Why It's Time for America to Legalize Marijuana
A Gateway Drug?
One common misconception about Marijuana is that it is a gateway drug that will lead to heavier and more dangerous drug use. This is a false assumption overblown by fear and lack of knowledge.
Studies have shown regular Marijuana users are less likely to turn to harder drugs than users who are experimenting with drugs. In fact, most pot smokers say they don't want or need anything more. They assure they are happy with their use and wouldn't consider trying anything more.
Some studies conducted claim marijuana users may be more prone to alcohol or nicotine abuse. However, they also show current nicotine and alcohol users were more likely to move to harder drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states: "the majority of people who use marijuana don't go on to use other "harder" drugs.
The idea of people moving from a smaller drug to a larger one comes from the fact that most people start small. However, there are many factors that come into play. For instance, many users are searching for a specific high and Marijuana doesn't provide the level they are looking for. They typically move on to harder drugs while chasing that high.
Going on the assumption that marijuana use leads to nicotine and alcohol consumption, and then that moves them on to harder drugs, is still a gigantic leap. This is on par with the belief that marijuana use kills brain cells. In actuality, the reason that came about is that heavy teenage users can have their brain function altered slightly, but research has proven that doesn't occur in adult users. This comes about because there is still development going on during the teen years, and it only affected those who used marijuana heavily.
Benefits of Marijuana
It might surprise many anti-Marijuana activists to learn that Cannabis has a lot of health benefits. It can be a great help in cases of:
- Depression: One of the leading causes of teen, (and other), suicide around the world, can be treated using by using pot. Sometimes by helping sufferers to stop taking other, more harmful, medications. It is linked to dropping at least 6 pills a day, and most times much more.
- Diabetes: Pot has shown to help regulate insulin production.
- Autism: Autism is a widely untreatable condition. There hasn't been a lot of success in finding safe and effective means to treat Autism. Marijuana, however, has shown real promise in helping to control violent mood swings and to calm Autistic children.
- Weight: Regular marijuana use can not only help overweight people drop pounds, it can also help keep them off.
- Cancer: Cannabinoids have been found to fight and possibly prevent certain types of cancer. Marijuana also helps treat cancer patients and soothe their pain.
- Broken Bones: A new study shows that marijuana helps heal broken bones faster than when not using it.
- Multiple Sclerosis: Spasms, tremors, and pain are all treated with weed.
- Aids/HIV: Marijuana helps maintain lower pain levels in those suffering from HIV or Aids.
- PTSD: Marijuana has repeatedly been shown to help treat PTSD in soldiers and civilians that have suffered from trauma.
- Seizures: Cannabis use has been proven to help prevent seizures and calm them after they have begun.
- Pain: Numerous researchers have spoken about the use of marijuana to help deal with pain from a multitude of sources.
- Anxiety: Marijuana can soothe the symptoms of anxiety and help set a frenzied mind to rest.
This list goes on, with new breakthroughs being discovered every day.
Where in America That has Legalized Recreational Marijuana
District of Columbia
Revenue Brought in by Legal Marijuana
In 2015, Colorado made $996 million in taxes from legal marijuana. In 2016, they made over $1 billion in revenue. The Tax Foundation believes that if marijuana were to become legal all across the United States, nationwide revenue would be upwards to $28 billion.
For many states, this would be incredibly beneficial. Most do not have the money to pay for their basic needs such as allocations to medical services, education, mental health services, help for drug addiction, and fixing roads.
If the United States were to legalize all over, by the year 2020 we could have already made $44 billion. The national deficit could be paid, businesses would grow exponentially creating more jobs and helping to ween America off of welfare.
It would be enough cash flow to boost the economy and help fund important programs and resources. Issues that have been pushed under the table like homelessness and addiction could be confronted and targeted for massive improvement. Much needed healthcare reform and service could be extended to all those struggling.
Hundreds of new businesses would be opened across the country, bringing revenue and countless jobs for so many people.
Legalizing Marijuana Could Help With Justice System Reform
It has become increasingly obvious that the American criminal justice system could use an overhaul, with many experts calling for an end to the war on drugs, as it is costing far too many lives and too much money. It is clear from statistics that at least marijuana needs to removed from the campaign, which was started in 1971 by then-president Richard Nixon.
According to Pew Research, out of the 663,367 people arrested on marijuana charges in 2018, 608,775 of them were for simple possession. In that same year, there were 1.65 million drug arrests, and 40% of those were marijuana-related. If it were legalized across America, hundreds of thousands of arrests would never occur, saving taxpayers millions of dollars and clearing up jails and prisons, leaving those spaces for serious offenders.
Annually, the United States spends around fifty billion dollars on the war on drugs, and a lot of that goes into marijuana. That is enough to fund almost every other worthy program in America, on its own.
Studies suggest that marijuana is likely safer than things that are currently legal in the US, like alcohol and nicotine. Plus, weed is legal in some American states already. So, billions of dollars a year are going out of American's pockets to hunt down people doing something safer than legal things, all while it is legal in certain areas around the country. Were it legalized on a federal level, that money would be going into pockets, rather than filtering out at such a rapid rate.
Shout Out How You Feel
Do You Believe Marijuana Should be Legalized?
Sources and Links
- Fortune - http://fortune.com/2016/12/13/colorado-billion-legal-marijuana-sales/
- Business Insider - http://www.businessinsider.com/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4
- Colorado.gov - https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/revenue/colorado-marijuana-tax-data
- Metro - http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/07/7-really-surprising-health-benefits-from-smoking-cannabis-5738619/
- Pew Research - https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/01/22/four-in-ten-u-s-drug-arrests-in-2018-were-for-marijuana-offenses-mostly-possession/
- Drug Abuse Statistics - https://drugabusestatistics.org/marijuana-incarceration/