Many states in the US, including Colorado and Washington, have legalized marijuana/weed for the purpose of recreation where it was made legal by the ballot initiatives of people. However, this subject matter raised several suspicious eyebrows and had to counter severe criticism, being a hot topic of discussion for a long time. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, different states have made their own policies regarding its usage. Some have removed the jail punishment if got caught, while others have allowed people aged 21 and above to use for any purpose they wish. Some have kept marijuana for recreational use as illegal but have allowed it for medicinal purposes, whilst others have banned it altogether but have legalized marijuana and hemp derivatives like CBD, THC and terpenes (which you can read more about here). So come to think of it, was it a sensible move or not? Following are the pros and cons of legalizing weed so that you are well aware of the facts and figures.
Pros of Legalizing Marijuana
- Revenue Generation
Governments feel under increased pressure each day to carry out cost-cutting campaigns and increase revenues and ROI. One effective way to creatively increase the incoming stream of money would be to legalize weed as the taxes applied to its sale and distribution can be highly benefitted from. For example taxing the drug in Colorado seems to generate millions of dollar each year.
- Personal Freedom
Come to think of it, putting sanctions on the use of marijuana would be equivalent to encroaching on people’s personal freedom. Irrespective of the fact that the drugs can illicit innumerable harmful effects, no one has the right to force anyone to not use if they wish to. There are many other things that are equally or quite closely as harmful as marijuana but the law doesn’t have the right to restrict people to expose their bodies to such harm. Personal freedom takes into account an individual’s discretion to exercise control over their personal wishes and preferences.
- Collapse of illegal drug industry
If cannabis is not legalized, it certainly does not mean that its trading will stop altogether. Drug dealers and traffickers come up with underhand schemes to keep producing and selling it hence increasing the black market status. The product price, in the end, ends up to be quite high because of the high-risk involved in its sale which coupled with the drug addiction factor pushed these drug addicts to indulge in all sorts of crime from juvenile delinquency to street crimes and even more graver crimes to satisfy their craving.
Illegal drugs can be sold to anyone inclusive of children, which can pose serious threats to moral, ethical and social standards. Since the beginning, we educate our children about poisonous plants and marijuana is also a by-product of Cannabis Indica plant that is used in several forms such as for medicinal purposes, as herbs and animal food. Hence, they are automatically easily available as reported by high school students. Hence legalizing the drug would make less easily accessible and also sabotage the illegal drug industry.
Cons of Legalizing Marijuana
- Drugs are highly addictive
A drug addict who is excessively dependent on these drugs cannot survive without them. The user gets extremely addicted to the feeling of euphoria which cannot be imitated by any other substitute. The craving can be so strong that it can drive him into other illegal actions as well. It robs him of his sanity and the ability to take well-informed decisions on his part. No traces of logic or reason seem to be a part of their actions then which can continue to deteriorate the situation of the user.
- Easily availability of drugs mean increased usage
It is inevitable that if marijuana is made legal, not only would it make existing users greater addicts to it but also encourage other non-users to give it a try. Who wouldn’t want to try something which is made legal by the government? This even puts the government in a fix, by putting them in a situation where they will be held responsible for exposing their citizens to these highly dangerous drugs. The tag of a certain something being produced with the help of the government which is outright harmful for the citizens is indeed a bad name for the government. Inevitably, drug addiction becomes stronger and paves the way for stronger drugs to be used.
- Ever-lasting effects on the brain
The brain being a very sensitive organ can be severely harmed if the drug is used consistently. Once you fall into this bad habit it is hard to get rid of it. Slowly and gradually it numbs your senses and that has got to do with biological changes in the brain. One study has even shown the link between marijuana intake and the constriction of blood vessels that restricts blood flow ultimately resulting in abnormal blood pressure for extended periods even after you quit smoking it.
Inevitably your mental health is affected drastically and research has shown a link to be existing between marijuana use and mental health. Depression and schizophrenia might result as a result of continued exposure to this drug.