In the United States, there is a continuing debate in the individual states on whether to legalize marijuana or not. Some states have legalized it for serious medical issues only while some have decriminalized small amounts for personal use. Others have made it legal for recreation and in a few it is still an illegal substance with serious legal repercussions. There are pros and cons to making marijuana legal.
Why Would Legalizing it in My State be a Good Thing?
- Alcohol and tobacco are both very harmful substances with a known impact on your health. Marijuana is known to be less dangerous than both health wise. It is ten times safer than any other illegal substance that is out there. I’m not saying to start smoking it if you do not. It is simply a harm reduction method compared to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
- Even though it is illegal, it will be continued to be sold on the very dangerous black market regardless of consequences. This puts people who need it for legitimate purposes in harm’s way. It drives the price way up and it makes money for drug dealers who are not tax paying citizens. Why should they collect government benefits and other premium services when they have an income that is above the average citizens? The consumers are regular law abiding citizens who are being forced to deal with unsavory characters just to get relief from a medical condition.
The police can focus their time, resources and energy to more dangerous crimes if they aren’t worried about pulling someone over for having a gram of pot in their car. This would catch a lot more repeat perpetrators of serious crimes.
The state makes more money. There is a huge amount of money to be made for each state that makes it legal. This would mean lower property, work and shopping taxes.
- Everyone saves money.
- Weed is not addictive like cigarettes and alcohol. In the state of West Virginia, many law abiding citizens are taking up space in jails and prisons. Half of the people in jail there are in prison because they either bought or sold pot.
- It helps in many cases of mental illness where an otherwise controlled medication would be used. Anxiety is one of those conditions. Instead of prescribing a benzodiazepine go control panic attack symptoms, in many cases marijuana has been successfully used instead.
- In cases of epilepsy, there has been instances where components of the cannabis plant that have controlled the episodes.
- The United States has a responsibility to respect individual free will. No strong physiological addiction has ever been shown for marijuana. Other legal drugs have severe addiction potential like tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco is one of the most addictive substances to man and alcohol withdrawal can cause serious health problems and even death if not monitored and treated properly.
Cons Against Legal Marijuana
Although there are more pros than cons with legalizing marijuana, one must assess the damage caused by the possible negative consequences of enacting a new law.
The use of pot, considered a soft drug, can leads to the use of harder drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and heroin. This is known as the Gateway Theory.
Legalizing drugs can potentially send a negative message to our kids that drug use is acceptable in our society and fixes our problems and ailments.
If the government made it legal then it must be safe to use type of mentality. Plenty of people start using alcohol and tobacco because they think that anything that is legal must be safe to use.