PositiveImpact of Legalizing Marijuana
PositiveImpact of Legalizing Marijuana
Marijuanais a word or phrase that is applied to refer to the dried leaves,flowers, as well as the seeds obtained from the Indian hemp plant. Ithas been branded on the streets with a number of names ranging frombhang, dope, hemp, pot, roach, and Texas tea among others. The Indianhemp plant is scientifically known as Cannabis sativa and containsthe chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is themind-altering compound, as well as other compounds. An examination ofthe American history in the 1900s immediately after the influx of theMexican immigrants into the U.S shows that marijuana was already inuse then. While the drug was predominantly used by the Mexicans andreferred to as “Marihuana “the Americans began spreading claimsthat the Mexicans were disruptive as a result of using the dangerousmarihuana. The idea was to demonize cannabis with an aim ofcontrolling the population of Mexican immigrant moving into America.During the hearing of the year 1930s, several claims were maderegarding the ability of Marijuana to cause individuals to becomeviolent as well as solicit sex from the women. The imagery came atthe backdrop of the Marijuana Tax Act of the year 1937effectivelybanning the use as well as sale of the drug. Whereas the Act becomenullified as unconstitutional later in the history of America, it wassubstituted with the Controlled Substance Act in the year 1970sestablishing the ranking schedules as per the potential anddangerousness of the drug for addiction (Golub, 2012).
• Completelegalization- often referred to as full legalization this termimplies making legal or giving sanction to allow use as well as salewith no restrictions.
• Medicaluse- this term is used to imply the allocation or use of the drug formedical purposes.
•Decriminalization-This refers to the abolition or elimination of the criminal penaltiesthat were linked or related to certain acts, such as the use and saleof marijuana.
• Completeillegal- this term is used to imply total ban on the use as well assale of the drug.
ModernUses of Marijuana
Marijuanaremains as one of the most efficacious and versatile plant on theplanet. It is regarded as efficacious because it has numerous usesranging from medical use, recreation use, industrial use, andagricultural use among others. Some of these uses are brieflydiscussed below.
Marijuanahas been applied as a part of the human medicine for the chest wayback in history. Of all the negative consequences that come with theprohibition of marijuana, none has been termed tragic as the denialof the medicinal cannabis. Contemporary studies have indicated thatmarijuana is valuable in the treatment of several clinical problems.Some individuals inhale marijuana for medical reasons. For instance,it is smoked for glaucoma nausea, mucous membrane inflammation,dandruff, appetite stimulation, leprosy, and obesity among othermedical conditions. Equally, it is inhaled to weaken one’s immunesystem following a kidney transplant to reduce the chances of arejection of the transplant. Research indicates that marijuana issafe when applied as a Sativex (standard mouth spray) and unsafe whensmoked or taken by mouth as a plant extract. The use of thisdrug(marijuana) for medical reasons may lead to side effects, such asvomiting, dry mouth, nausea, problems with heart and blood pressure,red eyes, and lung problems among others (Johnson, 2009).
Statisticsfrom the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2015) indicates thatcontrary to the belief that marijuana is addictive, about 1 in every11 users of the drug become addicted. The number increases among theindividuals who begin using the drug at their teenage days by 17percent.
Marijuanais regarded as the third most used recreational drug in the U.S aftertobacco and alcohol. The drug is regarded as being far less dangerouscompared to tobacco or alcohol. Statistics indicates that about 50000individuals die every year from consuming alcohol similar to 400, 000deaths associated with tobacco smoking. However, marijuana isnontoxic and can never cause death through an overdose.
Thehemp plant (marijuana) can be used in a number of economical waysleading to an increase in revenue. These include the use of the helpseeds to manufacture industrial products, such as oil paints, fuel,solvents, lubricants, and varnishes, the use of the stalk/bast fibersto manufacture consumer textile, such as apparel and fabrics, usingcannabis for agricultural benefits, such as weed suppression andimprovement of soil in crop rotation, and using the hemp seed oil tomake margarine, salad oil, and cooking oils.
Theadoption of a legally regulated or controlled market for themarijuana drug involves the permission by the law allowing customersto buy the drug for personal use from safe authorized sources.Referred to as legalization, a number of countries, as well as statesin the U.S, have adopted this status for the drug. Within theEuropean countries, only a handful has legalized the use ofmarijuana, such as Switzerland and Netherland. The initiative hasbeen projected to impact the community positively in a number ofways. Legalization, as well as regulation of marijuana, will affectthe community and the country as a whole by increasing the revenuefor the state, creating jobs and several economic opportunities inthe formal economy as opposed to the illicit market. The state andthe local governments would get significant novel sources of taxrevenue from the regulation and complete legalization of marijuana.Over 30 percent of the American population is already living undersome type of marijuana decriminalization and based on the academicand government studies, the laws allowing complete legalization havenot contributed to an upsurge in the use of sale of the drug, neitherhas it influenced the population to increase its consumption.
Theenforcement of the marijuana prohibition presently costs thetaxpayers an approximate $10 billion every year and amount to thearrest of over 693 000 people each year. These numbers are far morethan the total arrestees for all the other violent crimes committedincluding rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. Out of thosecharged with the violations relating to marijuana, 88 percent, whichis about 609000 Americans are charged with possession only. Statistics indicates that the recently enacted changes in marijuanalaw in Washington and Colorado resulted in about 16,000 fewer arrestsinvolving marijuana cases in those states in the year 2013. Thesestatistics indicate that legalization of marijuana will lead toincrease in revenue, creation or jobs, and a decrease in the numberof marijuana-related crimes as well as the population in jails amongother effects (NORML, 2015).
Anumber of states have changed the laws thereby legalizing the use andregulation of marijuana. The legalization of the drug was won via theballot in Washington and Colorado in the year 2012 and Oregon, Alaskaand Washington DC in the year 2014. The laws are different for allthe states. Colorado became the first state in the U.S to legalizeand license the use and sale of marijuana to both the non-residentsand the residents. The Washington and Colorado laws allow forindividuals over the age of 21 to possess up to a small amount ofmarijuana for recreational use. As of the year 2014, studies in Texasindicated that 49% of the population supported the legalization ofthe drug while 77% supported its use for medical reasons.
Whileseveral states seemed to have decriminalized or legalized the use andsale of marijuana, the use of the drug whether recreational ormedicinal remains a crime under the federal law. The U.Sconstitution states that in the event where the state and the federallaw conflict, the federal law will override the state law, whichimplies that cultivating, distributing, possessing, or manufacturingmarijuana is still a federal offense or crime. Therefore, thisimplies that the government can arrest people when they are followingtheir state laws. Reports indicate that there are plans todecriminalize marijuana and end the federal prohibition of the drug(Fermer, 2015).
Inconclusion, this paper discussed the need to change the laws onmarijuana and focused on what will happen if the laws are changed. Taking the example of the states that have already legalized the useand sale of marijuana, the paper determined that the positives forlegalizing marijuana outweighed the negatives. Whether for medical orrecreational or industrial use, the decriminalization or legalizationof marijuana will benefit the state economically.
Fermer,M. (2015). Twohouse bills would end federal prohibition of marijuana.Retrieved fromhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/20/marijuana-legalization-congress_n_6722686.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=inGolub,A. (2012).Thecultural/subcultural contexts of marijuana use at the turn of thetwenty-first century. NewYork: Routledge.Johnson,A.(2009). Medicalmarijuana and marijuana use.U.S.A: Nova Science.
NationalInstitute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Whatis marijuana.Retrieved fromhttp://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana
NORML.(2015). About marijuana. Retrieved fromhttp://norml.org/aboutmarijuana