Top 10 Reasons to Legalize Marijuana: Legalize it.
Marijuana, a.k.a cannabis, pot, weed, hemp, or reefer, has been a topic of heated debates for many years, but now, it is in the spotlight more than ever. The issue about the use of this drug is becoming more and more topical because people are debating whether or not to legalize it. Marijuana, as well all know, is the most commonly used drug in the world. In fact, around 3.8 percent of the world’s population or 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana, according to United Nations. And the number is continuously rising.
It is said that this drug can help cure diseases, including cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS. Other people claim that it is a great stress reliever and a useful medicine for pain. Even doctors prescribed this drug to people who have problems in sleeping and eating. While some people think that cannabis is a harmful drug, majority of people in the country now support the legalization of it. As of June 2014, 23 U.S. states and Washington D.C. have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form with three more states considering it. As what Major Neil Franklin (Ret.), a former police officer and current head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), said, “The legalization of marijuana is good for law enforcement, good for families, and good for our communities.” And here are more other reasons why marijuana should be legalized worldwide.
10. Marijuana Is Not A Harmful Drug; In Fact, It Is Much Safer Than Alcohol And Tobacco.
If you’re like most Americans, you have been brought up to believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug – once you take it, your life is gone. Well, that’s not surprising at all. People believe that cannabis has destroyed the lives of millions of people worldwide – the very reason why people discourage the use of it. But the problem is that people hardly know about marijuana. The funny thing is they have never even tried it and assume the worst.
The truth is marijuana is not a harmful drug. Although the use of it can have negative effects on physical and mental health, if used well, it benefits the user. And when it comes to relative risks and harm, marijuana is proven to be far less harmful than other products, particularly alcohol and tobacco.
Excessive drinking and tobacco use are two of the most leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths in United States annually, including an estimated of nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from exposure to secondhand smoke. Alcohol drinking, on the other hand, was responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths each year in United States from 2006-2010. The CDC doesn’t even have a record that identifies the number of deaths caused by the use of marijuana.
9. It Has Medical Value.
With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in 23 U.S. states, more and more people are starting to turn to marijuana as a treatment option for various ailments. Well, the use of marijuana for medical purposes is no longer new. As early as 2700 B.C., ancient doctors used cannabis as a treatment for gout, digestive disorders, rheumatism, insomnia, and even poor memory. And in recent years, tons of researches have been conducted showing that marijuana is a miracle drug with the ability to cure serious ailments, including cancer, AIDS, and neuropathic pain.
Marijuana is derived from dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa), which contains an active ingredient, called as delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or much commonly known as THC. This compound gives the feelings of euphoria and “high,” and contains a significant amount of pain-relieving properties. That is why people who take marijuana experience more positive moods and relief from pain.
While the debate regarding the use of marijuana is still ongoing, the support for marijuana is continually growing as more and more studies are published showcasing its positive health benefits. One of the THC’s benefits has been found to be for the treatment of glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness in the world. A 1971 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association showed that marijuana significantly lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) by 25-30 percent. Another study, which was also published in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2012, revealed that marijuana can improve lung health.
Health experts also found that marijuana can significantly ease the symptoms of nausea and vomiting (N/V) from chemotherapy. In fact two cannabis-based drugs, known as dronabinol and nabilone, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of N/V in cancer patients.
8. It Can Help The Government Generate Additional Revenue.
Marijuana doesn’t only benefit the body, but the economy as well. Just like medicines and other goods, legalization of marijuana can substantially rake huge amount of profits, which we badly need in these economic times. In the first six months of 2014, Colorado alone has pulled in more than $25 million dollar pot-related tax revenue, and the state expects the value to triple in the middle of 2015. Just think about how much money the country will make if the entire U.S. legalized the use of cannabis?
According to the latest analysis by the NerdWallet, if all 50 states legalized marijuana today, the country could gain over $3 billion in tax revenue. This very large potential profit can be extremely helpful in our entire nation. It can used to better education, improve healthcare, develop the justice system, help the poor, pay off country’s debt, and fortify unfunded government programs. And remember that besides sales tax, several other revenues can also be generated when marijuana is legalized. Once legal, states and cities can impose other fees, such as licenses and annual fees, on consumers and retailers.
7. Legalization Would Help The Government Save Costs.
In addition to bringing in funds, legalization of marijuana gives the country an opportunity to save billions of dollars per year. According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, a whopping $8.7 billion a year is being spent for enforcing laws against marijuana in the U.S. And what are we getting for the billions of dollars spent in stopping cannabis use? Nada. Nothing.
Despite being illegal, thousands or more individuals are still arrested every day for possessing and using marijuana. And that results not only to wasted resources, but also to wasted time and lives. Our law enforcement officials devote their thousands of hours to arresting, booking, and imprisoning cannabis users. And since there are millions of marijuana users in the U.S., our jails and prisons are filled easily, which results to the need of more money to building new and larger jails. This is not to mention the amount that we spend in prosecuting, feeding, and defending these offenders. And the sad thing is that being arrested doesn’t stop the users from smoking pot.
Continuing the arrest of these people is irrational. The $8.7 billion estimate is a serious amount, which can be used to fund more important public programs and help our courts resolve much more serious cases.
6. It Has Many Uses And Filled With Nutritional Value.
Contrary to popular belief, the cannabis plant is more than just a psychoactive drug that people use to escape into another world. Cannabis plant is a natural herb that has many uses. Though you may not have heard much about it, this plant is loaded with powerful disease-fighting properties, including anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties.
William Courtney, a California-based physician, recommends the juicing and drinking of raw cannabis as a way to experience its therapeutic benefits without getting a psychoactive effect. At this point, you probably know about THC, the active ingredient found in dried cannabis plant. Prior to drying, the chemical compound that is present in the plant is known as THCA – the acidic precursor of THC. In its fresh form, THCA holds much of the healing properties of the cannabis plant, and is non-psychoactive.
One of the many patients who can prove the benefit of ingesting raw cannabis is Kristen Courtney, the wife of Dr. William Courtney. For many years, Kristen had struggled with systemic lupus, but after several weeks of drinking the juice of raw marijuana leaves and buds, her condition improved significantly. Since then, the couple has devotedly promoted the use of cannabis.
Cannabis seeds are also found to be rich in protein and essential fatty acids, including linoleic and omega-3, which play a major role in promoting health.
Aside from its medicinal uses, another benefit of the cannabis that many are unaware of is its industrial use. Cannabis plant is loaded with fiber content that is useful in the production of clothing, bags, jewelry, linen, towels, ropes, guitar straps, paper, and so much more. The cannabis seed oil is also used in the production of paints, varnishes, and lubricants.