Both Sides of Legalizing Marijuana

As many of us know, marijuana has been legalized in Washington and Colorado for recreational use. According to polls and predictions, Oregon may be one of the up and coming states to legalize it next. But here comes to question, Should marijuana be legalized Why or why not There are many pros and cons to this situation, and they all affect not just our state but our country as a whole. That is exactly why I chose this topic. Since middle school, there has been talk about whether marijuana should be legalized or not. What good or harm will that do There are two very different sides to this, but both of which make much sense. Now that some states have legalized marijuana, I am interested in seeing what people think about it now. Have things changed or do they remain the same How has this change affected us both positively and negatively It’s situations like these that will affect my generation and those to come. That is why it is important to soak in all of the knowledge you can, instead of staying ignorant to these issues.

Marijuana is illegal in most cities in our country because of the effect it has on the human body. When marijuana is inhaled, THC is released into our bloodstream, brain, and organs. THC levels affect parts in the brain that focus on pleasure, memory, thinking, and coordination. Due to this, marijuana can cause long term damage to one’s brain. Or at least that’s what they want us to believe. There are no real cases where someone has suffered severe brain damage or death from the use of marijuana. In fact, marijuana has been used to help solve many medical issues. It is important to have some background information on how marijuana affects our bodies and society. All of this information has been gathered throughout my teenage years. The information has come from all over the place. Television, newspaper articles, magazines, my parents, school and the internet.

When you think about how marijuana legalization will affect the country, you really have to consider economic growth. I visited a Drug Policy website during my research that basically covers all questions you may have about marijuana. It definitely explains many things that may change your mind about this situation. Marijuana prohibition has led to thousands of drug dealers and cartels, not just in the Country but all over the world. Our country has spent millions of dollars trying to enforce laws against the use of this drug. There are drug cartels making as much money as the country is losing because of their marijuana dealing. The fact that there is a law out there against marijuana has obviously not stopped many people. If marijuana was legalized for recreational use, there would be a large economic growth for our country. State and local governments would acquire significant new sources of tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales. Legalizing and regulating marijuana would also bring the nation’s largest cash crop under the rule of law, creating jobs and economic opportunities. The economy is a huge matter to think about when you are deciding which side you want to vote for. It might be the biggest factor.

In many cases, marijuana has been used as a pain reliever and has treated symptoms to many illnesses. Some of these illnesses include AIDS, cancer, and glaucoma. It has also been used to help those with mental illnesses as anxiety disorders, depression, etc. The bad part about this is that these people cannot legally get their hands on the medication that best works for them. These patients are being denied their medication. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed the medical marijuana law that will allow patients the use of marijuana under the correct medical circumstances. In the state of Oregon, the possession and use of marijuana is legal under medical purposes. Over 70% of the country is in favor of legalizing medical marijuana. Oregon was one of the first states to legalize the use of medical marijuana, but many states in the country have not done so to this day.

Oregon and Alaska are expected to be the next states to add full marijuana legalization to their ballot this year. As you can imagine, everyone has mixed emotions on what their final vote will be. Legalizing marijuana will only be bringing an underground market to the legal world. Regardless of what laws have been placed against marijuana, people have not stopped possessing of and using the drug. Legalization would help control the situation. More than half of the drug arrests made in the country in a year are marijuana related. Most cases because of possession of the drug. Our prisons are full of people who have been convicted of marijuana possessions. That’s what our tax money is for. With marijuana legalization, our prisons would empty out and we would have more room and money for the real criminals.

Many people believe marijuana should be looked at just as alcohol and tobacco. Of course marijuana is not safe, but neither are alcohol and tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco have caused more death and health risks than marijuana. If marijuana were to be legalized for those over the age of 21, the crime rates for those above that age would decrease rapidly. Those under the age of 21 probably wouldn’t stop possessing of the drug, but how would that be any different from tobacco and alcohol. As most of us know, only those above the age of 18 are allowed to buy and smoke tobacco. With alcohol, the age limit is 21. This is how our government monitors alcohol and tobacco. If the same were done with marijuana, they would be able to monitor rather than these marijuana related crimes being committed underground.

With marijuana legalization, teens and all of those underage would have more access to marijuana than they did before. But it probably wouldn’t be as easy to get. These teens attempting to buy marijuana would now need to provide information that they are at legal age or require the use of it for medical needs. It would become more complicated for them to get their hands on it. As crazy as it sounds, many teenagers begin smoking marijuana to be a part of the crowd. They think it will make them “cool” because they are breaking the law. With the legalization of marijuana, it wouldn’t be as much of an interest to them, although they could move on to worse things, which is the other side to this story.

Not everybody is on the positive side of this situation, and it is important to understand both sides of the story. If marijuana were to be legalized for recreational use, people fear that the consumption of the drug would increase. This would increase the amount of accidents and health issues due to marijuana. Citizens are afraid of getting on the road with “stoned” drivers and having to approach them every day. They would not feel safe and would definitely not want their children around that kind of environment. Nobody would enjoy running into people that are high off marijuana all day long.

Due to the research I completed for this paper, I learned a lot of new things on the marijuana situation that I did not know of before. I learned that the legalization of marijuana could create income and job opportunities. Aside from that, it could relieve out prisons of unnecessary criminal charges. We would be left with more room for the real criminals. Those who commit murders, steal, rape, etc. I was surprised to learn that more than half of the drug arrests are marijuana related. I always thought the larger amount of drug charges were for much stronger drugs like heroin and cocaine. A lot of the information gathered was new to me and definitely helped me understand why marijuana legalization was a much bigger deal than just legalizing a drug.

Before starting this paper, I knew what I wanted to get out of it. I knew that I wanted to understand both perspectives on the issue. In order for someone to understand an issue, it is important they do their research and view both the good and bad sides. That is the best way to make your decision. It is especially important to be aware of all negative and positive effects something like this could have on us. In this case, marijuana legalization affects our society in many different ways. You cannot make a decision if you do not fill your mind with knowledge and wisdom. Be aware of what the outcomes could be no matter what choice you make.

My knowledge on marijuana has grown and now I have more arguments that I believe are capable of changing one’s mind. In school, I was always taught of the negative impact marijuana has on society. But never had a single teacher spoken of how marijuana legalization could positively affect us, society, and our government in the long run. At times like these, we are desperate to create more income and job opportunities for our country. Our government has taken many risks that have failed, so why not take another At first, I was not sure which side I would take on this. But now I am sure of what I want. I have opened my eyes and now understand that marijuana legalization would have more positive impacts than negative on our society. Every detail that I learned during this assignment is important. It has affected the way I see thing and I know it can do the same for others.

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