Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. It is sold in the form of dried leaves which can be smoked. Recreational marijuana was introduced in the U.S in the early 20th century by immigrants from Mexico. Marijuana is a controversial topic in the United States because many people think it shouldn’t be legalized . Some will agree on making it legal throughout the United States, and some would think otherwise. Many debates have been conducted regarding the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana has been proven to provide a positive impact on the American society for many reasons. There are currently 15 states that has laws that legalizes marijuana.
Marijuana is a plant that gives the users a “high feeling”. There are many reasons why many people support marijuana legalization and one of those reasons is marijuana being a medicinal drug. 1970 became the start of legalization of medical marijuana in California. Marijuana provides medical benefits for patients suffering from illnesses & diseases, including cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, seizures, anxiety, PTSD, high blood sugar, etc. From personal experience, my little brother has epileptic seizures and my mom gives him CBD oil that helps him control his seizures.
88,000 deaths from alcohol poisoning occur each year. The number of deaths marijuana related is nearly 0. So why is alcohol legal and marijuana isn’t? Marijuana affects the cardiovascular system, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, but you can’t overdose on marijuana like you can with alcohol (Villa “The Great Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana” 2016). According to the crime rates, alcohol causes the most harm. A study found that marijuana use increased being in car accident by 83%, but when alcohol was involved, the percentage increased more than 2,200%. 15% of people who drinks alcohol, gets addicted to it. The NIH estimates about 9% of marijuana smokers develops a dependence on the drug but not an addiction. As far as withdrawal symptoms go, quitting the use of marijuana doesn’t trigger the user, but on the other hand, alcohol can. (Villa “The Great Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana” 2016)
Many states have legalized recreational marijuana such as Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts. The states that have legalized marijuana has lead to jobs and tax revenues. The first state to legalize marijuana was Colorado in 2012, and it has reported $247,368,473 in tax revenues just from marijuana sales for the year of 2017 just by itself. If marijuana was legalized throughout the whole United States, an estimated $8 million would be saved annually on government spending on enforcing.
The Colorado Department of revenue reported that $40 million from the retail of marijuana excise tax has been given to the marijuana cash fund program which helps fund capital construction projects for public schools and the rest is transferred to the state public school fund. (Chevalier, “Recreational Marijuana May Be Big Business for States”, 2018). So the funds from marijuana sales will go to something that is a good cause for the state.
Legalizing marijuana can create thousands of jobs, free up the scarce police resources, and stop the huge racial disparities in marijuana enforcement. In 2015, the legal marijuana industry in Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic activity (Ingraham “The marijuana industry created more than 18,000 new jobs in Colorado last year” 2016). Legalizing marijuana would lower street crime, take business away from the drug cartels and make the use of marijuana safer through required testing, labeling and childproof packaging.
Marijuana would harm the user and both physically and mentally ways. Marijuana can also become addictive like a cigarette smoking. Marijuana can make the users suffer from restricted blood flow to the brain, memory loss, schizophrenia and depression.
In conclusion, marijuana is a very useful drug and should be legalized in the U.S for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The legalization will help out our economy and create jobs for Americans. People are going to use the drug regardless if it’s legal or not.