Marijuana or is the name given to the cannabis plant and more specifically the drug that is prepared from it. Marijuana as a word has different uses, legal applications, and definition all over the world. The use of the drug is regulated in many countries. In the recent years, however, there has been mounting pressure on governments across the world to legalise the drug. A leading example is the U.S where the drug was recently legalised for medicinal use in some states. The legalisation debate draws many views from various factions of the society. We are going to explore some of those factors and argue out some of the points in regards to the thesis statement of this paper.
Thesis statement: The legalisation of marijuana will bring about the more responsible use and distribution of the drug.
To understand better the issues revolving around the legalisation of the drug, it is necessary to understand ho it ended up being illegal in the first place. One of the most common arguments against the legalisation of the drug in most governments is the irresponsible use of marijuana which results in the users developing a high tendency of crime and cease from socially responsible behaviour (Art, 29). This was the main argument that resulted in the legalisation of the drug back in the early 20th century. There is however not a proven fact since no previous studies have pointed to its correlation to the use of marijuana. The main campaign was aimed at derailing the influence brought about by Mexican immigrants following the Mexican revolution. The unfounded claims were spread by the media, leading to its illegalization.
Marijuana has mostly been associated with crime and the elevation of criminal activities. This is mostly due to the tendency of relative use by criminals. However, the argument posited mostly among the youth, and the middle-aged is that it can be used as an analgesic and also as a stress reliever. In as much as many criminals use the drug it is by no means a connotation that the drug causes criminal tendencies since the legalisation policy has worked in Jamaica where fairly normal individuals make use of marijuana(Marco, 75). Besides, the drug has been proven to be efficient treating several conditions among them the successful treatment of nausea linked with chemotherapy treatments and raising the appetite of individuals suffering from acute illnesses such as cancer. Such individuals have always been disadvantaged due to the restrictions imposed against the drug. By legalising the sale and use of the drug in controlled environments, such groups of individuals can be allowed to take advantage of its numerous healing benefits without the fear of repercussions.
Legalisation of the drug is also likely to lead to a reduction in the abuse cases related to the drug. Among the major controversies surrounding marijuana use, teenage abuse of the drug has been established to be the most prominent problem. The tendency of ill-treatment by the youth has been linked to rebellious behaviour and the desire for adventure by the youth in experimenting with illegal drugs(Art, 29). The legalisation of its use is, therefore, likely to take away the element of illegality that induces rebellious behaviour among the youth who might want to experiment with it, thus reducing the incidence of occurrence since the would-be users would be in a monitored on use. This concept is evident in states that have legalised the drug, Colorado for example, where cases of teenage addictions and abuse have decreased in the years following its legalisation.
Another positive impact of legalising the drug is that it would lead to a change in the societys view towards the drug and enable the formulation of legislations regarding its use and distribution. The prohibition of the drug has not eradicated its use so far besides creating a negative attitude by the society towards its users and the drug itself, who view them as savages and crooks on the low end of the social circle. This has lead to an increase in black market activities dealing in the drug. Formulation of laws that address its legal distribution and use would wipe away those illegal networks set to distribute the drug and thus leading to a more controlled environment surrounding its use and distribution(Marco, 75).
Legalisation of the drug will also lead to an increase in research on the drug. One major factor that has fueled misconceptions about the drug is the lack of adequate information about its use and the possible effects that may result from the drug(Art, 29). This is because the restrictions surrounding the drug have prevented research into the drug and its effects. Legalisation is, therefore, likely to lead to more research with the drug enabling us to understand it better and therefore make it possible to harness its benefits while at the same time avoiding its adverse effects.
Pro illegalization enthusiasts argue that a legalisation would lead to an increase in the cultivation and distribution of the drug. One other negative impact of prohibiting the drug, however, is that it has resulted in the development of harmful ways to cultivate and consume the drug (Alaine and Yancy, 77). This is more harmful than what could occur with its legalisation. Legalisation would allow for the cultivation of the drug in safe environments monitored by the government, thus reducing the harm that may be encountered due to poor cultivation and storage practices.
Another argument by pro-legalization enthusiasts is that legalization would lead to an increased exposure of the youths to the drug(Art, 29). On the contrary, its illegalization has led to the exposure of young users to criminal activities due to the nature of its trade in the black market. Its legalisation wold, therefore, assist in the fight against crime due to the elimination of the need for an underground sector.
The debate on legalisation of marijuana is likely a never ending one. While several concerns may be raised regarding its legalisation, there are several benefits that could be reaped by legalising its trade. Research into the effects of using the drug alongside its benefits may be improved as a result of legalisation(Alaine and Yancy, 77). Criminal exposure to marijuana using youths can also be reduced hence lowering the crime rates. Legalising the trading of marijuana would also lead to the formulation of legislations that could assist in enhancing responsible use in a government monitored environment. Furthermore, its legalisation would eradicate the rebellious mentality that leads most youths to abuse it, thus leading to a reduction of abuse cases by the youth related to the drug. Therefore, the legalisation of marijuana trade is more likely to bring about responsible use and distribution of the drug.
Joffe, Alain, and W. Samuel, Yancy. Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youths. Pediatrics Journal 113.6 (2014): e632-e638.
Leyton, Marco. Legalizing Marijuana. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience 41.2 (2016): 75-76. Web
Swift, Art. For the First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana. Gallup Politics (2013)
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