Does an Illegal Drug Actually Have Benefits? Why Marijuana Should be Legalized Essay Example
Each year 88,000 people die from alcohol related accidents. Marijuana related deaths are almost zero. Why should marijuana be illegal when a legal substance causes more deaths than marijuana ever could? Marijuana is currently legal in 10 states for recreational use and 23 other states for only medicinal uses. That leaves the remaining 17 states completely outlawing marijuana use. Although marijuana is a psychoactive drug it should be legal for recreational use because it is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, can be used for medicinal purposes, and will positively impact prisons.
Marijuana is a mood-altering drug, which means someone under the influence will not have 100% control over their body and actions. Marijuana also could have long term effects on the brain if taken as a teenager. If marijuana is legal to people over the age of 21 this will not be an issue. Another effect could be lung issues, these will be very similar to people who smoke tobacco. However, cigarettes, vapes, juuls, etc. are legal in the United States.
Marijuana is similar and even better than consuming alcohol. According to the CDC, there can be a number of complications when consuming too much alcohol, such as unwanted actions taking place as well as alcohol poisoning and alcohol dependence (CDC).
Although marijuana could cause unwanted actions to take place, people under the influence have more control over what they are doing when high. When high, THC passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. This causes a sense of pleasant euphoria and relaxes the consumer. When marijuana is consumed in high dosages the worse that can happen are hallucinations, delusions, as well as psychosis. These effects are not serious and wear off (National Institute on Drug Abuse). As stated above alcohol does cause 88,000 deaths per year. However, to overdose on marijuana one would have to smoke 238 to 1,113 joints a day, which frankly no one has the money or time for (CDC). This explains why no one has fatally overdosed from marijuana. Why should alcohol be legal for anyone of the age 21 and older, when it causes thousands of fatalities? Yet marijuana still cannot be legal for medical purposes in 17 states?
Marijuana has several medical benefits, although it is a mood-altering drug it does not cause harm to anyone’s body. In 2015, MEDLINE had an overall of 2,321 patients consume marijuana to see if it would help with chronic pain, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis. The study found that some of these trials did have positive claims, suggesting that the patient’s results could have been from the effect of marijuana (Kevin Hill). Another study was done on 22 patients with Parkinson disease. These patients consumed marijuana and the results were taken 30 minutes later. These results showed improvement on the unified Parkinson’s rating score as well as improvement in tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. Marijuana also contributed to the improvement of sleep and pain scores (Clinical Neuropharmacology). Overall, marijuana had some sort of positive benefit in one of these studies. This is why it should be legal for recreational use and medicinal uses. People who have diseases and disorders, which can be helped by marijuana can get the help they need and others who may just use the drug to relax or have fun can use it as well.
People are going to jail for possession of marijuana and facing charges and time for something that others are allowed to do in certain states. In 2017, the drug policy alliance stated 659,700 people were arrested for a marijuana law violation, with 90.8% being arrested for possession only (DPA). When being caught with marijuana someone can get a fine up to $2,000, jail time up to a year, as well as probation and electronic monitoring. People are getting charged for a crime that could potentially benefit them. This could also result in people moving states where marijuana is legal. In addition, according to new frontier data they analyzed in 2016 the marijuana sales reached $6.6 billion. If these numbers continue, in 2025 the industry will make over $24 billion (Leigh Ann Anderson). Legalizing marijuana will create thousands of jobs as well as positively impact the economy.
Marijuana should be legalized for recreational use because it is better than consuming alcohol, can be used for medicinal purposes, and positively impacts prisons. All of these are reasons why marijuana should be legal in all states. As stated above alcohol causes a ton more fatalities than marijuana ever could. People could also benefit from medicinal uses if marijuana were legal for medical and recreational use. Not only that, but the marijuana industry would impact our economy tremendously. If one wants to get marijuana legal in their state, the first thing to do is educate yourself over the topic. If you are serious about the substance being legal, you can talk to policymakers or elected state representatives.
Anderson, L. “Marijuana and Cannabis: Effects, Uses and Legalization.” Drugs.com, www.drugs.com/illicit/marijuana.html.
“Cannabis (Medical Marijuana) Treatment for Motor and...: Clinical Neuropharmacology.” LWW, journals.lww.com/clinicalneuropharm/Abstract/2014/03000/Cannabis__Medical_Marijuana__Treatment_for_Motor.1.aspx.
“Drug War Statistics.” Drug Policy Alliance, www.drugpolicy.org/issues/drug-war-statistics.
Hill, Kevin P. “Medical Marijuana for Treatment of Chronic Pain and Other Problems.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 23 June 2015, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2338266.
“Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.” Drug Policy Alliance, www.drugpolicy.org/issues/marijuana-legalization-and-regulation.
“The Great Debate: Alcohol vs Marijuana.” DrugAbuse.com, 21 Dec. 2016, drugabuse.com/marijuana-vs-alcohol/.