Marijuana is a useful drug that can have a lot of benefits to society contrary to the common belief that it is a harmful drug. Cultivation and consumption of marijuana in many countries in the world, including the United States of America, has been prohibited out of unsubstantiated beliefs and stereotypes. This paper gives an exhaustive discussion that explains this position using supported facts and illustrations.
Improvement of the Economy
Many people still smuggle and consume marijuana despite being considered as an illegal drug. Many drug dealers are operating in secret, importing and selling the commodity in a huge black market. The fact that the illicit trade is thriving in the society goes on to explain the huge demand that exists in the market.
It is correct to predict that the national economy will stand a greater chance of registering immense growth and development if marijuana is considered legal (“The Law of the Weed” 32). Many marijuana dealers will come out to establish legal businesses that deal in the cultivation, development, and processing of marijuana. This will offer employment opportunities to millions of citizens who currently are unemployed and remain a huge burden to the exchequer.
Legalized marijuana businesses will also be supposed to remit taxes to the government, just as all other legally recognized organizations do (Beau 128). The government currently loses billions of dollars on unpaid taxes since selling marijuana is considered illegal, and the actual dealers operate undercover. However, these lost revenues in terms of taxes will be recouped by the government once the dealers are allowed to sell marijuana as a legally recognized product.
Decrease in Crime
Majority of the people affected by outlawing marijuana are youth. Young people are used by established businessmen to smuggle the commodity and take it to the market, while the proprietors only deal in the cash obtained out of the contraband (Regan 230). Youth are particularly compelled to do this because of the lack of employment or any other source of income.
Young people are engaging in serious acts of crime to avoid police dragnets as they deal in the trade. These include killing in some instances to ensure that they achieve their objectives. However, such rising acts of crime in the society will be lowered significantly in case the government legalizes marijuana.
Marijuana has been cited as the reason behind deaths caused by its overuse in some instances. Consumption of the drug under some circumstances has seen cases of overuse. These end up being fatal in some instances. Dealers in marijuana are also renowned for engaging in serious acts of violence and killing each other, mainly because of market rivalry (Hecht para 2). The government can reduce these crimes by legalizing the commodity to pave way for well-established markets and respective structures.
Alternative Uses of Marijuana
Apart from being consumed as a drug, marijuana has other multiple uses that can be transformed with much ease into benefits to society. The cannabis plant is used as a raw material in the manufacture of a variety of plastics that are, in turn, used as parts in the manufacture of commodities (Earleywine 8).
This is an eco-friendly way of producing plastics compared to the traditional industrial practice currently in use. Other than plastics, marijuana stalks and stems are also used as raw materials for manufacturing paper. This is a more sustainable practice.
Physicians have also established that marijuana contains medicinal value. The medicinal component is important for treating certain health conditions. Some of the health conditions that are treated using marijuana include gastrointestinal illnesses, improving uncontrolled vomiting or nausea, helping with stimulation of hunger among AIDS and chemotherapy patients, as well as reducing intraocular eye pressure. Marijuana is also cited among the best antibacterial drugs in the world (Jacob 132).
Despite its positives, marijuana has its negative side effects that make its legalization be considered otherwise. It will be difficult for the government to control the consumption of marijuana if it becomes legally accepted, thereby leading to substance abuse. This is very dangerous because marijuana abuse may lead to a variety of health complications, including mental disorders, lung cancer, and other pulmonary diseases (Brux 38).
It is also difficult to ascertain whether the legalization of marijuana can lead to decreased cases of crime (Inciardi 35). The drug operates by driving one’s emotions, thus resulting in the loss of proper reasoning among consumers. In essence, this drives consumers to act senselessly without considering the consequences of their actions.
Marijuana is a useful plant that the government needs to embrace and legalize to regulate its usage. Some of the benefits of legalizing marijuana include improving the national economy through expanded business and increase in revenue collected as taxes. Such a move can also potentially lower insecurity in the country and open up other avenues through which marijuana’s benefits can be accrued, such as using marijuana for industrial purposes and in the medical field.
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Hecht, Peter. “Mexican Marijuana Growers Boldly Operate in California.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News. Sep. 20, 2009. Web. 13 July 2013, http://www.psychemedics.com/blog/2009/09/mexican-marijuana-growers-boldly-operate-in-california/
Inciardi, James A. Handbook of Drug Control in the United States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990. Print.
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Regan, Trish. Joint Ventures: Inside America’s Almost Legal Marijuana Industry. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
“The Law of the Weed.” The Economist. July 15, 2010. Web. July 13, 2013, www.economist.com/node/16591136