Nov 3, 2015 952 Words 4 Pages
I would like to address my concern over the legalization of marijuana. The debate over the issue of marijuana and its legalization has been an immensely prevalent one in the nation over several years now. The issue of legalizing marijuana is truly a controversial one, and certainly one that requires a plethora of considerations at the top levels of the legislative branch. Legalizing marijuana would not only make it easily accessible to patients for treatment in states in which medicinal marijuana is currently not legal but would also decrease the tax burden associated with the current criminalization of marijuana users.
As you may know, medical marijuana emerged as a mainstream medicine by the 19th century used primarily in the West. Today, medical marijuana is being utilized for numerous medical reasons. Some of these reasons include, but are not limited to, the following the amelioration of nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AID’s patients, lowered intraocular eye pressure (shown to be effective for treating glaucoma, as well as gastrointestinal illness). In addition, cannabis may offer “fewer negative side effects than opioids-which can be highly addictive-and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can induce stomach ulcers, bleeding, and kidney failure,” said Allen St. Pierre, an executive director of the national organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
On the other hand, however, studies show that if misused, increased smoking of marijuana is positively correlated with decrements in mental test performance, which is possibly a contributing factor as to why it is illegal at the moment. The investigators discovered that individuals who regularly smoked marijuana were impaired “70 percent of the time on a decision-making test, compared to 55 percent for short-term users and 8 percent for nonusers” (Cohen 12). This study may make the audience question driving on the roads considering it would be difficult to determine who is under the influence. However, only 8.8% of people at fault involved in car accidents were found to have marijuana in their system. While alcohol was found to have far greater numbers (Cohen 13). Thus, while marijuana may impair cognitive functions in long-term users it is not nearly as bad as the other legal alternatives already available such as alcohol, and if used medicinally would not be abused as many recreational users tend to do.
While abuse of the substance shows clear, definitive issues, the same can be said about any substance including alcohol. Therefore, if regulated properly at the federal level, there is really no reason why marijuana should not be legalized since it presents so many opportunistic ideas and answers to many people who suffer from chronic and terminal diseases. It would be an understatement to say that marijuana has been merely reprimanded over the past years. The majority of Americans fall into the belief that marijuana exhibits a dangerous, addictive drug that has destroyed the lives of millions of teens along with adults, however, tend to overlook actual life threatening effects of legalized drugs and depressants such as tobacco and alcohol. Marijuana can be used for medical purposes, but it is no less harmful than alcohol or Tobacco if used in moderation, and it could be a source of additional tax revenues.
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 37,000 annual U.S deaths, including 1,4000 in Colorado, are attributed to alcohol use alone. On the other had, the USCDCP does not even have a category for deaths caused by the use of marijuana. The official publication of the Scientific Research Society reported that alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs and uses just 10 times what one would use to get the desired effect could lead to death while marijuana is merely one of, if not the least toxic drug, requiring thousands of times the dose one would use to get the desired effect lead to death. Many of us hear that marijuana kills brain cells, but in reality, studies show teens that use marijuana as well as alcohol suffered significantly less damage to the white matter in their brains. Marijuana is also safer for the community. Alcohol use contributes to aggressive and violent behavior, marijuana does not. From a personal perspective, seeing most of my colleagues smoking and buying pot from drug dealers, not knowing where it came from, whether or not they laced it, etc. is immensely dangerous.
Published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors, “Alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication, violent relationships, whereas
cannabis reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxications.” The National Institute
of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 25-30% of violent crimes in the U.S
are linked to the use of alcohol. According to a report from the U.S department of justice, that translates to about 5,000,000 alcohol related violent crimes per year. The government does not even track violent acts specifically related to marijuana use. In my perspective, Alcohol should be banned vs marijuana.
According to the recent figures, U.S consumer’s number anywhere from 25 million to 60 million dollars’ worth of marijuana. By taxing marijuana, the government could make an estimated $45 billion to $110 billion a year. Legalizing marijuana would also reduce the crime rate tremendously therefore, the government would save millions of dollars on housing inmates in prisons alone.
Thus, medically it is in the favor of the nation to legalize marijuana as doctors can prescribe marijuana to patients, healing them from discomfort. The effects of alcohol have proven to be far worse than the effects of marijuana, and legalizing marijuana will bring in much needed money to our government and positively affect our nation from a holistic perspective. Thank you for your consideration.