Marijuana legalization in the United States debate has been going on with medics, scholars, and researchers differing on this topic. Some states have partially legalized its use as it remains illegal in other states, with both sides of the divide producing statistics to support their research.
- If fully legalized, the marijuana industry could generate lots of income, as stated by the states that have partially legalized its use. In Colorado, marijuana yields three times more tax revenue than alcohol. Some industries that may benefit from its legalization include tourism, banking, real estate, etc.
- Legalizing marijuana could result in reduced teen marijuana use. According to the marijuana policy project, an organization campaigning for the legalization of marijuana, its use among the youths decreased in states where it is legalized, like Colorado and Washington.
- Marijuana will be regulated for consumer safety if legalized. People buying marijuana on the streets are unaware of its contents. It may be covered with harmful substances like mold. Once legalized, the government will enforce laboratory tests to ensure it is safe for consumption.
- Legalizing marijuana has dealt a blow to drug cartels and street gangs. Data from USA border patrol shows that marijuana seizures have reduced over the decade because its partial legalization has decreased demand for smuggled marijuana. This decrease in demand has also seen a decrease in street gangs and criminals.
- Revenue collected from the sale of legalized marijuana can be used to support drug recovery, treatment and rehabilitation programs, an effect felt at the local level.
- The cost of marijuana’s effects on society will be more than the revenue collected. Its use causes harm not only to the user but also to their close associates because they will have to foot bills for rehabilitation. There will be more victims of drugged driving accidents, increased crime, and adverse health impacts to passive smokers.
- Legalizing marijuana may lead to an increase in its consumption by teenagers because it will be readily available. Its effects among teenagers includes impaired short-term memory and low concentration which affect learning.
- Addiction and dependence on marijuana may increase if legalized. Heavy drug users will suffer from withdrawal symptoms like nausea and anxiety. It will lead to increased mental health problems due to its effects on the brain. Its consumption risks the development of schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders.
Scientific research shows that the effects of marijuana are adverse to human health; its treatment is expensive and effects terrible. If legalized, the government might fail to control its use. As speculated by those supporting its legalization, this will give room to more drug cartels, who are dangerous, as can be confirmed from countries where the drug is legal. The number of its consumers will rise, leading to low productivity. For the better of the nation and its citizens, marijuana should not be legalized.
Association of Marijuana Legalization With Marijuana Use Among US High School Students, 1993-2019 – d mark Anderson, PhD, Daniel I Rees, PhD, Joseph J Sabia, PhD, et al
A National Survey of Marijuana Use Among US Adults With Medical Conditions, 2016-2017
Hongying Dai, PhD1; Kimber P. Richter, PhD2