The Pros and Cons of Legalizing Cannabis
One of the most heated debates over the past few years is whether or not the United States should legalize cannabis. With the country divided, many states do not allow it at all, some allow it for medical use, and a few allow it to be used recreationally as well. But how would legalizing marijuana benefit or detract from our country? Here is a list of three pros and three cons to allowing cannabis to be used freely in the United States.
Pro: Medical usage
It’s pretty common knowledge that marijuana can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments, ranging from Alzheimer’s to epilepsy to anxiety and depression. It provides an alternative, affordable treatment for those who do not have a lot of money to fund expensive medical treatments. Many medical benefits of cannabis have been clinically tested and researched as well, so there is scientific evidence of these benefits. More information: Cannabis Light.
Con: Government input
Many government organizations such as the FDA and NIDA have come to the conclusion that marijuana users are not guaranteed safety and refuse to endorse it as a medical treatment.
Pro: Non-addictive qualities
Unlike tobacco, marijuana has been proven to not cause addiction. Although a minority may feel a psychological addiction similar to that of a caffeine addiction, cannabis users are generally able to stop using it whenever they please. In addition, there are no withdrawal symptoms whatsoever, unlike other common drugs.
Con: The ‘Gateway’ effect
Many argue that smoking marijuana can lead to dependance on other drugs such as heroine, cocaine, or meth. However, this has less to do with the drug itself, and more so with the people that you surround yourself with. Still, if you consume marijuana, you are three times more likely to consume something stronger than someone who doesn’t.
Pro: Improving the economy and safety
Legalizing marijuana means that it could be taxed, thus dismantling illegal sales of it and improving the quality of the drug for those that use it. For example, states where cannabis is legal can rake in nearly a billion dollars a year from cannabis sales alone, providing money that can be given back to the taxpayers in the form of building schools, fixing roads, and much more. In addition, those that use cannabis can be assured that there is nothing dangerous laced in their marijuana because it will come from a reputable seller.
Con: Altering perception
Those that fear the legalization of marijuana fear the negative impact that it could have on people’s perception and sensory motor skills. Much like alcohol, it would have to be highly regulated and laws would have to be put in place so that users cannot drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence.
Marijuana has had both a strong negative and positive effect on many people’s lives, so it’s only natural that as a nation, we are strongly divided when it comes to legalizing cannabis. The most crucial element of this debate is staying informed, so be sure to do your own research before coming to a conclusion on the issue.