Home » Cannabis » Legalizing Marijuana Argument Analysis Essay

Legalizing Marijuana Argument Analysis Essay

In recent years, there have been many topics that strike up heated debates, ranging from celebrities to politics. One specific controversy that has caught the public’s attention is the legalization of marijuana, for either medical or recreational use. Some believe that it should remain illegal because of its negative impact, while others believe that it is a medicine and, like most medicines, it has some unintended side effects.

The purpose of this article is to address the benefits and detriments of marijuana usage on both individual and societal health, along with drawing a conclusion on which side is more justified based n the evidence given. Background Many people know about marijuana as a drug that is widely used for its effects, but there are some details about its background that elude even the most knowledgeable. According to the NIDA’s (2016) article, marijuana is a “commonly used illicit drug” that comes from the “dried leaves, flowers, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.

The first direct reference to marijuana was “found in China in the writings of the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung” around 2737 BC (Kabir n. d. ). In those times, and even in modern times, marijuana has been used in eligious ceremonies, spiritual aid, and even as medicine. From the evidence gathered, recreational marijuana use was not as popular as modern times. According to Reiman and Burnett (2014), marijuana was entirely legal up until the early 1900s, when regulations and state prohibitions started. Furthermore, marijuana was even used in many medications before it was prohibited.

The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, according to Reiman and Burret (2014), “effectively banned [marijuana] use and sales. ” Since 1996, marijuana has been legalized medically in over half of the states in the U. S, and has been legalized for ecreational use in 8 of those states. This shows that marijuana is a largely known substance, and its effects are widely debated, so it would most likely be an issue on a multinational scale, if not a global interest. Health Effects One of the most commonly argued aspects of marijuana is its effects on an individual’s health.

Some people note that the positive effects include reducing stress, improving lung capacity, and alleviating nightmares. Kabir (n. d. ) has even linked marijuana usage to cancer treatment in their article, stating that it “slows and stops cancer cells from spreading”. There has also been research done, according to Dr. David Bearman (2017), which shows that the active ingredients in marijuana, called cannabinoids, help trigger the endocannabinoid system in our neurological system. This can cause decreased pain, and can help the endocannabinoid system regulate homeostasis.

However, some people focus on the negative effects, which range from inhibiting brain development in young users, disrupting the sleep cycle, and harming the lungs in a similar or worse way than cigarettes. According to the article published by the NIDA (2016), marijuana usage at a young age is very angerous and “may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions” to the person that uses it. The positive effects can range from reducing chronic pain to lessening the effects of diseases such as PTSD and ADHD.

These benefits are caused by the active ingredients in marijuana, most notably tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which has been shown to slow neural impulses from the brain. Slowing neural impulses may sound like a bad thing, but for people with PTSD and Crohn’s disease, it can be greatly beneficial to their health. In an interview for this article, Dr. Bearman (2017) had stated that the bility of marijuana to slow neural impulses lead to slowed peristalsis in the intestines, which can lead to the body “dewatering waste materials”, which helps reduce some symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Slowed neural impulses, according to Dr. Bearman (2017), also helps alleviate what he described as the “act first, think later” reaction that is caused in PTSD patients. This behavior is caused when the midbrain, the area of the brain responsible for animal’s basic instincts, is bombarded by neural transmissions from the frontal lobe. This overstimulation causes the midbrain to panic, for a lack of etter words, which causes the patient suffering from PTSD to react violently like they do. Marijuana has both positive and negative effects in terms of a person’s health, but the economy may be a different story.

Economic Impact The states that have legalized marijuana have done so because they believe that the substance can help their economy, that the benefits outweigh the detriments, and that it would be worth the monetary costs of producing and regulating it. There is some controversy as to if marijuana actually helps the economy, or if the costs are too economically harmful to justify legalization. Firstly, some believe that if marijuana was regulated by the government, and takes it away from the black market, it could bring profits into the billions of dollars for the state.

This money can be used to fund state and local projects, such as infrastructure and housing. Trilling’s (2016) article points out that there were “reductions in crime after [the legalization of medical marijuana]” However, he also says that it is “a relationship, but not necessarily causation. ” With crime rates down, states wouldn’t pay as much to house inmates convicted of marijuana- related charges, thus increasing the revenue they can use for ore advantageous projects.

On the other hand, some still believe that there will be a black market of marijuana, one where growers sell to clients for below the industry price, and even sell to people in states where marijuana is still prohibited. There is also the issue of protests due to people advocating against marijuana legalization, which would cause damage if these protests got violent. If states legalized marijuana, it would be encouraging people to try it, as they believe it will be morally acceptable, and this could cause hospitalizations from marijuana-related accidents and overdoses.

