Debate essay on legalizing marijuana

Argument in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

Several arguments have been offered in favor of legalizing marijuana. While many Americans support marijuana legalization, others strongly believe that marijuana should stay outlawed. Yet, it must be realized that legalizing marijuana will alleviate the country of its financial and social burdens. According to Levin, around 658,000 marijuana-related arrests occurred in the United States in 2014. Furthermore, marijuana law enforcement costs the United States approximately $3.6 billion per year (Levin 11). Legalization of marijuana will thereby save the country money, time, and effort in enforcing the laws. The proceeds from marijuana offenses will be put to better use. The society has to understand that making marijuana illegal is expensive and more than 40% of the Americans admit to being users. Marijuana generates revenue to the country, and thus its legalization will realize huge incomes. During the first year of marijuana legalization in Colorado, the country recognized $63 million revenue from the sale of marijuana (Levin 17). Besides, $13 million was the revenue that the country made from the fees and licensing of marijuana.

Medicinal Significance of Marijuana

Marijuana is widely documented to have medicinal significance to the body. According to Wong and Lin, it is stated that “marijuana has potential in shrinking aggressive cancerous brain tumors” (Wong and Lin 19). Besides, they report that treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders with marijuana results into 54% reduction in seizures. Marijuana also reduces spasticity by 30% in individuals who suffer multiple sclerosis (Wong and Lin 22). Notably, marijuana has an effect on relieving anxiety and reduction of depression. Marijuana is significant in battling skin conditions and reducing glaucoma. Undoubtedly, legalization of marijuana will provide a wider room for doctors to broaden their ability in exploring its usefulness in the medical field and come up with new uses.

Counterargument against Marijuana Legalization

Despite the importance of marijuana, anti-marijuana activists refute by noting that marijuana is not medically helpful. Claims from the activists say that marijuana is terrible to the mental and physical heath of an individual. It is argued that due to its addictive nature, marijuana can weed off the person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) and thus having detrimental mental impacts. Caulkins and Beau note that marijuana users tend to have abnormal brain structures along with depicting poor memory (Caulkins and Beau 34). In extreme cases, marijuana could lead to the development of schizophrenia. Caulkins and Beau state that "Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood, and psychotic thought disorders" (Caulkins and Beau 36). Physically, marijuana users have devastating lung problems, lead to temporal sterility, and it could also result in increased risks of leukemia and mental abnormalities in children.

Eliminating the Black Market and Boosting the Economy

Legalization of marijuana will eliminate the black market. Standardization on the sale of marijuana will be stipulated and ensure that the consumers take the certified product. Making it legal will usher in an overall peace of the mind to the consumers and test potency. Eliminating the black market will also lead to the creation of jobs. In Colorado, marijuana legalization has created over 10,000 new jobs. The economy is positively influenced and in turn, boosts the economy due to its ability to lower the levels of unemployment. Many Americans are for its legalization, and in recent surveys, 53% of the Americans support the move asserting that it will not only impact on the economy but also earn the country revenue and have medicinal significance.

Works Cited

Caulkins, Jonathan P., and Beau Kilmer. "Considering Marijuana Legalization Carefully: Insights For Other Jurisdictions From Analysis For Vermont". Addiction, vol 111, no. 12, 2016, pp. 2082-2089. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/add.13289.

Levin, Aaron. "Expert Emphasizes Importance Of Science In Debate Over Legalization Of Marijuana". Psychiatric News, vol 49, no. 23, 2014, pp. 1-1. American Psychiatric Publishing, doi:10.1176/

Wong, S, and H Lin. "Effects Of Medical Marijuana Legalization On Marijuana Use Among Adolescents And Adults In The United States". Value In Health, vol 19, no. 7, 2016, pp. A527-A528. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jval.2016.09.1053.

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