Marijuana is a plant that is sometimes also referred to as ‘cannabis’. This plant is grown worldwide for different purposes; however, marijuana’s bud is used to smoke, for recreational or medicinal purposes. In most parts of the world, marijuana is an illegal drug; whereas in other parts, it can only be used under a doctor’s prescription; and in places such as Amsterdam, the complete use of marijuana is legal. However, in places such as the United Arab Emirates, the use of Marijuana is completely prohibited.
Marijuana historically has been used and as a treatment for minor as well as terminal diseases and also played a very important role in the American agrarian society. However, due to the advancement in technology, its role was slowly eliminated from mainline usage and with this, its positive image started to erode. Today, Marijuana is a commonly used illegal drug in the world, used often after people have tried the legal ones such as alcohol and tobacco.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has said that “Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused illicit drugs.” The widespread use of Marijuana started in the 1960s, according to the statistics of the United States health care industry, by 1979 almost 68% of the youth had experienced it at least once in their life. Hence, the use of Marijuana was termed illegal by the Controlled Substances Act in 1970. Although these debates have risen time and again regarding the medicinal use of Marijuana, its use to date is termed illegal in many states of America.
Marijuana initially became illegal in the US for reasons related to racial prejudice. This herb was first found with the Mexicans, and since the US at that time would discriminate against the Mexican immigrants, Marijuana was made illegal. But it was around 1913 that California passed a bill referring to Marijuana being illegal. After that most states started to ban the use of marijuana for various reasons, some because of religious concepts, some due to racial prejudice, and some were actually concerned about the harmful effects of the plant being used as a drug. Others saw it as a competitive “crop” that could destroy their markets; hence they would ban the use of its production, distribution, and use. However, over the years, an increasing number of states in the US and other countries around the world have united under the mission of legalizing Marijuana. In the US about 13 or more states have made the use of this drug legal. (Parloff)
Countries all around the world are battling the war of whether or not this drug should be legalized. Researchers are constantly finding out the benefits and harms of Marijuana to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Many researchers have identified that Marijuana’s benefits far outweigh its costs, which is why it has been legalized in many states. The 13 States have declared the use of marijuana to be lawful and there is no doubt that their citizens and the government are both benefiting from this decision.
Legalizing marijuana would have benefits far beyond just helping the people who need it for their “medical” conditions; it would help with certain demographic factors, with the ongoing financial crisis, and finally, save costs on the constant drug battles. The legalization of this drug will greatly benefit society as well as the political and economical system.
In many states, the use of Marijuana as a medicinal drug has been legalized. Around 13 states in the US have declared this use legal. So there must be huge benefits if a great number of states have allowed their citizens to use this drug for therapeutic purposes. Research has proven that Marijuana contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which helps with numerous medical conditions.
For example, Irvin Rosenfeld smokes around 10-20 Marijuana cigarettes a day for medical purposes. He has a rare bone condition and even after seven operations, he still lives with tumors in his brain. He suffers from a disease called multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses. His use of Marijuana is to relieve the chronic pain and muscle spasm so that he can live on a normal functional basis, despite his life-threatening medical condition. Now, this is just one example, there are numerous people all over the world who suffer from such conditions, and the use of Marijuana can help them live better lives.
Another example is of a Wilson nurse, who was actually speaking for her sake and the sake of other similar patients. She spoke in the General Assembly in North Carolina. Ann Hodges stated that she suffered from back pains, which were then diagnosed as an Auto-Immune Disease. She suffers from such chronic pain that this nurse was asked to give up her career. She lives on painkillers, however, these have intense side effects of nausea and vomiting; cramps, and so forth. However, smoking Marijuana for her seemed to be a better option. She stated Marijuana not only relieving chronic pain but also proved to have no such side effects. Her appeal was in the hope that NC would be the 14th state to support the legalization of Marijuana. (Shaw)
As it can be seen from just these two examples, Marijuana has proven to be beneficial in the past. As a medicinal drug, it has helped a lot of people survive and combat their life-threatening conditions. Students for example, with a low concentration level, can greatly benefit from the use of Medical Marijuana. In 2007 a study was conducted at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. In this study, it was identified that adolescents who smoked Marijuana had the highest concentration level, and hence; ended up with the highest grades in the class. So yes, this drug does have its benefits.
Again in 2008 a study at Ohio State University, it was identified that smoking Marijuana reduced brain inflammation and memory impairment that could delay Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a condition that can greatly hamper normal functioning and can alter a normal person’s life. Smoking Marijuana can help delay it. Such a drug should be legalized, people who are genetically prone to such conditions should be allowed to smoke this drug in order to make their life more meaningful but delaying such life-threatening conditions.
Another study in 2007 at McGill University in Montreal proved Marijuana to be an anti-depressant with the advantage of having no nauseous or addictive symptoms. While most anti-depressants, such as Prozac can have addictive, nauseous, and other dangerous side effects, smoking Marijuana not only uplifts the mood, making a person non-depressive but also has little or no side effects. Depression, a condition that causes a high suicidal rate, can be helped with this drug with minimum side effects, thereby proving its benefits to society. (MacManus)
Medical marijuana can help relieve nausea caused due to cancer treatments. Also, studies have shown that people with MS can actually save their central nervous system by smoking Marijuana since it protects the nervous tissues. These findings can be viewed on January 15, 2007, issue of Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences. Also, the THC content of Marijuana has proven to reduce intraocular pressure in people with Glaucoma. There are various medications for this problem; however, those medicines produce side effects that disturb the patient unlike Marijuana, which produces no such side effects. (Durand)
Aside from helping combat life-threatening diseases, Marijuana can also be beneficial on a more recreational level. Whereas with drinking, a person is more prone to violent behavior which can be of harm to oneself and others; smoking marijuana to get the same ‘buzz’ does not lead to any such behavior. Also, as compared to other drugs which are used for recreational purposes such as Alcohol, Cocaine, Meth, or heroin; Marijuana is not so highly addictive.
