Marijuana has been used for thousands of years and is one of the most resourceful plants in the world. In 1938, Popular Mechanics magazine prepared an article titled “New BIllion Dollar Crop” because hemp could be used to create over 30,000 different products. Such products include: dynamite, cellophane, clothes, paper, and oils. Nearly 70 years later, this billion dollar crop is illegal to possess and thought to destroy the minds of anyone who touches it.
Currently, half of the prisoners incarcerated are there for nonviolent drug offenses. The drug war has lead to an increase in the use of illegal drugs since it began, showing how successful it has been. The drug war rages on in Mexico and has led to thousands of deaths. In 2008, according to narcosphere.com, 5,612 people were executed in the drug war. And there will be thousands more to add to that at the end of 2017
Many users continue to take the risk, some are confronted with violent drug dealers and weapons on the streets. The product is often strengthened by the seller using chemicals and becomes less safe for the user. The user can also be cheated or robbed by the dealer with no protection from police because they are also looking for anyone possessing illegal drugs.
Children are misled to believe that smoking marijuana is the same as using other, harder drugs. If children do experiment with it, they might find out marijuana is not so harmful, therefore, cocaine must not be harmful either. This lack in education might lead to the “gateway drug” theory.
There are many reasons why legalizaing marijuana would be beneficial. It can be taxed like tobacco and alcohol. The taxes would add hundreds of millions of dollars to our economy. The economy would also benefit through the thousands of products that would become available from hemp. Hemp is a renewable resource, so it could be grown to replace our dependence on foreign oil and trees for paper, forever.
Another positive reason to legalize is to wipe out the element from the drug dealers arsenal. Al Capone, famous bootlegger and mobster, had no illegal operation to go back to when he got out of prison. Legalizing alcohol took his product and all his customers away. If the product is legal, drug dealers have no product to sell.
It cannot cure disease, but it is exponentially safer and as effective as prescription painkillers for some. Dr. Lester Greenspoon, Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, spent years studying the topic and its health effects. He concluded: “Marijuana was not only not a dangerous drug, but indeed, it was remarkably non-toxic.” Ironically, his son suffered from acute lymphocytic leukemia and was in immense pain after chemotherapy.
When his son started smoking marijuana before his chemotherapy, the nausea and vomiting he had experienced after previous treatments were completely gone, giving a better quality of life to him and his parents until his death.
Honestly, there are not many cons other than responsibility issues. It is difficult to say legalization would do harm because there are plenty of legal drugs that do harm. Alcohol and cars do harm. A recent report released by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission concluded that prescription drugs kill 300% more Americans than illegal drugs.
Not to mention nobody has every died from a marijuana overdose. There is the “gateway drug” theory that can be checked through proper education, responsibility, and less misinformation.
Many state governments are overriding the federal government and legalizing marijuana to an extent, and the states are not crumbling in chaos. Legal drugs already kill, have negative health effects, and lead to addiction problems. The idea is that people need to use what they use as responsibly as possible. And that always has been the idea. At the end of prohibition, people had to know there would be irresponsible drinkers.
But that pales in comparison to the average person that wants to have a beer and relax in the privacy of their home or with friends. If you happen to be an anti-drug individual, tell someone to not smoke tobacco instead of marijuana, at least you might save a life.