This would cause excess economic strain on the healthcare field, as they would need more supplies and money to cope with the extra patients. In the end, even with the possibility of increased hospitalizations, people who will use the substance under the legalization will know or already do know how to use the substance responsibility, and the money raised through sales could go to fund hospitals in the event that they see an increase in marijuana related admissions. Also, states that have legalized marijuana haven’t seen a substantial amount of riots due to opposition against legalizing marijuana.

The black market, if it was somehow still selling marijuana after legalization, would not be the first scenario like this in history. The alcohol prohibition in the 1920s was famous for backfiring, for people still brewed alcohol illegally as a black market good. Like with alcohol being regulated, marijuana regulation would ultimately make it harder for the black market to compete, along with bringing revenue to the state in the form of taxes for sale, production, and income.

Regulations There is not much debate on the fact that if marijuana is legalized, there should at least be some form of regulation. However, there is some disagreement on how this regulation affects the economy. To clarify, the states that legalized marijuana have implemented regulations such as an age requirement and licensing for marijuana dispensaries to have before selling their product. There also have been taxes on marijuana, which might not be surprising given how many of today’s goods and services have some form of taxation.

There is also some regulation that states have put on marijuana that they played little part in, and that comes in the form of federal law. Federal law states that marijuana is prohibited due to it eing a dangerous substance, which is a burden to the st. since they cannot use national resources to build marijuana dispensaries. This includes land, water, means of commerce, and banks, and it prevents states and business owners from deducting business expenses from federal income taxes.

On that note, these regulations may help the economy by dispersing corruption, and only allowing responsible and licensed firms to enter the market. Marijuana dispensaries that are licensed and know what they are doing are less likely to injure customers due to mistakes, and there is a general ncrease in productivity as the dispensaries with licensing know how to grow and cultivate a crop more efficiently than someone who isn’t. Generally, regulations keep consumers safe, bring trust to the business, and a higher productivity due to customer loyalty.

To put things into perspective, Trilling (2016) had stated in his article that taxing marijuana sales can equate to “up to $12 billion in new tax revenue by regulating recreational marijuana”. The inverse of this claim suggests that business will be corrupt even with regulation, and that it isn’t different from marijuana. In Dills, Goffard, and Miron’s (2016) article, it is stated that “… high tax rates or significant regulation [will keep] some marijuana activity in grey or black markets”, which would mean that the marijuana industry won’t become an entirely legal market item through just regulation.

Also, people will tend to use marijuana irresponsibly, even if the government releases cautious warnings like how they do for cigarettes and alcohol. Regulating a business to keep quality and consumer safety high ends up limiting sales, which makes it harder for small companies to succeed. Finally, the federal laws conflicting with tate laws would make it harder for states to maintain a stable marijuana business, which would make the industry unable to reach its full potential.

In the end, regulations play an important role in the economy, despite the fact that they don’t completely stop corruption and can limit sales. The main principle behind regulation is to help keep the consumer safe, and nowhere is that more true or necessary than in the marijuana industry. Crime Rates Many would agree that marijuana is a major component in ? crime rates, due to it being the most commonly used, and misused, drug on market. It has had a profound effect on crime due to this, but legalization could have a negative impact on the crime rates in America.

Studies show that after medical marijuana legalization, crime rates have fallen, such as in Colorado and Oregon. One reason why crime has been lowered in these states is that legalization is “diverting marijuana production and sale from the black market to legal venues” (Dills, Goffard, and Miron 2016). There is also the simple fact that if marijuana is legalized, possession and usage will be legal, with regulations such as the amount used and where it is being used, but crimes will nonetheless decrease due to this.

The inverse to this is the levels of intoxicated driving increasing due to people having more access to marijuana. Marijuana being legalized will generally increase usage, which is quite understandable, but the number of “marijuana-related car accidents [has increased 32 percent” according to the article published on the CBS Denver website (Brice 2015). This shows that more people are driving vehicles while under the influence of marijuana, which is still illegal in many of the states that have legalized it.

This is not a direct rise in incarceration, but a rise in criminal activity, which is the more concerning issue from a societal point of view. In the end, the data collected has shown that crime has gone down due to marijuana usage. Towards the end of the interview, and in response to a question about marijuana’s effect on crime, Dr. Bearman had drawn attention to how Colorado and Oregon showed less crime than before legalization, which was a parallel to previous research into the subject for this article.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.