Cannabis was first discovered in 2727 B.C. by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung. Ancient Greeks and Romans were also familiar with cannabis. In the Middle East, the use of cannabis spread through the Islamic empire to North Africa. Later, cannabis spread to the western hemisphere. Majority of the ancient cultures grew the plant for medical purposes. Some though, like the colonist in America used for clothing and ropes. Now, many people know cannabis as “marijuana,” “weed,” “pot,” “green,” and “mary jane.” Even though people know it is a drug there is a lack of knowledge about the plant’s effects. Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers that come from the cannabis plant. In the 20th century, marijuana is used for medical or recreational purposes.
Marijuana has been illegal in the United States since 1937 and has been classified as a schedule I category. Legalizing marijuana is not so easy as it sounds. There are supporters that are against and for marijuana legalization. In the article, “The US as an Example of How Not to Legalize Marijuana?” the authors state, “An important point to keep in mind is that legalization, in any form, is not a silver bullet. Legalization lowers the monetary and non-monetary cost of cannabis use compared to criminalization, and in doing so makes most cannabis users, who have controlled users, better off”(Caulkins, Kilmer). It is in true fact that one of the downsides of marijuana is that it can take over someone’s life affecting their everyday lives and relationships with family and loved ones.
In another article, “Drug Policy- Marijuana Justice Act of 2017- Senator Cory Booker Introduces Act to Repair the Harms Exacted by Marijuana Prohibition” it states, “The “collateral consequences” of arrest and incarceration, including the inability to secure employment or business licenses, as well as disqualification from government benefits like public housing, food stamps, and Pell Grants”(Drug Policy- Marijuana Justice Act of 2017- Senator Cory Booker Introduces Act to Repair the Harms Exacted by Marijuana Prohibition).
When people get arrested for having marijuana on them many lose the ability to get employed or get help from the government which makes it hard to get a normal, stable life and in some cases, it can lead to being homeless. In one hand, marijuana can end a person’s life not by death, but by misusing it. In the other, legalizing marijuana will open opportunities for businesses, reduce federal fundings, and assist in the medical field.
In the end, it comes down to how good or bad marijuana is. If it really comes down to that point, marijuana is more good than bad. The war on drugs makes it hard to legalize marijuana, but marijuana is not the enemy here, other hardcore substances are such as cocaine, crystal meth, opioids, and heroin. It’s hard to legalize a substance that has been illegal for a long time and after years there is still no resolution but there are people willing to support the legalization of marijuana simply because not letting it will be a missed opportunity. Marijuana is not an enemy for the United States.
Marijuana or what we know as the “Devil’s Lettuce” is a misunderstood drug. Many people conclude that marijuana, or cannabis, is hazardous, but the usage of marijuana is not. Nevertheless, the legalization of marijuana in the United States is such a problem for many people today. Judged to be a gateway drug, and portrayed as bad and ghetto, marijuana has gained a negative reputation. The controversy emphasizes around the question of how hazardous or safe the drug is, should it be legalized or not.
However, marijuana is no more harmful than smoking cigarettes or drinking. Despite its useful medical effects for relieving pain, Marijuana is a drug that will be looked down upon because of false claims about it. Society seems to fail to notice the positive facts, cannabis has become illegal for all the wrong reasons. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States due to its aid in the medical field and the U.S economy.
Marijuana should be legalized because it’s a good natural anesthetic painkiller. Different studies of the medical practice of marijuana demonstrate that in some cases cannabis is the only possible pain relief medication for anguish people. Eugene Monroe an NFL player stated, “…and we have cannabis, which is far healthier, far less addictive and quite frankly can be better in managing pain”(Monroe). Eugene Monroe has shoulder injuries, ankle sprains, concussions, and other pain. To deal with the injuries Monroe stepped forward and called upon the NFL to stop testing players for marijuana so he and other players can take the medical version of the drug to treat their chronic pain. Chronic pain is a leading cause of disability, affecting more than 25 million adults in the U.S. This is only one of many stories where cannabis helps patients to ease their ache. The term medical marijuana can refer to three different forms such as Endocannabinoids, Phytocannabinoids, and synthetic compounds. Endocannabinoids deal with the outcome of the plant on neurotransmitters, while synthetic compounds are laboratory made it resembles the chemical structure of the plant and act very similar to the natural.
