Legalization of Marijuana: Argumentative EssayCannabis Sativa, or otherwise known as Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug consisting of dried leaves of the hemp plant and is smoked or chewed for euphoric affects.
Currently in the U.S., approximately 5 million Americans use marijuana daily. 18 states now allow marijuana to be used medicinally and as of November 2012 both Colorado and Washington permit marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.
With the number of people growing rapidly each day it is important that potential benefits to humans are not overlooked. With the legalization of Cannabis in all 50 states, the hemp plant can be used to its full potential, economically we can save millions of dollars, and those suffering from illness can benefit from the plant medicinally. Still belonging to the Cannabis Sativa family, hemp is a close relative of the Marijuana plant, its only difference being Hemp has less than 1% THC content while Marijuana ranges from 3-25% THC content. The hemp plant provides extreme usefulness and versatility many people are unaware of.
With the legalization of Marijuana, controversy over the plant will fade and hemp can be freely used to benefit us, and the planet we thrive upon. According to Sheryl Walters’ article “The Many Environmental and Health Benefits of Hemp,” there are over 25,000 known uses for hemp including rope, plastic, biofuel, clothing and can even be eaten as a super food resulting in more energy and better digestion. Industrial interests, such as the oil industry, and their fear that hemp would undercut their business, caused the prohibition of marijuana in the first place (policymic.com).
These companies saw hemp as a threat because it has the potential to replace all major non-renewable raw materials. In fact, hemp grows to maturity in 100 days without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and, its fiber is stronger than any other plant derived fiber (Naturalnews.com).This means that with deforestation happening at a rate of 3% each year, hemp can act as an equivalent alternative to trees therefore greatly benefiting the environment in which we inhabit.
To createprohibitions and restrictions on anything requires millions of dollars each year. If marijuana was decriminalized and regulated like alcohol it would result in an economic boost for the U.S. “Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion each year.
” (Prohibitioncosts.org) With savings like that, state governments could invest more money in education, construction of buildings, roads, and the bettering of states. Each year, marijuana related charges cost U.S.
prisons $1 billion dollars (huffingtonpost.com). With the approval of ganja, people would no longer be incarcerated for crimes pertaining to the cannabis plant. Thus keeping 750,000 folks out of prison, and $1 billion dollars in America’s wallet.
One of the most debatable points of the decriminalization of marijuana is the affect the plant has on your health. Some of those against the legalization of pot argue, “Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke” (http://www.drugabuse.gov/tib/marijuana.
html). Although this may be true, researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and University of California at San Francisco conducted a study using 5,000 men. After taking 5 samples over a 20- year period they found that cigarette smokers had lung function worsen while marijuana smokers did not (abcnews.go.
com/health). Some researchers also believe that the act of inhaling marijuana smoke deeply, unlike cigarette smoke, could possibly be strengthening to the tissue in the lungs.THC can enter your body in more ways than just smoke inhalation. Marijuana can be made into butter used in a variety of foods, and vaporizers turn the smoke into vapor therefore posing less of an effect on your lungs.
Along with the false belief that cannabis negatively affects users lungs, disapprovers of the drug believe it does not provide significant medicinal benefits that cannot be obtained through a legalized prescription. For example, a side affect of the disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is spasticity, a disabling condition in which the muscles become tight and hard to control. There are prescription medications for these affects but they do not always improve the condition in patients and can also have side effects. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine discovered that marijuana relieves pain and spasticity in patients who suffer from MS.
(medicalnewstoday.com) Similarly to MS, Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a group of disorders that cause painful muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and spinal deformities. Marijuana contains medicinal properties that relieve pain and relax muscles of people living with diseases affecting nerves and muscles.Some mental illnesses associated with appetite such as Bulimia and Anorexia are being treated using medicinal pot.
Endocannabinoids are naturally produced by the brain and affect the brain similarly to the way cannabis does. People who are endocannabinoid deficient, such as people with an eating disorder could use weed as a way to increase endocannabinoids, which have a direct link to appetite (tokeofthetown.com).Marijuana is an extremely common substance used by millions whether the law prohibits it or not.
The hemp plant itself provides thousands of uses, such as paper, clothing and rope. Smoking marijuana is less harmful to your health than both alcohol and cigarettes and it also exhibits medicinal bonuses for people who suffer from incurable illnesses. If marijuana becomes legalized in the remaining 32 states, the economy of the U.S.
and those states alone will be greatly affected in a positive way.