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Need for Legalizing Recreational Cannabis in All 50 States

Many people throughout the years have taught their children the belief that marijuana may bring death. Many young people — if not all — heard this message repeatedly. Marijuana was linked with crack, Methamphetamine, and coke in a standard middle school health class (Shi 1784). This was a fright-mongering ploy. Warning messages should be conveyed about the hazards of drink, processed food, and prescription medicines. However, several studies have shown that marijuana is much less harmful than most other things we use (Meinhofer and Rubli 3435). Despite this discrepancy, marijuana usage is still frowned upon and outlawed in most states. As a result, legalizing marijuana for personal use is urgent.

Marijuana should be Equally Legal as Cigarettes and Alcohol

Legalizing marijuana has long been a contentious issue in the United States. Cannabis has been outlawed for therapeutic and recreational purposes for a long time. However, more states have legalized marijuana recently, including for leisure use, encouraging. Marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal statute (Shi and Liang 1891). However, several states have made it legal to grow and consume marijuana. Certain states have legalized the ownership and utilization of cannabis, which has resulted in reduced or eliminated penalties for those who do so (Meinhofer and Rubli 3437). Since then, several other governments have adopted similar policies.

Consistency in the law is critical. In nearly any place in the United States, a person is allowed to purchase large quantities of alcohol or menthol cigarettes use (Meinhofer and Rubli 3435). Those items are responsible for thousands of deaths. Legally buying a joint in Washington or Colorado makes no sense since it is a considerably safer pleasure (Goodman et al. 102658). The level of regulation we put in place must be proportional to the risk involved.

Nearly 25,000 people died in 2013 from alcohol overdoses alone, and liver disease was a contributing factor in another 16,000 fatalities use (Meinhofer and Rubli 3435). In 2012, 2.2 million people were arrested for alcohol-related offenses. In the United States, about 505,000 people die from smoking each year, and the cost of treating these fatalities totals $142 billion yearly (Duan et al. 109260). Food high in fat, sugar, and salt is the most dangerous. The newest figures show that obesity is directly linked to the mortality of roughly 21 percent of U.S. citizens each year, as are the $190 billion in annual health care expenses resulting from obesity (Cerdá et al. 168). The opposition to any effort to control the above pleasure compounds is tremendous.

Economic Advantage of the Legalization

As far as economics go, legalizing marijuana might be beneficial. Marijuana legalization has been beneficial to the state’s revenue base in Colorado, the very first jurisdiction to legalize recreational marijuana usage. During the first months of 2014, Colorado received upwards of $5 million in tax money, and state lawmakers estimate the value to increase significantly by 2015 (Subbaraman and Kerr 102508). As a result of this forecast, the state’s education systems will receive $41 million in marijuana tax revenue.

Over the next four years, Washington expects to generate about $190 million in cannabis fees and tax use (Meinhofer and Rubli 3438). This implies that states that linger in the realm of illicit marijuana may be depriving themselves of a chance that may lead to a more balanced budget. The related point is that legalization might offer a revenue bonanza and an opportunity for our nation to ease an enormous load of operating its jail systems. Since the beginning of the decade, nearly 12,000 federal inmates and roughly 33,000 state inmates have been jailed for marijuana-related offenses in our jails (Goodwin et al. 2772). In 2011, the estimated cost of every federal convict was $28,000, while the taxpayers’ burden for each state prisoner in 2010 was $31,286 use (Meinhofer and Rubli 3436). There are too many people in jails, and incarcerating law-abiding folks for something as trivial as cannabis distribution or use is irresponsible since it contributes to an already complex penal situation.

Marijuana law enforcement is still critical. According to certain studies, the onset of schizophrenia has been linked to marijuana use in adolescents and young adults (Calvert and Erickson 3). Until the threats are more clearly defined, policymakers should be cautious. As with alcohol and tobacco, moderation is critical while using marijuana, but it has been a long process to abolish the prohibition of marijuana usage nationally. Legalizing marijuana would involve implementing age requirements and usage limitations nationwide, just as states already do.

In conclusion, marijuana legalization would considerably affect state and federal public budgets, correctional and economic policy. A reasonable number of individuals differ on the degree and direction of these effects. It is unclear which side is right when legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the United States. The prohibition of cannabis has benefited drug traffickers and gangs the same way alcohol prohibition did. Legalizing marijuana may help weaken the grip of these oppressive organizations. Tobacco legalization in the southern states has also led to a drop in theft and violence. Marijuana legalization has a promising future. Many analysts believe that marijuana will be legalized in the United States over the next few years, but progress is made daily.

Works Cited

Calvert, Collin M., and Darin Erickson. “Recreational cannabis legalization and alcohol purchasing: a difference-in-differences analysis.” Journal of cannabis research 3.1 (2021): 1-10.

Cerdá, Magdalena, et al. “Association between recreational marijuana legalization in the United States and changes in marijuana use and cannabis use disorder from 2008 to 2016.” JAMA psychiatry 77.2 (2020): 165-171.

Duan, Zongshuan, et al. “Effect modification of legalizing recreational cannabis use on the association between e-cigarette use and future cannabis use among U.S. adolescents.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence 233 (2022): 109260.

Goodman, Samantha, et al. “Prevalence and forms of cannabis use in legal vs. illegal recreational cannabis markets.” International Journal of Drug Policy 76 (2020): 102658.

Goodwin, Renee D., et al. “Trends in cannabis use among adults with children in the home in the United States, 2004–2017: Impact of state-level legalization for recreational and medical use.” Addiction 116.10 (2021): 2770-2778.

Meinhofer, Angélica, and Adrian Rubli. “Illegal drug market responses to state recreational cannabis laws.” Addiction 116.12 (2021): 3433-3443.

Shi, Yuyan, and Di Liang. “The association between recreational cannabis commercialization and cannabis exposures reported to the U.S. National Poison Data System.” Addiction 115.10 (2020): 1890-1899.

Shi, Yuyan. “Heterogeneities in administration methods among cannabis users by use purpose and state legalization status: findings from a nationally representative survey in the United States, 2020.” Addiction 116.7 (2021): 1782-1793.

Subbaraman, Meenakshi S., and William C. Kerr. “Subgroup trends in alcohol and cannabis co-use and related harms during the rollout of recreational cannabis legalization in Washington state.” International Journal of Drug Policy 75 (2020): 102508.


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