Phytocannabinoid is the most closely connected medically form which has THC and cannabidiol. THC stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol and is linked with the effects of the brain to the cannabis plant. While the cannabidiol(CBD) is linked to the tranquilizer effects. Common effects that can be seen from using THC are mild euphoria, relaxation, perceptual alterations(time distortion), and the making of ordinary experiences. Some of the effects, when used medically and properly, have been known to aid people who suffer from chronic pain.
Medicinally, the plant would be taken in small quantities and only when needed. If the medicine has a substance that is able to relieve people from feeling severe mental or physical pain it should be legal to help and treat people. Today, more than sixty U.S. and international health organizations support providing patients with direct lawful access to medical marijuana under a doctor’s observation. Since cannabis is natural and vigorous in the medical care of a variety of illnesses, more states should pass medical marijuana laws.
Medical marijuana helps treats patients who are suffering from cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and an estimated 609,000 people will die as a result of this disease in 2018(American Cancer Society). Although cancer prevention, detection, and treatment have improved survival rates among patients with cancer, cancer treatment still has side-effects. According to a recent report, “Evidence suggests that oral cannabinoids are effective antiemetics in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and chronic pain”(The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research). Currently, there are 25 states in the United States where it is legal for patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.
People with cancer who use marijuana say that it benefits them in several ways: by quelling nausea, suppressing vomiting, increasing appetite, relieving pain, and soothing anxiety. Cancer is an illness that medicine has yet found a cure for. Without a cure and low rates of cancer survival especially at stage 4 cancer, people suffering from the side-effects of cancer treatment should be allowed to use medical marijuana. It is unfair for cancer patients to continue suffering more when there is something that is able to ease their pain and uncomfortableness. It makes it more bearable. Marijuana should be legalized for the benefits it gives cancer patients, some moments of freedom.
Multiple sclerosis is another disease marijuana can help as a treatment. Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system eats away the protective covering of nerves. In the article, “Cannabidiol: A Promising Drug for Neurodegenerative Disorders?” the author states, “More specifically, the results of a pilot study, utilizing THC/CBD combination, have demonstrated a significant decrease in urinary urgency and a reduction in the number and volume of incontinence episodes, as well as a reduction in the frequency of nocturia”(Iuvone 70-71). In multiple sclerosis since the immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerves, it causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body.
Eventually, this can lead to permanent damage to the nerves. When this happens it leads to mobility problems and even the inability to independently walk again. Multiple sclerosis affects the lives of the people suffering from it every day. There is no cure, but there are treatments. Yet, the treatments only help to a certain extent. Cannabis compounds, cannabidiol can be used for therapeutic use and it has been proven to help those suffering from the disease. Patients who have used marijuana as a way to help ease their pain have said how because of marijuana they have a somewhat more normal life. It has given patients the gift of being able to have a good night sleep and reduce bladder problems. When it comes to how good or bad medical marijuana is, it is good. Medical marijuana can help neurodegenerative diseases and give people who are suffering from multiple sclerosis a chance for a better quality of life.
The legalization of Marijuana would benefit the United States Economy. According to the New York Times, “A report from New Frontier Data estimates the cannabis industry could generate $131.8 billion in federal tax revenue and add 1.1 million jobs by 2025 if it’s legalized for adult use in all 50 states”(Sullivan). In 2015, Colorado gained more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana. Sales in Colorado totaled for more than $996 million. If Colorado was able to accumulate such a high amount of money, the same could be done in every state if marijuana was legalized.
New Frontier’s estimates depend on a theoretical model where marijuana is legalized in all 50 states, and Congress organizes a way for the federal government to collect taxes on the production of marijuana. The difference between the theoretical model and the current state laws is about $76.8 billion in revenue. That is to say, the federal government will leave over $70 billion behind, if it does not legalize marijuana. The federal government clearly will be losing money instead of gaining money. Money that could be useful for the federal government to help Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or federal debt for example. At the moment, and for the past years the United States government had to make cuts to important systems that help children, elderly, and working families.
