Marijuana legalization pros/cons

CANNABIS — Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have now legalized the use of marijuana in some form. Photo credit: Abigail Bock

CANNABIS — Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have now legalized the use of marijuana in some form. Photo credit: Abigail Bock

Legalization is a viable way to help boost the U.S. economy

Within the last year, our country has undergone some big changes. One of these changes is that two states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

So what does that mean, and what does that mean for the Conservative?

Its law in Colorado, which passed Nov. 6, 2012 under the 64th Amendment, states that an adult over the age of 21 may possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Adults may also grow up to six plants for private use.

Washington’s I-502, an initiative on marijuana reform passed by the Washington State Legislature, allows an individual over the age of 21 to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
Many Conservatives may believe that this could hurt our country, that marijuana users will start smoking wherever they feel led.

That is not the case.

In both states, smoking marijuana in public is illegal, and driving while under the influence of marijuana comes with the same penalties as driving drunk.
Should we be concerned with the legalization of marijuana?

As a Conservative, I see no reason to be concerned. In fact, positive results could come from the legalization of marijuana.

According to the BBC, illegal drug use is on the rise worldwide, and expanded efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market are failing.

“We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue,” Dr. Evan Wood, chairman at The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy in Vancouver, Canada, said.

By allowing the legalization of marijuana, the funds used to fight marijuana can be used to focus on health care and substance abuse counseling for harder drug users. That means that officials who fight harder drugs — such as heroine, cocaine and, worst of all, meth — would be given more funding to get these drugs off the street and to get users help.
Practically speaking, these funds could be put into rehabilitation centers.

The second positive outcome is the taxation of marijuana producers and marijuana users. In Colorado and Washington, manufacturers and distributors have to be licensed by the state. Licensing would help the states’ economies through collected fees.

“Marijuana licensing fees are higher than any other industry in Colorado, up to $18,000 per marijuana store, more than enough to fund regulation,” Robert J. Corry, Jr. of The Denver Post said.

Also, for every purchase of marijuana, a sales tax is charged.

According to The Denver Post, a 15 percent excise tax is charged on every marijuana sale, along with a 10 percent sales tax. That equals 25 percent tax in total for the sale of marijuana, and for the state of Colorado, that will bring in a lot of revenue that the state can use.

The legalization of marijuana could help this country get rid of some of the debt we have accumulated.

The third and final reason why marijuana legalization is a good idea is because, whether or not marijuana is legal, people are going to smoke it.

With marijuana being illegal, users have to pour money into drug dealers. These drug dealers are importing their marijuana or growing it secretly.

No one can know what is in the marijuana they buy, and according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, there have been cases where users have bought marijuana that were laced with chemicals.

If marijuana is legalized, the marijuana producers will be under the eye of the law, and what they grow will be solely marijuana plants. Users buying marijuana from a legal producer will not fear it being laced with any such chemicals. Thus, it will be much safer if marijuana is legalized.

Keeping marijuana illegal is redundant and reminds me of the prohibition of alcohol. People still drank, but instead of the revenue being taxed and going into the government, it went into the hands of people like Al Capone.

As other states debate whether the legalization of marijuana is worth it, remember that legalization could be some states’ ticket out of debt, will take money out of the hands of criminals and will be much safer.

Benefits from marijuana are temporary at best

At the time of New World exploration, Spanish and English colonists brought over and grew cannabis as a source of dietary fiber. Fast-forward five centuries, and America’s use of it is quite tainted.

Before the discovery of potential health benefits, many users said they smoked it as an escape to get away from life stresses and issues. The theory of “smoking your stress away” is a failure because the issue still remains when drug supplies run dry.

Cannabis, or in other words marijuana, has been a controversial drug and is now being approved by state constitutions. Colorado and Washington allow the use of marijuana for more than just medical reasons. According to medicalmarijuana.org, 20 states have allowed the use of medical marijuana.

Colorado and Washington have also placed restrictions on the drug, prohibiting public use by only allowing citizens to carry one ounce of the substance and, most importantly, placing an age limit of 21 or older to buy and use the drug.

While it may be debated, marijuana can be used as a stepping stone drug to harder and stronger drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth and phencyclidine (PCP). Also, while doctors and physicians may say that marijuana can be helpful in treating diseases such as cancer and HIV, it is not fully proven. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there has not been enough test trials with marijuana to prove its health benefits outweigh its defects.

There are three phases that a drug must go through in order to be approved by the FDA. In those phases, they test the safety, side effects and efficiency of the potential drug. In 2012, The National Institute of Drug Abuse said, “To be considered a legitimate medicine, a substance must have well-defined and measurable ingredients that are consistent from one unit to the next.”

A marijuana plant may contain more than 400 chemical compounds differing from each plant.

Still, while the debate of whether marijuana should be legalized is up in the air, I believe that it should not. The health benefits from the drug are temporary, and the downsides, such as addiction from its use, could eventually harm an individual.

Rather than from a health point of view, Colorado and Washington have found a “positive” way for the use of the product.

Melissa Cammack of Global Communications News Network wrote in an article that Washington and Colorado consider that legal marijuana will help the local economies fund the states due to the high tax placed on the product. Although this may seem glamorous, Americans must realize there are other ways to strengthen our economy, such as resetting mortgage rates, according to barrons.com.

