29 November 2018
Legalization of Marijuana
Depending on who you ask, marijuana is a taboo and polarizing subject. There are numerous people who feel as though, it should be legal across the country of America. “Marijuana use for recreational reasons are legal in 10 states, and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states.” (Berke and Gould). The question that should be asked is, why not legalize marijuana nationally across all 50 states? It seems that even legislators don’t know the answers themselves. More importantly, what are the reasons behind the prohibition of marijuana in America? Marijuana has been proven to not have as harsh of the negative effects of current national legal drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol. Marijuana has also been proven to have medical and health benefits.
There has been many talk of medicinal marijuana and its effect on cancer. There has also been numerous experiments and testimonials to fully capture marijuana’s impact. According to American Cancer Society, “Different compounds in marijuana have different actions in the human body. For example, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) seems to cause the “high” reported by marijuana users, and also can help relieve pain and nausea, reduce inflammation, and can act as an antioxidant. Cannabidiol (CBD) can help treat seizures, can reduce anxiety and paranoia, and can counteract the “high” caused by THC,”(Birdshall, et al. 6 ). Marijuana is great treatment for patients and it makes coping with their illness more easygoing and attainable. “A multiethnic cohort of 84,170 men aged 45–69 years for 11 years took part in the experiment. Thomas et.al. found that 89 of the cannabis users ( which was 0.03% of the participants) developed bladder cancer as compared to 190 participants who did not report cannabis use. Interestingly, after adjusting for age, race, or ethnicity, as well as body mass index, those that used cannabis only were associated with a 45% reduction in bladder cancer incidence. However, using tobacco only was associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer Health that showed the use of cannabis and its impact on patients with bladder cancer.” (Birdshall, et al. 6 ). This information displays one of the many positive impacts of marijuana on cancer, and it also displays another point of marijuana not being as harmful and negative as other drugs like tobacco in cigarettes.
There is a slight conflict within marijuana research because of other factors, a couple of those being the hassle and obtainability for actual research to test the true potential of the performance of cannabis. “Some patients subjectively report benefit from cannabis for nausea, appetite, sleep, and anxiety, yet the level of published evidence remains low. Clinical trials are underway, but the legal status in the USA presents challenges to research.”(Birdshall, et al 7). Allowing the permission of marijuana use would do wonders for science, and citizens and patience would have more insight of what they are getting themselves into. Instead, patience wanting to subscribe to the idea of medicinal marijuana would have to subdue an undesirable and profuse process. According to a scholarly article, “Products used to treat serious medical conditions such as cancer need to provide at least a basic level of consistency from batch to batch,clear labeling regarding ingredients and potency, and a significant degree of freedom from contaminants. Since medical marijuana is a plant-based product, it may also be susceptible to significant variability due to varying species and strains, differences in growing conditions and harvesting, and inconsistency in producing the final dosage form. While guidelines and standards are firmly in place for pharmaceuticals, via the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and dietary supplements, via the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act,and their respective regulations,because of the schedule I status of Cannabis, no similar federal regulations apply.”(Birdshall, et al. 7). Experimenting with marijuana would open doors to many possibilities and provide answers for many questions. We would know the true implications of how cancer and other diseases would fair against the presence of cannabis and ThC in the human system. It would also put to ease to the difficult and extensive process to review medicinal marijuana. Even given all the restrictions to obtaining all possible information for marijuana influence, the information that we do have is in favor of health benefits and people with personal experience tend to agree.
Not only are the experiments done with marijuana in favor of legalization, but the majority of American citizens are on board with national legalization for recreational use. According to a Huffington Post article from a few years back, a Gallup poll had released that Americans had become more in favor of legalizing marijuana instead of criminalizing it. The Article had showed that in the year 2013, 58% of Americans were in favor of marijuana legalization (Jacques). There was also a more recent discovery by the Drug Policy Alliance in 2018. “There is more public support for marijuana law reform than ever before with new polls showing more than half the country is in favor of legalizing marijuana.”(Marijuana Legalization and Regulation). “Another recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 62% of Americans, including 74% of millennials, said they supported legalizing marijuana,”(Berke and Gould).
There is more of a better understanding between everyday American citizens and marijuana due to the new discoveries and information of its impact and influence. There is a correlation between public opinion and information available. American citizens opinion on marijuana use is dependant on the effects of the drug. That is telling of the positive aspects of the drug and gives more reasoning for its legalization. Majority of American citizens see the writing of the wall of marijuana and it benefits, so why is it such a problem to obtain national legalization?
National legalization of marijuana would also improve the economy. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, allowing the distribution in states such as New Jersey and New Mexico would improve tax revenue, generate commerce, and support the agricultural economy (Marijuana Legalization and Regulation). States where marijuana is legal have shown to see an improvement in their economy since allowing the legalization of marijuana. “Sales of marijuana in Colorado and Washington over the past several years have resulted in buoyant tax revenues. In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana. Sales in the state totaled over $996 million. Sales in North America grew 30%, to $6.7 billion, in 2016, and is projected to increase to $20.1 billion by 2021, according to Arcview Market Research. Local research supports this view as well; a report from the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research recently found that the legal cannabis industry has contributed more than $58 million to the local economy, primarily through taxes and other fees.”(Krishna). The performance of marijuana in states where it’s legal should give legislators and lawmakers the idea of where they could possibly be financially. “Think of what our country could do with that money: rebuild our highways, bridges, and railroads; provide our communities with the resources they need to respond effectively to substance abuse and the opioid epidemic; and create jobs.”(Ryan). Lawmakers would only be playing themselves by not reaping all the benefits it would do for them and the people in their community.
Marijuana has been proven to have many benefits, and the people seem to agree. Marijuana benefits health and the economy. We still have a lot to discover of marijuana pros and cons of the human body, but we’ll never truly know its mass capacity if we don’t allow the use and distribution of it. We could uncover many more health benefits. There would be less questions to ask and more answers for what we don’t know. There is still room left for doubt on marijuana’s many pros and cons on the human body, but one things is still for sure. Marijuana is less harmful than already nationally legal drugs substances, therefore it should be legal. A vote or law should be passed on the regulation of marijuana nationally. Everyone would benefit. There will be new discoveries, healthy patients, economic growth, and happy American citizens.
Berke, J, Skye Gould. “States where marijuana is legal”, 7 Nov. 2018, https://www.businessinsider.com/legal-marijuana-states-2018-1. Accessed 18 November 2018.
Birdshall, Shauna, et al. The Use of Medical Marijuana in Cancer. Springer Science and Business Media New York, 2016.
“This Is Why Marijuana Should Be Legal Everywhere.” HuffingtonPost, 24 October 2018,https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LG6024sSXm3f5-h5R-TWUK5zP2IemlvLoj4bPM0VAXY/eMarijuana Legalization and Regulationdit#. Accessed 16 November 2018
Krishna, N. “The Economic Benefits of Legalizing Weed.”, Investopedia, 22 October 2018,https://www.investopedia.com/articles/insights/110916/economic-benefits-legalizing-weed.asp. Accessed 18 November 2018.
“Marijuana Legalization and Regulation”, Drug Policy Alliance, 2018, http://www.drugpolicy.org/issues/marijuana-legalization-and-regulation. Accessed 17 November 2018.
Ryan, T. “Marijuana should be legal in all 50 states.”, CNN, 20 July, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/20/opinions/legalize-marijuana-all-50-states-ryan/index.html. Accessed 21 November 2018.