The national debt and federal deficit keep growing which can affect Americans and those living in America. To begin, interest rates will increase which can lead to slower economic growth. Slower economic growth means lower wages that leads to low quality of living for Americans. The money gained from legalizing Marijuana can help the national debt and deficit. Additionally, if marijuana is legalized in all 50 states, marijuana would add over 700,000 jobs to the United States economy. That number would rise to 1.1 million by 2025. It’s clear that marijuana legalization can be a boon to the American Economy.
A trustworthy cannabis consumer does not demonstrate a hazard to society. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report (2011), “Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers an estimated $10 billion annually and results in the arrest of more than 853,000 individuals per year”(Federal Bureau of Investigation). This number is much higher than the total number of all criminal arrestees combined (murderers, rapist, robber, and etc.) Marijuana smokers, as every citizen in the U.S., also fulfill their obligations by paying taxes, taking care of their families and children. Abruptly, they are arrested, incarcerated and treated like lawbreakers merely because of their “recreational drug of choice.” Consequently, the ones being affected are low-income people. According to, Karl Marx, the father of the social conflict theory, which is a component of the four paradigms of sociology, the conflict theory would say that essentially this is a class struggle.
The poor would be the greatest sufferers of substance abuse, and because of that drugs must be regulated. But, studies would demonstrate that this is not a socioeconomic problem. The problem is all exclusive. The rich basically have the ability to control the status quo and are able to criminalize the poor bypassing legal legislation, by blaming specific minority groups. Thus, as a society, one needs to reconsider their public view over the issue and formulate such laws that would not harm the interests of others. Meanwhile, responsible ganja (cannabis) smokers are not the problem and it is time to prevent their further incarceration.
Some may dispute that marijuana is dangerous for a person’s health such as lung and brain damage. However, the two deadliest drugs in America are legal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bureau of Mortality Statistics, “50,000 people die from alcohol poisoning every year. Likewise, tobacco smoking contributes to 400,000 deaths each year”(National Institute on Drug Abuse).
In contrast, cannabis is harmless and does not cause death by overdose. Unlike alcohol and tobacco, cannabis does not cause strong addiction, heart difficulties, cancer, birth shortcomings, liver injury, emphysema, etc. Likewise, it does not affect brain functioning or provokes aggressive conduct. Marijuana is less dangerous for health than alcohol or tobacco. Alcohol and cigarettes are extremely addictive and can cause multiple health problems. Alcohol alone can cause anemia, cancer, cirrhosis, dementia, nerve damage, pancreatitis, and other health diseases.
Tobacco harms almost every organ of the body, contains different types of cancer and is the major cause of cardiovascular disease. Despite the known health risks of these drugs, they remain legal and available almost anywhere. If the government wants to have drug policies that are logical and effective than marijuana should be regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol and tobacco. The world’s leading general medical journal, The Lancet, “The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health. … It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat than alcohol or tobacco”(Hall, Degenhardt).
We have allowed for alcohol and tobacco to be legal and available when is clearly dangerous, yet we have not to make the legalization of marijuana possible when is far healthier and not addictive. As a society, it is our duty to think for ourselves, for our families, and for the next generation. It is our job to fight for what is right, for what is good. The consumption of cannabis products should no longer be considered a crime since it does not harm a person’s health system.
Martin Luther King Jr once said, “In any civilized society, it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Legalization of marijuana would benefit society, the United States spends so much of each citizen’s tax dollars on keeping marijuana illegal when the country could gain trillions if it was legalized, taxed, and regulated. The drug does not cause serious health problems like those caused by alcohol or tobacco.
Moreover, fatality from a cannabis overutilization is impossible. The Government must permit people to choose by themselves whether to legalize marijuana or not. While abuse of the substance demonstrates clear issues, the same can be said about any substance including alcohol or tobacco. Therefore, if marijuana is regulated properly at the federal level marijuana should be legalized since it brings out plenty of opportunistic suggestions and answers to many people who suffer from chronic and terminal diseases. The American society should not tell a terminally ill person that they can not enjoy their last moments on earth in a pain-free environment.