The Battle to Legalize Marijuana in the United States

The United States is splitting up into two sides with the date of 420 coming closer with one wanting the legalization of the plant substance and the other opposing it. According to the United Nations, 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana—more than 3.8% of the planet’s population. Marijuana was legalized on the 20th of April in Colorado in 2014. It has been legalized in various other states such as Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The question is, is the legalization of marijuana good for the United States, and how does it affect the economy The people that are fighting for the legalization of the plant have some very good reasons why they should be able to practice a “freedom”.

With the introduction of recreational marijuana being legalized in the state of Colorado the economy has skyrocketed in the state since the introduction of pot. “Legal sales of recreational marijuana in the United States nearly tripled between 2014 and 2015 — from $351 million to $998 million, according to research firms that track the marijuana industry. An additional $4.4 billion was spent on medical marijuana. Currently 26 states and the District of Columbia allow some form of marijuana use 18 states have legalized medical marijuana, four allow medical and recreational use and four plus the District of Columbia have removed jail time for possessing small amounts. Both Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump support at least legalizing marijuana for medical use” (Foerstel). Even the battling political sides both see the economic growth and potential for marijuana to make big bucks and help the economy by introducing a new product. The pot selling and growing business is also very fast growing.

Another reason, why marijuana should be nationally legalized is the growth of the industry in the two years it ‘s been established. “Sales of medical and recreational marijuana totaled nearly $3 billion last year in what is one of the nation ‘s fastest-growing industries. Experts say sales could reach $35 billion by 2020 if all 50 states and the District of Columbia legalize the drug…The ArcView Group, a network of cannabis-industry investors that includes venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, estimated the industry ‘s combined 2014 retail and wholesale sales (including medical marijuana) at $2.7 billion, a 74 percent increase over 2013, making marijuana the “fastest-growing industry in America,” according to the group”(Wanlund). This is one reason why marijuana should once again be legalized, it is one of the fastests growing industries in the nation. Why wouldn’t somebody want to legalize the plant. Marijuana doesn’t just affect the economy it affects the person using it.

Now there has been no long term research over the use of marijuana frequently because it hasn’t been around for use until this last 50 years. A doctor those has a good point on the possible major use of the drug. “Alan Shackelford, a physician in Denver who testified before the committees via Skype, was unequivocal in his support of medical marijuana based on his experiences in treating people with it.In my experience, it ‘s highly effective in treating seizures, severe pain, and nausea — and those benefits should not only accrue to those in Colorado and 22 other states [where it is legal] but, in my opinion, it should be available in all states, Dr. Shackelford said. Pennsylvania should be one of the states with this option.(Fuoco). Event the doctors of today say there can be treatments for patients by using this drug. It can help people who are dealing with traumatic issues. Now there is another side and that is against the use of marijuana.

Another side is fighting for the legalization and that one is Mary Haag. “Mary Haag, RN, President & CEO of Prevention FIRST!, stated the following in an interview with reporter Todd Dykes, published in a Feb. 19, 2016 article titled Should Fate of Medical Marijuana in Ohio Be Left in Hands of Lawmakers, Voters, available at We can ‘t really call marijuana medicine. It ‘s not a legitimate medicine. The brain is not fully developed until we ‘re about 25. That ‘s just the way it is, and using any kind of mind-altering substance impacts that development. It needs to go through the FDA process. There is no drug that can or should be smoked, but when we get to potential components of marijuana that might have medicinal benefits, then let ‘s find out what that is. Most of our medicines have come from plants. They ‘re plant-based, but they ‘ve gone through that rigorous process. Because, let ‘s face it, any medicine is a toxin. I don ‘t care if it ‘s penicillin or aspirin or a narcotic. Any of those are toxins to our bodies. And that ‘s why we have the FDA process.(Haag). This is a very good point because why would somebody want to put something in their body that alters their brain chemistry That can be only answered by the user themselves but it puts a good question out there.

The people that are abusing marijuana are really experiencing some very harmful side effects of the drug and also the cose to obtain it. “The immediate effects are puffy red eyes, increase in hunger, slowed reactions, anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, and a dazed feeling. This slowed reaction is especially bad because people who decide to drive when they experience being high are more than doubling their chances of getting in a car accident. The later effects are dismissed memory, addiction, and lung cancer. Not only will you experience these effects to your brain and body, but you also will notice your wallet shrinking from spending your money on drugs rather than other important things.”(Rivera). People who abuse the marijuana not for good purposes experience these horrible things to look cool or get high just so they can be noticed or liked. If one ever wanted to try this drug you can see the harmful effects of it right here. So think twice before using it.

In conclusion, marijuana has some good qualities but bad characteristics. Is the legalization of pot good for the Nation, and how does it affect the growth of the economy I think the question was answered with the evidence suggested. Does one think that this plant that boosts the economy helps the needs of the sick, do they trade this for the normal people abusing the drug like most would do. Its an ethical question if you would trade one for the other, that would only be answered if it was legalized, but does the United States take that chance. Is not legalizing marijuana like prohibition to alcohol. Are we denying the right to use marijuana

Works Cited

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Wanlund, W. (2015, October 16). Marijuana industry. CQ Researcher, 25, 865-888. Retrieved from

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