Provided by: Kaitlin Justice
A survey in 2019 showed that over 70% of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Over the years, more and more research has highlighted the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis. As a result, millions of people worldwide rely on hemp extracts to treat various ailments and issues. The cannabis industry has become a stalwart of the healthcare and wellness verticals. More and more people are switching to such alternate medicines, thanks to the potent properties of marijuana. Cannabis works as a natural remedy for several ailments, ranging from anxiety and insomnia to muscle pain and inflammation. However, many still misunderstand hemp products and see them as a societal evil or threat. The debate regarding the legalization of marijuana in the US is an integral part of local and even Presidential elections. Here’s a look at everything you need to know regarding the arguments on the legalization of marijuana.
Current Legal Condition
Eighteen out of fifty states in the US have legalized marijuana, but it’s still illegal at the federal level. On the other hand, thirty-six of them allows the sale and marketing of medical marijuana. Therefore, a rampant push or urge for legalization is visible when we look at the current legal state of cannabis. Over the last few years, both Europe and North America have seen a massive push for legalization. One of the primary reasons for this push is the mounting evidence highlighting cannabis’s medicinal and therapeutic properties.
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill helped legalize hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is the chemical compound responsible for the intoxication associated with marijuana. Black Rabbit and other manufacturers extract cannabidiol and THC from marijuana and hemp plants. While the former has a higher THC concentration, the latter is an industrial variant of cannabis that contains more CBD.
Arguments for Legalization of Marijuana
- Firstly, marijuana or cannabis contains several compounds that have various medicinal and therapeutic properties. Therefore, such products serve as more than recreational substances rather than having potent medical benefits. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first CBD-based drug called Epidiolex for treating pediatric epilepsy.
- More and more research has highlighted how cannabis can be crucial in the fight against chemotherapy-related symptoms. Products containing hemp extracts can help cancer patients deal with their nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. Since these products are natural and organic, they are a safer and more sustainable option when compared to benzodiazepines like Ativan.
- Humans have been relying on cannabis and marijuana to treat various illnesses for centuries. Even thousands of years ago, natives worldwide used cannabis to numb pain, reduce inflammation and relax. As a result, marijuana is an integral part of the natural medicine history of various civilizations globally.
- Annually, the American police department conducts over 600,000 pot raids and arrests, costing our judicial infrastructure billions of dollars. Such vast resources, whether as money, time or effort, can be used better elsewhere. Imagine if the government put the same amount of money and time into preventing rape or other violent crimes.
- The prohibition of substances like marijuana leads to the development of criminal and illicit underground markets. While making marijuana illegal in the 1930s meant to reduce consumption and use, it led to the opposite, popularizing the substance. Now, 90 years later, the debate still rages on while cannabis use has exploded within the country.
- Almost any individual who wishes to use marijuana now can find it. The only difference between cannabis and alcohol is that the government cannot tax, test, or regulate the latter. Not only does this affect the quality of products on the market, but it also leads to monetary loss for the government.
- The US is famous for its free-thinking ways and its emphasis on personal liberty. As a result, all Americans deserve the right to pursue their happiness as long as they do not harm other people. Hence, individuals should have the freedom to procure, buy and use marijuana if they wish to without breaking the law. Cannabis prohibition infringes on those rights by not allowing people to use a substance that could help make their lives better.
- The prohibition laws in place in several states give authorities the power to arrest law-abiding and decent citizens. Cops have the right to stop and search people at any time if suspicious, making things difficult for those who want to use marijuana. As a result, over time, the war on marijuana has turned into a prosecution of the poor and needy.
- When it comes to the positive aspects of legalization, it can create more revenue and aid in employing millions. The state-licensed cannabis industry is already worth $10.73 billion and provides jobs to over 243,000 people in the US. California collected over $300 million as excise tax in the second year of legalization and generated $635 million as sales revenue.
- Another primary advantage that legalization provides is ensuring the products on the market are safe and hygienic. By bringing out legislation regarding the sale and manufacture of such products, states can ascertain and boost product safety. Having laws regarding procurement, processing, extraction, and manufacture of products will lead to better hygiene and quality standards within the industry.
Arguments Against Legalization
Most of the arguments used to prevent large-scale legislation regarding the sale of cannabis do not make any sense. For instance, legal vape markets have been able to help thousands of people reduce their dependence on nicotine and tobacco. Smoking cigarettes that contain nicotine serve as a significant health hazard as over 70 chemicals within these products are carcinogenic. On the other hand, marijuana induces minor damage than both cigarettes and alcohol. These products are also less addictive, reducing the chances of them having habit-forming tendencies. Research has stated that moderate cannabis use is safer than using other legal substances in the short and long term.
The CDC concluded that alcohol caused over 35,800 deaths in the US in 2017, whereas cannabis did not induce even a single fatality. As a result, alcohol products contain 114 times the mortality risk of marijuana since the latter possesses potent health and medical benefits. Unlike alcohol, using cannabis does not create bouts of violent or reckless behavior. Instead, it helps individuals calm their muscles and nerves, leading to a better and more positive outlook.
As you can see, cannabis has the power to transform the lives of millions of Americans. It is a potent natural remedy that helps combat ailments, such as chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and depression. Gym enthusiasts and athletes can use cannabidiol as muscle relaxants to prevent aches, joint pains, and injuries. The legalization of marijuana can help more people utilize such products to manage their symptoms and issues. Why do you think cannabis should be legal in the US? Join the discussion and raise your voice in the comments below!