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Cannabis Sativa is a scientific name for the drug which most people know as marijuana. It is consumed majorly through smoking the leaves and other parts of the plant. The debate on the legalization of marijuana has existed since its discovery in the United States. Marijuana has both positive and negative impacts on the American society (Caulkins et al., 2016). This argumentative essay, therefore, seeks to determine whether the drug should be legalized or not taking into consideration pros and cons as well as spheres of legal usage of marijuana.
The leaves and flowering tops of marijuana were used for psychological and physiological effects. Its seeds were used as food. Marijuana has also been tested and proved to have medicinal value. As for therapeutic role, the drug is used as a pain reliever. In light of this function, 20 states in the United States have gone ahead to legalize medical marijuana.
Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Unlike other pain relievers, no single evidence proves that marijuana is addictive (Caulkinset al., 2016). It is also said to be a medication for symptoms of diseases such as migraines, hepatitis C, glaucoma, psychological conditions, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and many others. Because of these reasons, many doctors have recommended medical marijuana in the form of medication.
Legalization of marijuana could also lead to an economic boost. Such a step would channel money back to the society. Just as laws regulate alcohol and tobacco usage, they can be applied to marijuana. Such laws prohibit selling to the under-age or those who are below 18 years old. Those who smoke should not be allowed to operate machinery until they are sober just as alcohol laws dictate (Derrickson, 2014). Federal legalization of marijuana can generate a significant income to America through taxes. Money used to regulate its usage when banned can also be saved if marijuana is legalized.
Those who believe that marijuana should not be legalized argue that the drug has adverse health effects such as causing respiratory problems as well as affecting brain development in younger people. Bronchitis is among the respiratory diseases which can be caused by marijuana (Derrickson, 2014). However, since medical marijuana is not smoked, it cannot lead to respiratory issues.
The protesters also argue that unlike alcohol and tobacco, marijuana influence can last for weeks hence making it impossible to determine whether the users are fit to operate machinery at any moment.
Marijuana has been made legal in 20 states in the area of medicine. However, the laws regulating its use in these states are not clear hence the usage is still risky (Stone, 2016). In the countries where marijuana has been legalized for recreation, there are still risks since children are exposed to the drug which may have adverse effects on their development (Derrickson, 2014). However, marijuana remains the best pain reliever in the field of medicine since it is not that addictive as compared to other drugs.
In conclusion, marijuana should be legalized. The pros of legalization outweigh the cons. Legalization of marijuana can open the way for further research on how it can be used for the treatment of different diseases as well as the ones it currently treats.
Marijuana legalization will boost the economy of the United States at large through taxes. To consider the concerns of those who oppose legalization of the drug, strict laws must be implemented on its usage just like other legal drugs. Violation of the laws should lead to serious punishments for the offenders.
Caulkins, J. P., Kilmer, B., & Kleiman, M. (2016). Marijuana legalization: What everyone needs to know? New York, NY: Oxford University Press
Derrickson, J. (2014). Marijuana legalization: State initiatives, implications, and issues. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Stone, J. (2016). State marijuana legalization: Issues and effects. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.