Helping others is something that everyone strives to do. Showing compassion towards others helps everyone, including the recipient as well as the provider. If you could help someone would you be willing? The legalization of marijuana could help those with medical issues as well as those in need of government assistance. In a time when legal drugs with no medical advantages, such as tobacco and alcohol are available, it only makes sense to legalize marijuana because it can offer medical as well as financial advantages. While some feel marijuana should remain illegal because it can be harmful to users, others feel there are many benefits of legalizing marijuana, including growth within our economy and medical support to those with chronic medical conditions.
The legalization of marijuana will save money for government agencies, as well as increase governmental income. Many states have already legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana. These states have experienced a positive impact from their decision. Colorado was one of the first states that legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana. As Way states, “The medical marijuana regulatory framework enforced by the Colorado Department of Revenue was refined to tax and regulate the retail market. As of October, Colorado brought in more than $40 million in marijuana taxes” (Way, 2014, p. 1). In addition to the increase in taxes, law enforcement agencies will be able to focus their attention on more serious crimes and public safety. The amount of manpower, time and materials needed to fight those who illegally use drugs costs our government more and more money each year. The costs include the salaries of the officers needed to catch those who buy and sell marijuana illegally and of those who prosecute within the court system. Another cost includes housing the criminals in corrections facilities. In most states, money is being taken away from those who can positively use it and given to those who could cause harm, such as the drug cartels. ProCon.org reports that because of the legalization of marijuana in the states of Colorado and Washington, the Mexican drug cartel has lost over $2 million in profits. In addition to this report, Weber states, “Prohibition of marijuana is diverting money away from our country and into improper and dangerous hands. Legalizing marijuana would allow for appropriate taxation and a marketplace for creative enterprise. We are in dire need of this revenue and with it, its competitive sales market and job creation platform” (Weber & el, 2017, p.XXX).
Jobs can be created by the legalization of marijuana. In an article published in Forbes, Borchardt explains, “A new report from New Frontier Data projects that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs. This is more than the expected jobs from manufacturing, utilities or even government jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics” (Borchardt, 2017. P. XXX). These jobs include retail store managers, sales representatives, cultivators, bud-tenders, and even government jobs to help with the regulation and taxation of marijuana. With the regulation of marijuana, the contents will be monitored with product testing. This product testing will produce jobs as well as provide valuable information for the consumer of the marijuana. Many jobs will be created as well as an increase in the growth of our economy with the legalization of marijuana.
Through research medical experts have learned that marijuana has multiple helpful medical purposes. A few of the diseases that can be helped include cancer, Alzheimer’s, PTSD, plus many more. Marijuana helps to alleviate the physical and mental pain associated with many of these life threatening diseases, as well as helping with side effects of many of the medications given for treatment of these diseases. As Clark, Capuzzi and Fick report, many forms of marijuana are now being used, namely Marinol and Nabilone. These forms have mixed reviews because of the cost and the amount of time it takes the medication to get into a patient’s system. Clark, Capuzzi and Fick state, “In relation to smoked marijuana, all of these alternatives are just that—alternatives, and are not necessarily as effective. It has been argued that smoked marijuana is substantially more effective than these alternatives. The THC in the inhaled smoke is absorbed within seconds and is delivered to the brain rapidly and efficiently, as would be expected of a highly lipid soluble drug” (Clark et al, 2011, p. XXX). Some of the positive effects of inhaled marijuana has been found to help with nausea, sleep, pain control and inflammation. People who are suffering from disabling and life altering diseases often look for alternative measure to help with their medical problems. Medical marijuana is an alternative that has been found to be helpful and cost efficient.
Weber, Gardenier, and Brennen state, “Patients need options for relief of debilitating or refractory pain–either physical or mental. Failure to legalize marijuana for medical purposes is outdated. For example, if cannabidiol oil can help a patient more than what we currently have on the market for pain or seizure control, then it’s our duty as healthcare providers to enter new territory treatment regimes” (Weber, et al, 2017, p. XXX). In a survey of over 1,500 physicians in forty-eight states, Medscape reports “A majority of physicians say that at least medical marijuana should be legalized nationally and that it can deliver real benefits to patients” (Medscape, 2018, p. XXX). Legalizing marijuana could be medically helpful to many people. Legalizing it in all states would allow for even more people to be helped.
The argument that marijuana can be harmful if abused cannot go unnoticed. Marijuana is an addictive drug, less addictive than other drugs, but it can still be addictive and harmful if not used in moderation. Keeping marijuana, as well as other drugs, out of the hands of children and teenagers is key to helping keep them safe.
Children or teenagers who abuse marijuana may have more trouble coping as adults. Teachers and parents should discourage young people from using marijuana and other drugs. Donnelly and Young report “Researchers have shown that the 10 states with the highest rate of past month marijuana use by youth all have legalized recreational and/or medical use of marijuana, whereas none of the 10 states with the lowest rate of past month marijuana use by youth, has legalized marijuana” (Donnelly et al, 2018, p. XXX). Parents, schools and other community resources should continue to teach children and teenagers the dangers of all drug use. Legalization should not be thought of as an encouragement for the use of marijuana but as an alternative for medical needs or an option for those of age to use.
The legalization of marijuana has many benefits, including the increase of financial income, the increase of job creation, as well as medical benefits to those with chronic medical problems. The legalization is a debate that may go on for many years. Some states have already moved towards the legalization for recreational and medicinal purposes, even though the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug. Patients are looking for alternative treatments options, which marijuana could fulfill. The options of patients should not be limited because of where someone lives. Our government is continuously facing a budget crunch, leading to raising taxes and cutting programs, so why not legalize marijuana to provide more money in taxation as well as cutting back on the expenses of those fighting the war on marijuana. Many reasons support the legalization of marijuana.
Borchardt, Debra. “Marijuana Industry Projected To Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing By 2020.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 1 Mar. 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/02/22/marijuana-industry-projected-to-create-more-jobs-than-manufacturing-by-2020/#1cca98c63fa9.
Clark, Peter A., et al. “Medical Marijuana: Medical Necessity versus Political Agenda.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3628147/.
“Colorado and Marijuana Legalization One Year Later: What Has Changed?” Drug Policy Alliance, 29 Dec. 2014, www.drugpolicy.org/blog/colorado-and-marijuana-legalization-one-year-later-what-has-changed.
Donnelly, Joseph, and Michael Young. “The Legalization of Medical/Recreational Marijuana: Implications for School Health Drug Education Programs.” The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, 12 Aug. 2018, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/josh.12669.
“New Pro and Con Research in Marijuana Debate – Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?” ProConorg Headlines, 15 Feb. 2018, www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005383.
“Should Marijuana Be Legalized Nationally?” Medscape Log In, 9 May 2018, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/896380.
Weber, Lydia M, et al. “Should Marijuana Be Legalized?” Https://Www.npjournal.org/, The Journal of Nurse Practitioners, Feb. 2017. “
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