty first century. Additionally, health experts argue thatsmall quantities of marijuana have been proven to cure depression.This proves that the marijuana ought to be legalized because it hasmedical benefits, apart from being a recreational drug.
However,despite the many advantages of marijuana, it is still as drug and ithas the potential of causing health problems. Marijuana users areknown to be unproductive as the drug induces extreme relaxation andmakes a person unproductive. Additionally, addicts are known to beviolent and they often engage in crime so as to obtain money to buydrugs. The drug is also linked to criminal networks and this makes ita dangerous drug. However, the drug ought to be legalized because theadvantages outweigh the disadvantages and the number of those who areunproductive or dangerous is insignificant.
Inconclusion, the use of marijuana ought to be legalized because thedrug has many benefits that far outnumber its disadvantages. Thelegalization of marijuana can generate income for the governmentthrough taxes, it will reduce organized crime, the government cancontrol the use of the drug, legalization will also respect culturalaspects associated with the drug, legalization will reduce the amountof revenue used by the state to control drug trade and use, and itwill reduce racial discrimination. Additionally, marijuana has beenproven to have less negative health effects than alcohol andcigarettes, which are illegal. This is in addition to having healthbenefits such as being a painkiller and curing depression andpreventing cancer.
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