Dec 2, 2017 1193 Words 5 Pages
The love for hiking is slowly fading away as you lay in a hospital, waiting for the test results to come back. The doctor enters the room with a smug face. Severe arthritis in the knees destroys your dreams of hiking through the forest ever again. Every step is a struggle as pain rushes through your body. Prescription drugs aren’t working, but there is nothing else you can use to help ease the pain. Wrong, medicinal marijuana is the answer to get you back on your feet and fulfilling your dreams of hiking once again.
In the United States, twenty-one states have no laws on legal marijuana use, even for medicinal marijuana. Another twenty-one have legalized marijuana for medical use only. As for the other eight, those states have legalized the use marijuana for medicinal and recreational. The states that have fully legalized marijuana have seen a boost in the economy due to taxes from marijuana sales. Along with helping the economy, marijuana is proven to provide medical aid for illnesses, such as cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. The legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use will be a benefit to society.
The legalization of marijuana will lead to a boost to the economy. With the United States being trillions in debt, an increase in tax money would be a big help to lower the national debt. Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal uses, is showing valuable data of an increase in tax money, “In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medicinal and recreational marijuana. Sales totaled over $996 million” (Krishna, Mrinalini). Now, Colorado is joined by seven other states, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada, in the full legalization of marijuana. With these states joining with Colorado, the United States is seeing sales “[grow] by 30%, to 6.1 billion, in 2016 and a projected 20.1 billion in 2021” (Krishna, Mrinalini). With that in mind, these sales are shared among only eight states, add another forty-two states and the rates could surpass the trillions. Considering the evidence, the act of not legalizing marijuana would be foolish.
To add to the economic boost from taxes, thousands of new jobs will be created. With the legalization of marijuana, positions will need to be filled to produce cannabis seeds, farm, distribute the product, and sellers. However, over-the-counter stores selling marijuana would eliminate curbside dealers, which is obviously a big bummer considering the money used to purchase the product will be able to be taxed. Some might say that with marijuana off the market for curbside dealers, the harder drugs will be more available to the public. Although that may be true, anyone with common sense would realise that buying a legal drug from a store is smarter and easier rather than to buy an illegal drug from a sketchy location. Along with taxing the sales of marijuana, the government is able to collect tax money from paychecks, benefiting the economy.
Although the people who need medical marijuana are not criminals, they are able to be convicted of using an illegal substance. The remaining states that have yet to legalize medical marijuana can enforce laws and convict patients in need of medication for possession of an illegal substance. For example, THC, the main chemical in marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol, helps ease the pain of chemotherapy and stops the spread cancer. However, cancer patients that live in Texas do not have access to legal medical marijuana. In order to obtain any form of medical marijuana, that would require a road trip to another state to buy legal marijuana and risk being caught at a check station, causing a helpless cancer patient to be convicted of possession of marijuana. Without the ability to obtain legal marijuana, cancer patients cannot benefit from the relieving effects.
Marijuana is not only used for cancer, patients of many other illnesses use for the effects. Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, permanent condition that affects the nervous system. Over time, the disease affects the brain and movement, making life difficult. For some, eating a bowl of cereal is a hard task to accomplish. “Marijuana can provide people with Parkinson’s Disease pain relief, reduced tremors, better sleep quality, improved overall mood and more ease in movement” (Parkinson’s Disease). Not only will marijuana help eat breakfast, but overall contribute to the wellbeing of a person with Parkinson’s Disease.
Although cigarettes and marijuana can be thought to go hand in hand for the effects from smoking, they are strikingly different. With both having a long history of being used, the outcomes of periodic use show that cigarettes, cause cancer, and marijuana, stops cancer. Which is not surprising since cigarettes contain harmful chemicals found in rocket fuel, insecticides, paint stripper, poison, and batteries. Yet, marijuana, which is organic, being a plant grown from the earth. Nevertheless, the government protects the big companies that are literally killing humans, but outlaws the regulation and use of a harmless, healing drug.
To help put in perspective of the similar damage cigarettes and marijuana have on a person, let’s discuss the annual death rates between the two. As of the latest study in the United States, an estimated four hundred and eighty thousand people die a year from cigarettes, whereas a massive zero deaths are caused a year from smoking marijuana (Annual Causes). Clearly, selling a product that kills half a million people a year is acceptable to be legal, but a drug that is still today never caused a death is illegal. An article from CDC states
First, the record on marijuana encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, marijuana is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that from twenty million to fifty million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death.” ( ).
The research goes to show that after millions of people have used marijuana over the past thousands of years, there is not a lick of evidence revealing a death by marijuana. However, some might say that their best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s uncle overdosed on marijuana. Well, to overdose on marijuana is pretty far-fetched, “A fatal dose of marijuana would require ingestion of fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes” (Robinson, Melia). Not even Snoop Dogg would be able to conquer such an impossible feat, let alone a social or medical user. Unless you want to become another among statistics, marijuana proves to be the healthier and safer alternative.
The process of fully legalizing marijuana throughout the United States will take time for the final twenty-one states to pass a law. However, the federal government has the ability to pass a law, legalizing marijuana. This allows marijuana to be legal, for both recreational and medical uses, across the nation. Within months, a new industry will rise, creating jobs and economic growth. People suffering from illnesses will be at ease. History will be made.