The journey of Marijuana legalization started more than four decades ago but has gone through various challenges and hindrances. Today few countries and state governments have embraced its recreational use and hence have legalized its possession and usage.
This paper aims at discussing the macroeconomic pros and cons of legalizing marijuana.
It’s about five years since Washington and Colorado became the pioneer states to legalize useful marijuana. The Vermont House voted to legalize marijuana possession in a 79-66 vote.
“Many are the benefits of legalizing marijuana, and it has been proven in the countries that have legalized both the medical and recreational marijuana for sales and use.” (Suryadevara ,2017.34)
Pros of Marijuana Legalization
There are numerous benefits of legalizing marijuana, and I will highlight just but a few.
First, there is increased tax income for the country.
To illustrate this, legal sales of marijuana products gave 996 million dollars in 2015. (Gundersen ,2015.35)
Another advantage is the availability of curative Cannabis.
Medicinal marijuana (THC and CBD) has been said to treat many “untreatable” conditions.
To add to that, legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis would give the police and the judiciary more money (through revenue) hence more time and energy to focus on other violent crimes.
Another benefit will be decreased gang-related violence.
In most of the urban areas, gang-related drug violence is still a real part of life so when more individuals are funded, crime levels go down significantly. Previously, the police and judicial system used to be overburdened with the work of punishing individuals arrested for simply possessing marijuana. That made the courts and the prison system to be overcrowded. Legalizing cannabis relieve the pressure on these already-overworked public servants.
Cons of legalizing marijuana
One of the debatable disadvantages of marijuana legalization is that it is addictive.Scientists are divided on this subject of marijuana addiction. Some say that it is not such addictive as other drugs like crack and cocaine. Others claim that cigarette smoking is more addictive than cannabis, yet it has been legalized.
Another problem we have with the legalization is decreased mental health.
Those who oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana argue that marijuana users suffer from slow blood flow to the brain, memory loss, increased chances of depression and schizophrenia. This issue is still under research because it’s not yet known if it is the drug itself that triggers the problem, or if it’s the users who use the drug to increase the symptoms.
To add on the cons, marijuana smokers are at higher risk of lung diseases as opposed to cigarette smokers.The cannabis smoker is presumed to taking the smoke deeper and hold it longer than cigarettes smoker.This deeper and longer exposure to the carcinogens can increase the chances of getting lung cancer.
It is also evident that marijuana usage alters perception.
Just like alcohol, marijuana alters perception which could lead to impaired driving. It can also influence the user to engage in bigger crimes such as robbery with violence due to lapses in judgment.
In my opinion, the federal government has not done enough research on the benefits of marijuana legalization hence has not given it enough attention and it has caused a hindrance. For instance, it has created barriers to the efforts the state is putting in providing access to sterile syringes.Remember possessing syringes is not a crime under the federal law.
In conclusion, marijuana legalization has gone through many challenges due to so many unworthy reasons.Inadequate research has been the major barriers to this actualization. “There are more benefits of legalizing marijuana which the society at large does not want to hear about”. (Jonathan ,2016.19)
Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Beau Kilmer. “Considering marijuana legalization carefully: insights for other jurisdictions from analysis for Vermont.” Addiction111.12 (2016): 2082-2089.
Gundersen, Doris C. “The legalization of marijuana: Implications for regulation and practice.” Journal of Nursing Regulation6.3 (2015): 34-38.
Suryadevara, Uma, et al. “Pros and cons of medical cannabis use by people with chronic brain disorders.” Current neuropharmacology 15.6 (2017): 800-814.
Monte, Andrew A., Richard D. Zane, and Kennon J. Heard. “The implications of marijuana legalization in Colorado.” Jama313.3 (2015): 241-242.
Trafficking, Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug. “The legalization of marijuana in Colorado: The impact. Volume 3.” (2014).