Marijuana Legalization Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

Over the past several years, one of the most heated social debates has been over the legalization of marijuana. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S. and the world, and was a well-established medicine until it was federally criminalized in 1937”(10 Facts…). If this statement is true, then why is recreational use of marijuana illegal? The outcome of legalization could easily change everyday life for many Americans. Our nation is currently divided on the idea of legalizing marijuana; both sides have very respectable reasons for believing and supporting their thought on the matter. So recently, it was put to a vote in two states and they both passed the law for use of recreational marijuana with a majority vote. The voting is swayed according to the different type of voters, and the area in which these people live can greatly affect how they stand on the issue (Anthony). In the upcoming elections several other states are proposing a similar bill. So, if marijuana laws are being passed in these states then why has it been illegal and stayed illegal for all this time.
The people who are against the passing of marijuana laws state that there are several reasons why the drug would not benefit society. They argue that it is an addicting drug and that about 4.2 million people are dependent on it while it is illegal. They also say that it has been related to respiratory illness and cognitive impairment. People who take this stand against marijuana also have said that current research on marijuana shows that the potency of marijuana has almost tripled in the last 20 years. This is even more dangerous in the hands of young adults or children because this is a time when their brains are developing (The Public Health…). Others fear that there will be considerable amounts of people that will drive while under the influence of the drug (Messerali). Also research shows that constant smoking of marijuana during a young age can cause up to an 8 point drop in IQ. Anti-legalization advocates also say that legalizing the drug will not get rid of the black market because they will not lower the prices and the black market could. They say that lowering the prices will not result in enough tax revenue (The Public Health…). The people that resent legalization also say that marijuana is a stepping stone drug that often times leads to harder drugs which are more dangerous (Messerali). These facts and theories all play a part in voting on legalization bills.
The majority of people used to be against the legalization of marijuana, but in society today, more and more people are starting to take in all the facts and reexamine their position. To be quite honest, the majority of arguments that the groups who support legalization create all conclude to the same basic concept. As Joe Messerali states, “The drug generally isn't more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation”. Which is a fair point...

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