A Legalized Drug in the United States
In the United States, marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs that should have been legalized a long time ago along with alcohol. Although, 15 states in the United States have already legalized the use of marijuana, many others still lag behind at the thought of even legalizing Cannabis. In addition, many people think that marijuana is a bad drug, while on the other hand, people like myself believe for many reasons that it should be legalized. Marijuana legalization should be enforced in America for reasons such as, how Cannabis is not harmful or fatal, how it helps with health issues, how it promotes racism, and how it could benefit our country by bringing in more revenue and lowering prison costs.
First, I will talk about how marijuana isn’t a fatal drug. Marijuana is considered a drug because of the effects that it has on an individual after consumption, but unlike any other drug such as Methamphetamine, you cannot overdose on it. Methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug that people take by snorting it (inhaling through the nose), smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Crystal Meth is a dangerous and potent chemical and, as with all drugs, a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. Many people that use Meth as an everyday drug can suffer from many conditions such as seizures, insomnia, or even a loss of appetite. However, marijuana is exactly the opposite of those, it increases appetite, suppresses insomnia, and slows the rate of seizures one may suffer from. In addition to these health conditions caused by the use of Meth or Ice, “there were 1,649 such deaths over that period, and the annual rate doubled from around 150 a year to 300” (Darke, 2017). On the hand, there have been zero fatalities or accidents of that matter that have happened as a result of someone being under the influence of “Weed.” With this being said, I feel as if marijuana does not compare to meth as being considered a drug, based on the information stated above, this is just one of the many reasons why I think marijuana should be legalized.
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Secondly, I will give you examples of health related issues and how marijuana can help with them. The first medical condition I will discuss is Cancer. Cancer is the name for a group of more than 100 diseases in which cells begin to grow out of control. With is being said, there is no known cure for cancer, but from many studies we have learned that marijuana can help one cope with the disease. When one has cancer, if they consume Cannabis, it can slow down the growth of the cancer cells within their bloodstream, or it can even treat nausea that occurs as a result of Chemotherapy. Next, we will look at how marijuana helps individuals with HIV, even though yet again it does not cure the disease it just helps one with their sickness. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, this disease attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. Studies suggest that “smoked marijuana has also helped improve the food intake of HIV patients (Society, 2017). Marijuana also increases weight gain among people with HIV, and it this benefits them because these patients can lose weight faster than the average person. Marijuana also increases a person’s overall sense of well-being, there is evidence that medical marijuana can greatly improve one’s adherence to HIV therapy (James Myhre, 2018). Thirdly, studies have shown that weed can help people control their seizures. “In recent years, a number a number of studies have shown that Cannabidiol helps with epilepsy, for individuals who have not yet responded to traditional therapies (Epilepsey.com). Epilepsy is a period of symptoms due to abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain. Although marijuana does not cure epilepsy, it does control the amount of seizures one may have over a period of time. In addition to these medical conditions, marijuana can also help with insomnia. “Research indicates that both THC and CBD Cannabis based medicines offer effective therapies for sleep disorders, Cannabis is thought to reduce sleep latency and induce drowsiness” (Trigwell). As can be seen, marijuana can benefit people with help conditions such as cancer, HIV, epilepsy, and insomnia, so why not legalize it when it helps more than it hurts.
Thirdly, I am going to give you reasons why marijuana promotes racism. For example, take arrests for possession of marijuana, “even though there is a minimal difference in the amount of marijuana used by blacks and whites, blacks are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for smoking pot (Milloy, 2017). On the other hand, when it comes to getting a marijuana licenses, you can hardly find a black person. “Some white owned firms allege that licenses where given to unqualified white growers, while black owned firms with experienced doctors were looked over ” (Milloy, 2017). In my opinion, these are the reasons why I believe that you can assume that marijuana causes a bit of a raced war without even trying to.
Furthermore, I will give you reasons why marijuana could bring about a reform in the prison system. Studies suggest that marijuana accounts for half of all arrests made each year. “Of the 82 million drug arrests made between 2001 and 2010, 88 percent were for simply having marijuana (Liberties). These numbers account for the majority of all the inmates that are in prison today. In addition, “in 2016 more people were arrested for possession of marijuana than for all other crimes classified as violent (Ingraham, 2017).These arrests caused for the prison population to skyrocket over the last several years, with this being said, these arrests just for the possession of a herb that is not harmful. This war that Americas law enforcement has on drugs could potently cost the U.S., more money than we are bringing in, which can initially play a part in the debt that the U.S. has. Currently, marijuana enforcement costs several billion dollars per year, so why should we keep wasting money on something that cannot be stopped. Instead, we as a nation should turn the marijuana industry into an investment. It marijuana were to be removed from the list of controlled substances, we could stop the war on drugs, gain revenue, and lower prison rates. Therefore, I have given you the reasons why marijuana effects our prison system, next I will inform you on how marijuana can generate revenue.
Lastly, if marijuana were to become legalized in the U.S. it could generate a lot of revenue and possibly bring the U.S. out of this trillion dollar debt that we have accrued over the past few years. For example, “legalizing marijuana nationwide would create at least $132 billion in tax revenue and more than a million new jobs across the U.S. (Zezima). In addition to these numbers, Colorado topped $1 billion in legal marijuana sales in 2016, one year after the milestone (Jr, 2016). Colorado made 82.8 million In Cannabis sales in one month. In addition, “New Frontier’s report predicting the impact of federally legal marijuana suggests that nationwide legalization could generate 1.1 million jobs by 2025” (Krishna, 2018). Jobs such as farmers, software developers, financing services, construction companies, and many others could be obtained which in turn could also lower the unemployment rate while possibly reducing the number of people that receive government assistance. Therefore, since many states have seen the result that Colorado and Nevada have had since legalizing the drug, more states have come to realization that this could be a big break for them. California and other states have gotten on the bandwagon and have approved ballots to legalize marijuana. Therefore, marijuana could increase revenue in the U.S. by producing more jobs and lowering the government assistance rate.
In Conclusion, I feel strongly that Marijuana should become a legalized drug in the United States. Many people may say that weed is a harmful drug, but no one ever discusses how it can be beneficial also. Today, I have discussed with you how Marijuana is not a fatal drug, but how it can also help with one’s health conditions like cancer. Next, I gave you examples of how it promotes racism, lowers prison rates, and how it could generate more revenue in America. Therefore, the reasons I have explained above are just a few of the many reasons why I think weed should become a legal substance in the near future. Wouldn’t many of us agree to more job opportunities, less crime, and more ways to generate more money into our country in a legal manner?