Marijuana is a relatively harmless drug that governments around the world have made illegal. If legalized, marijuana can be beneficial to society in a number of ways: whether it be for medical, economic, or public safety reasons. Marijuana has been proven to treat several life debilitating, and even life threatening diseases. Although it is not a cure, marijuana can ease the pain and suffering of a dying person. Another benefit of legalization is the financial gains that governments will accomplish through the taxation of marijuana. This is a realistic claim if marijuana sales are compared to that of cigarettes; governments make billions each year from cigarette taxes (Caputo and Ostrom 484). Every year law enforcement spends countless man-hours trying to apprehend marijuana dealers and growers. This time would be better utilized in dealing with more serious crimes. This essay will display some main reasons why marijuana is a substance with beneficial uses and applications.
First, marijuana can be used as a treatment for the effects of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and other terminal diseases. A study carried out in California clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of marijuana as a treatment for cancer: “Over 74 percent of the cancer patients treated in the program have reported that marijuana is more effective in relieving their nausea and vomiting than any other drug they have tried.”(Zeese 1990). Chemotherapy for cancer patients often produces nausea and vomiting. Marijuana has been proven to relieve these symptoms and there have been no known side effects recorded (Ad Hoc Group of Experts part 4). The people who would benefit the most from the legalization of marijuana are the terminally ill. These people are not criminals at heart, because they only require marijuana as a way to bring relief from their ailments. Moreover, a government should feel obligated to provide terminally ill patients with marijuana to relieve pain. Governments such as Canada and the United States are supposed help its’ people, and by legalizing marijuana, many terminally ill citizens will feel less pain and suffering.
If marijuana were to become legalized, governments could make a large amount of revenue through taxes. In the United States, billions of dollars each year in revenue are produced through tobacco taxes (Caputo and Ostrom 484). If marijuana became a manufactured product, the government could set taxes on the sale of that product. Once legalized and regulated by the government, the money raised through taxes could be used to improve the country. Moreover, several other things can be produced commercially using the marijuana plant. There is a possible revenue obtainable from hemp, which can be manufactured into clothing material, vegetable oil, paper product, and livestock feed (Caputo and Ostrom 485). If legalized, marijuana has the potential to generate a lot of revenue for a government, and this gained revenue can only help the country.
Crime is a problem just about anywhere in Canada and the United States. However, crime enforcement energy is often spent dealing with cases that are not necessary. The police spend useless time trying to arrest marijuana growing and smokers. If marijuana is legalized, drug-fighting resources could be better used against the drug trade of cocaine, heroin, and other dangerous substances. Furthermore, if the government regulated the sale of marijuana, a majority of drug dealers would go out of business. This would decrease the amount of black market drug money, and increase the revenue for the government. Also, legalization of marijuana could also take some pressure off of the court system. The court system would have less cases to deal with, and more important cases could be processed faster.
The legalization of marijuana would make Canada and the United States a safer place to live, because law enforcement would be directed fully at the true criminals in society.
Marijuana is a substance with many useful applications in Canada and the United States. It has been proven to be a great treatment for the pain and discomfort of terminally ill patients. Legalization would make marijuana easily accessible to these people. Also, if the government would legalize and regulate the sale of marijuana, large tax revenues could be available to the government. This increased revenue could help the country become a better place to live, whether it be through improved highways or new schools. Legalizing marijuana would take pressure off of the legal system. Law enforcement could concentrate on severe criminal problems, rather than getting overloaded with marijuana cases. All of these benefits are from a simple plant called marijuana, and yet the government will not allow their country to enjoy all of the good things that could come out of the legalization of this crop.