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Why Marijuana Should Be Legal?

To legalize or not to legalize marijuana is a hotly debated topic, which has been around not for years but for centuries. Restrictions on the distribution of cannabis started in the 16th century. Although many different concessions have been made since then, the issue of legislative regulation of disputes on this matter remains a problem not only for national but also for the world’s lawmakers. The different policies on the legalization and prohibition of marijuana in some countries make the issue even more complicated. Some states or countries want to legalize marijuana for medical use, while others prefer to legalize it for entertainment purposes only.

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Furthermore, some other countries still believe that marijuana should be legalized without restriction. There are many arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana, including that marijuana is used for medicinal purposes, it is safer than other drugs, and that the criminalization of marijuana is causing damage to the environment.

The first and most frequently cited reason for the necessity of legalizing marijuana among its supporters is that the plant is now used in a wide range of medicines worldwide. This range of medications includes primarily life-sustaining and painkilling medications for the terminally ill. All over the world, referendums are now taking place in favor of legalizing medical marijuana precisely for this purpose (Denham 78). Studies have shown that cannabis medicines are much more effective and safer as painkillers than opioids. “States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use to treat pain have greatly reduced rates of opioid overdose” (Todd 110).

Besides, marijuana-based medicines are much cheaper, which is essential because families of terminally ill people already spend much money to buy life-sustaining drugs. In countries where marijuana is not legalized, people cannot access these medicines and are forced to use more expensive and more dangerous substitutes (Mcginty 35). Therefore, legalizing marijuana will allow patients to freely buy and use it for medical purposes without compromising their health by using opioids.

Another reason marijuana should be legalized is that it is significantly safer than alcohol or any other drugs. “According to the NAM, thirty-two percent of people who try tobacco become dependent, fifteen percent who try alcohol and only nine percent who try marijuana become dependent” (Todd 109). While alcohol and drugs kill thousands of people every year, marijuana is not capable of killing a human organism; it can only become harmful if used in an excessive amount. Studies have shown that cannabis is not harmful to mental health when consumed in moderation – research has found no direct link between cannabis use and the development of mental health disorders among people (Sabet and Winters 123).

Moreover, marijuana does not cause any violent behavior. While other drugs, including alcohol, may cause aggressive behavior when they are consumed, marijuana has no deleterious effect on the human mind. “There are far less health-related costs associated with marijuana use than with alcohol use, and alcohol use has a much greater association with violent and aggressive behavior” (Todd 109). This statement proves once again that marijuana has no detrimental effects on the human mentality.

It is also worth mentioning a less obvious but critical threat of marijuana prohibition – it is causing tremendous harm to the environment. Especially now, when the world is on the edge of an ecological crisis and eco-activists are doing their best to promote an environmentally friendly way of life, marijuana prohibition appears to be a high-risk factor (Schwadel and Ellison 410). Many of the marijuana encroachments grow on public and private land.

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Protected fields of land are often destined for illegal cultivation. It has all been documented – damage to land and water, illegal cutting down of forests, unregulated construction, destruction and pollution of streams, poisoning and destruction of wildlife (Todd 114). Moreover, all this damage is caused by the illegal cultivation of marijuana. If the government legalizes marijuana, it will be able to control this sphere and establish designated areas for the safe cultivation of the plant.

According to the above arguments, the legalization of marijuana would bring significant benefits to both humans and the environment. When the use of marijuana for medical purposes is permitted, it will make life easier not only for many patients but also for their doctors. They will no longer have to cope with the deleterious effects of opioids. When the plant is legalized for personal use, many people will start using it and avoid the harmful effects of substances like alcohol or prescription drugs.

People will replace dangerous products with safer marijuana, which not only does not cause significant harm to health but also does not cause aggressive behavior or mental disorders. Therefore, not only will the number of referrals to medical facilities for drug addiction decrease, but the number of accidents that occur while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will also be reduced. This fact implies that the legalization of marijuana is a necessary step for the national governments these days.

Works Cited

Sabet, Kevin, and Ken Winters, editors. Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana. Oxford University Press, 2018.

Todd, Tamar. “The Benefits of Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.” Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law, vol. 23, no. 6, 2018, pp. 100-114. Web.

Schwadel, Philip, and Christopher Ellison. “Period and Cohort Changes in Americans’ Support for Marijuana Legalization: Convergence and Divergence across Social Groups.The Sociological Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 405-428. Web.

Mcginty, Emma. “Public perceptions of arguments supporting and opposing recreational marijuana legalization.” Preventive medicine, vol. 99. Web.

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Denham, Bryan. “Attitudes toward legalization of marijuana in the United States, 1986-2016: Changes in determinants of public opinion.International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 71, pp. 78-90. Web.

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