The Debate on Legalizing Marijuana: History & Impact

Paper Type:  Argumentative essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  973 Words
Date:  2023-01-16

The history of the usage of marijuana, also known as cannabis, by humans dates around 500 BC. However, it is not until in the last century when it gained popularity after some countries started allowing its use. Nonetheless, to date, the issue of legalizing marijuana continues to be met with mixed opinions, a debate that has dominated the mainstream media. For instance, the United States prohibits the use of cannabis. However, some states such as Colorado, Michigan, and California, have fully legalized it, while some like Vermont only allows its usage for medical purposes (Monte et al. 241). Undoubtedly, when the discussion of the use of marijuana surfaces, there are several things that people need to take into account. Although critics cite several issues such as causing adverse health effects, addictiveness, and crime as some of the reasons why it should be prohibited, legalizing marijuana would seed myriads of benefits including creating job opportunities, saving billions of dollars used in enforcing laws that forbid its use, and helping many patients recover from chronic ailments.

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To begin with, legalizing marijuana would lead to the creation of millions of jobs. A report from the New Frontier Data indicates that more than 1 million jobs would be created if marijuana is legalized. The state of Colorado serves as a perfect example to exemplify my assertion. The state permits the use of cannabis as a recreational substance. Upon legalization of marijuana, the industry created more than 18, 000 full-time jobs to its citizens. Moreover, it generated more than $2 billion from the sector (Monte et al. 242). Presently, the unemployment rate in the United States is estimated to be around 3.6 %. Certainly, if marijuana was legalized in all states, this rate would fall significantly. Many job opportunities would arise. For instance, some people would be involved in farming, while others would be occupied in activities such as processing, distributing, and retailing the product. Also, it would also indirectly create jobs for those who would develop software to manage the marijuana sector. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized since it would open many job opportunities. This would be critical in alleviating the poverty level in our country.

Secondly, along with being a key source of tax revenue, allowing the use of marijuana would help save billions of dollars. Undoubtedly, the Federal government spends billions to enforce laws that prohibit the use of cannabis. In 2012, more than three hundred economists signed a petition consenting to the findings of a research conducted Jeffrey Miron, an economist, that observed that the country would save more than $7 billion per year by having not to enforce the law that prohibits the consumption of marijuana (Hajizadeh 443). Importantly, such allocations would be channelled to other critical sectors of the economy, such as security, health, or education. Moreover, offenders that are caught in possession of cannabis illegally are imposed heavy fines. Thus, offenders can use that money in other productive ways. Besides, legalizing marijuana would consequently result in a reduction in the number of criminal cases. This would save the billions that are used in the prosecution process of such court cases.

The third reason why marijuana should be legalized is that it is used for medicinal purposes. The topic of cannabis is considered as a harmful one and that has dominated in the society for many years, that mankind had difficulties in acknowledging that it that the plant has several medicinal benefits (Williams 5). However, in recent years, some countries have dramatically shifted their opinion and have passed laws that permit the use of the substance in the medical realms. Indeed, several scientific studies have consistently shown that it alleviates pain from AIDS and nausea. Moreover, the substance has been known to treat a host of other medical conditions including muscle spasms, epilepsy, glaucoma, and Crohn's ailment (Williams 5). This is affirmed by a report from the American Public Health Association that indicates that since the legalization of the use of the marijuana in Colorado, the percentage of deaths that arises from the consumption of opioid drugs had declined by 6.5% (Monte et al. 242). Therefore, states should create laws that permit the use of marijuana since it would help millions of citizens.

On the other hand, critics have cited myriads of reasons to support their argument on criminalizing the use of marijuana. Some argue that cannabis causes sudden panic attacks. Others opine that using marijuana can end up impairing cognitive abilities as well as leading to memory problems. Sceptics also posit that the use of "weed," especially at a young age, can heighten the chances of getting schizophrenia illness. Other point out that it is highly addictive. Indeed, while some of these arguments are rational, the advantages gained from legalizing marijuana surpass the disadvantages associated with the same.

Weighing on the above points, the researcher finds it right to assert that the national government should legalize the use of cannabis. As noted, if the usage of marijuana was to be permitted, many medical challenges being witnessed in the health care sector would be solved. Besides, the government will earn billions of dollars that can be used in repaying our country's long outstanding debt (Hopfer 331). Most importantly, the move would create countless job opportunities that can benefit the unemployed citizens. Finally, critics of this topic observe that marijuana is highly addictive and can cause schizophrenia illness (Hopfer 333). However, this is an interesting claim because alcohol and cigarettes are more addictive than cannabis.

Works Cited

Hajizadeh, Mohammad. "Legalizing and regulating marijuana in Canada: review of potential economic, social, and health impacts." International journal of health policy and management 5.8 (2016): 453.

Hopfer, Christian. "Implications of marijuana legalization for adolescent substance use." Substance Abuse 35.4 (2014): 331-335.

Monte, Andrew A., Richard D. Zane, and Kennon J. Heard. "The implications of marijuana legalization in Colorado." Jama313.3 (2015): 241-242.

Williams, Sean. 5 Economic Reasons to Legalize Marijuana. Retrieved from <>

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The Debate on Legalizing Marijuana: History & Impact. (2023, Jan 16). Retrieved from

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