Marijuana is a tough drug to let go of, and in some cases, it can be as addictive as alcohol and cigarettes. We can see the long-term effects those do to the body when abused. According to addictionandrecovery.org, marijuana users are four times more likely to develop signs of depression and triple the chances of forming psychotic symptoms. Moreover, the drug is about as strong as a 60-120 mg of codeine when treating pain for a cancer patient.

Instead of trying to force Americans to inhale the “benefits” marijuana may produce for the U.S. market, state governments and Congress need to rethink a more profitable, non-destructive perk for the economy.

15 comments

  • Is this site credible?

    • Yes…its ok. I appreciate this legalization if works as the excellent way described above.
      But it can increase the number of bad outcomes like social crime.
      At the end of the day, ultimately it can reflect bad effects to our young generations.
      The number of people seek treatment for cannabis withdrawal are increasing dramatically in last decade, said by WHO.
      So we need more consciousness and more studies about weed before its legalization.
      Hopefully government will take this issue seriously.

      Thanks a lot for sharing it to us

  • Finally, the U.S. is coming to their senses.

  • First: if we justify behavior previously veiwed as criminal should we not also legalize prostitution? The medical side effects can be controlled much more easily than those of smoking a toxic chemical such as THC.
    Second: so raising money is the end all be all of what is right and wrong? It something is profitable its good? Well your “profits” will be eaten up in higher medical costs (specifically psychological/psychiatric). And how will you keep your cops from smoking it? With drug tests? More money. How will you keep your day care center workers off it? More drug tests? More money.
    Third: comparing the 18% of the US population who have smoke MJ regularly to the 60% who drink alcohol is a very foolish apples/oranges comparison. We know practically everything there is to know about ETOH. We know next to nothing about the 400 cannabinoids and other chemicals in smoked MJ.
    Fourth: there is NO benefit medically from smoked marijuana. Even glaucoma sufferers would have to smoke it ever few hours to have see medical benefit and the SIDE EFFECTS would vastly outweigh any “good” done. Finally, THC’s value as a “pain killer” is practically zero. There are far better, more efficient drugs WITH LESS SIDE EFFECTS for treating pain.

    A stoned society is a stupid society. And that is what governments want…stoned, stupid and dependent people.

    • First of all, the “toxic” chemical is no where near toxic, THC is a brain enhancing stimulant, and is not at all harmful to you.
      Second: your argument about money, and profiteering is no where near accurate, if Cannabis was legalized it generate far more revenue than could compare to expenses. do you even know how much a drug test costs?? im not trying to target you, or even belittle you at all, i’m just trying to explain, and counter your arguments with logical facts. A drug test is next to nothing compared to the price that could be charged for medical marijuana.
      Third, there is way more than 18% of people who would openly admit to smoking marijuana, but the reason that the number is significantly lower than that of admitted alcohol drinkers is because it is illegal, whilst alcohol is not.
      Fourth, there are hundreds, literally hundreds of medical uses for marijuana, the past unknown facts about the “400” cannabinoids are now know due to medical science, and experimentation. each one of these cannabinoids are helpful to the human body in their own way

  • I came here because I’m writing a paper on the pros and cons of marijuana legalization. I have to say that your image is misleading. It shows Oregon as having legalized for both medical and recreational, when it should be Washington. Your article has the correct info. I will be citing the article, but I do hope you correct the image for others in the future.

  • I agree with you on just about everything you said.

  • Thanks for the information! Appreciate the knowledge and time to write this

  • Cannabis advocates must reframe the debate and cast it as a matter of personal autonomy and liberty. Whether or not Cannabis is a “good thing” is fundamentally irrelevant.

  • Thanks for sharing such a worthy article. The medical marijuana is a very beneficial herb. Modern researches suggest that cannabis is a helpful aid in the treatment of a wide range of health issues. These include pain relief — particularly neuropathic pain — nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders.

  • We appreciate this……………Hopefully it will create a good sense.

    Thanks for incredible information

  • Thanks for marvelous & informative article.

    Yes, Marijuana is the most illicit drug used all over the world. It is proved that marijuana causes brain damage, learning disabilities and reduce ones cognitive functions. Its legalization may produce many bad effects on student society and as well as others. We need more consciousness about it. Legalization may kick student lives of that state.

    So we needs to prevent it and establish proper treatment for addicted one.
    To treat the addicted one, At first we need to detect them and take him away from marijuana.

    One of the biggest hurdle to quit smoking weed is withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, anxiety and panic attack, vivid dreams and so many on. To get rid from it about 80-90% of people start again taking weed.

    Thanks

  • Thank you for posting this awesome article.
    I’m a long time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave a comment.

    I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Facebook. Thanks again for
    a great post!

  • You obviously have never had chronic pain, or any other debilitating illness, if you did you would know how very helpful this medicine, (which is a natural substance) helps, not only with the mental anguish but for the physical help as well. There are lots of folks out there that wish to take their minds off their problems who many use alcohol, drugs and marijuana. Those people want to change their reality for other reasons, people who are sick feel differently and are chastized for it. It does help! Tremendously. I go to a pain mgmt Dr. all he wants to do is give me drugs that have nothing but side effects, I can’t use marijuana or else he will make me go to an addiction assessment Dr. what does he think he’s doing to me? Is a narcotic something that causes addiction? Physical? Absolutely but not mentally, the only reason I take them is so I can walk without assistance. Marijuana does not cause addiction, you can stop and not have the shakes or vomit or have chills for two or three weeks. It’s just plain stupid and you obviously haven’t educated yourself before making a comment.

  • Well spokenmarijuana expert canada

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