It also helps with an individual’s spiritual well-being. It releases all mental stress and tension, calms and relaxes the muscles, which allows an individual to move away from the daily stress of life, and concentrate on the more productive and important aspects of functioning, such as work or education. Every person is entitled to a happy life, and if Marijuana helps them escape their stress even for a short while, for them to just experience life as a normal non-stressed out person, then the use of this drug is their right. (The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological, & Spiritual)
Furthermore, legalizing this drug would allow the medical companies and to ensure that the purest and best form of marijuana is available, unlike in the black market where other harmful substances are mixed to increase profits. So this will allow for the consumers to obtain pure, less harmful drugs. This will also slowly change the trend of using these drugs and some people who do it just to break the law will find that with legalizing it, the charm is lost.
Moving away from the medical and recreational benefits of legalizing Marijuana, there are certainly economic benefits as well. Legalizing this drug would mean an increase in the Marijuana market. The number of dispensaries would increase, and more people will want to buy them. This automatically would allow the government to obtain revenue that can be used for the public sector such as health and education. By imposing a tax on the price of Marijuana, and closing all other black markets; the government will be able to obtain large amounts of financial help. Furthermore, if the country starts to produce its own high-quality Marijuana, then it can also be exported, thereby increasing foreign revenue; which is a great economic benefit for the country. A 2005 report by Jeffery A Miron, The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition estimated that legalizing Marijuana would create 6.5 billion dollar tax revenue. Such a large figure can be of great help to the US in the ongoing financial crisis.
This drug can only be legalized if close monitoring and supervision are done. By allowing medical Marijuana, people may use this as an excuse to simply smoke pot anyways. This is not right. If the state has allowed prescribed marijuana to be used, then close supervision and laws need to be defined as to what cases this drug can be used in. Also, legalizing would mean the drug would be slightly expensive. This means that the creation of black markets is almost possible. Hence, to prevent cheap quality and harmful hash from being distributed, laws against black markets must be implemented, so that the people get the good hash, and the government can benefit from the revenue.
Furthermore, drug testing is a violation of one’s personal rights. It is no one’s business to invade the personal privacy of an individual. Hence, considering this concept, legalizing the drug would mean abolishing such tests and giving people their rights. Also, drug testing can be very ineffective. A drug test for marijuana can only tell the presence of the drug until about a month or even less. For instance, the urine test, if one loads up on water, dilutes your urine, and creates a condition under which your body can metabolize the drug byproducts bringing them down to a normal cutoff level. Also, these drug tests cannot tell one if the individual is under influence at a specific time. These tests can take time and for areas such as “on-the-job” results, this drug testing method is not effective. Also, the drug urine test does not identify any differences between THC medicines and marijuana. Furthermore, they cannot identify the level of intoxication. Hence, using these tests to identify the use of marijuana just because it is illegal is not only an invasion of privacy, but the results may not be reliable.
Also, if the issue remains that legalizing the drug would mean people would start abusing its use, then this can be overcome with strict rules. These rules and policies would include restrictions on the quota of the substance, and also the reasons for use. These policies along with strict supervision for the implementation of the rules will allow for a safe environment under which Marijuana can be consumed.
Also, it would be better if all states and countries come to a common consensus for legalizing Marijuana so that all black markets, drug trafficking are abolished. This would mean the only state-monitored and produced availability of the drug. This would help produce safe Marijuana and allow the government to obtain financial benefits.
Also, legalizing the drug would save the costs of all “drug abuse” fights. The police would be left free to concentrate on more serious crimes such as terrorism, murders, rapes and the list goes on. The additional costs used in the operation of constantly battling the drug users, whether it is for medical or recreational activities, would be reduced, and these can be used elsewhere.
Furthermore, an age restriction should be set along with the legalization of the drug. This would prevent under-aged children from substance abuse. If the drug is legalized, the distribution would be under constant state supervision, hence the availability of this drug will also be limited; unlike when it is illegal because then black markets are available everywhere for one to obtain and abuse the drug.
So yes, in conclusion, I would like to say that legalizing Marijuana has a lot of benefits. It not only helps fight medical diseases but also helps with the spiritual and mental state of thousands of mentally disturbed individuals. It allows people to have a good time and enjoy their life; something which is their right. Alongside this, it allows the government to generate huge revenue. It will also stop the constant fights and battles, arguments over the use of drugs and create peace. The use of the drug is an individual’s choice. One must be given the free will to choose his path, and make his/her own choices, just as he/she is given in other areas such as careers, education, marriage, and so forth. Just like Marijuana, everything in the world has a good and bad side to it; this does not mean we ban the use of all such things. Hence, Marijuana should be legalized all around the world.
Durand, Marcella. “Considering Cannbis.” Inside MS; Vol. 25 Issue 3, p56-57, 2p (2007): 56-57.
Macmanis, Sam. “Legalize it? Medical evidence on marijuana.” Sacramento Bee, The (CA) 2009.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research. NIDA. 1995, Web.
Parloff, Roger. “HOW POT BECAME LEGAL. (cover story).” Fortune; Vol. 160 Issue 6, p140-162, 13p (2009): 140-162.
Shaw, Matt. “Nurse sees benefit in marijuana use: Legislature unlikely to pass bill.” Daily Times. 2009.
“The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological, & Spiritual:.” The Benefits of Marijuana: Physical, Psychological, & Spiritual: (n.d.): 29-60.