With the introduction of Justin Trudeau as prime minister, marijuana is in the early stages of being legalized. Legalizing marijuana would be more of a benefit than a problem. Though many people argue legalization of marijuana has negative effects, it can be argued that there are many positive outcomes to ending this prohibition including the use for medicinal purposes, keeping money out of the hands of criminals, and the never-ending losing war on drugs.
Firstly, medical marijuana has major benefits in the healthcare field. Most importantly it is used to treat cancer patients. There are different compounds in marijuana, tetsrahyrdocannibanol (THC) is the property that gets the user high, and cannabidiol (CBD) the compound containing beneficial and medicinal properties. For cancer patients this can help relieve their pain and nausea caused from radiation and chemotherapy. “The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS.” (para6). Studies have shown that people who took medical marijuana tend to need less prescribed medication. Most recently, it is shown that THC, CBD and other cannabinoids are used to slow growth in certain illnesses. It can be used to cause death in cancer cells, reducing the severity and spread of cancer within a patient.
Medical Marijuana is also used to help treat mental illness including anxiety and depression. Regarding anxiety while smoking, medical marijuana patients can experience mood-elevating effects as well as feel more relaxed, allowing people to have “normal life”. It can also slow down the thought process, which can help break up some of the cyclical thought patterns that people with anxiety experience. With regards to depression, the benefits of medical marijuana are very similar with those of treating anxiety. It can help break unproductive or negative thought cycles which often spiral out of control. It is not an instant remedy, but is rather used in hand with a therapist to help uplift the patient and overcome their issues involving depression.
Lastly marijuana is used as a painkiller in replace of many common painkillers. Common painkillers include morphine, percocets and oxycontin. Chronic pain is a major health problem that many people experience, and costs over 600 billion dollars per year. The use of opioids are often used, leading patients to use medicines with dreadful side effects and for some can lead to dependancy. Medical marijuana is less harmful to the body and possesses no addictive properties. “The introduction of smokeless cannabis in dosage form will immediately ease human pain and suffering and help to move medical marijuana from the underground economy to the mainstream of the nation’s health-care system.” (para5). In modern healthcare it is much easier to prescribe opioids, but is usually not the best solution. Medical Marijuana is proven to treat medical conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and PTSD. Marijuana releases the feel good endorphins, reduces build up of fluids, blocks pain signals, and acts as a muscle relaxer. Cannabinoids like CBN, CBD, and THC work to reduce inflammation and help relax damaged tissues throughout the body. Cannabis is very safe, can improve quality of life, and decreases side effects from other medications. While medicinal marijuana has many health care benefits, it can also benefit the government/economy and the social environment.
The legalization of marijuana will help keep the money out of the hands of the criminals. Marijuana instead can be taxed and regulated by our government where the money could be put to good use, including funding education and healthcare. This concept is already implemented in several states within the US. Colorado for example has seen large tax revenues that have increased every year, reaching a high of roughly $226 million within the first 11 months of 2017. This money can be used for endless benefits for the country, help reduce the load of tax payers and keeps the money away from illegal operations.
A major benefit involving legalization is regulation, which helps prevent young teenagers from gaining access to it. With it being legalized its aim is to keep it out of the hands of minors. Today marijuana is much more accessible than alcohol, due to the lack of regulation. Canadian youth have the highest rates of cannabis use in the developed world. By implementing an age restriction of 21 years, this prevents children with young developing brains to gain access to it. With restrictions implemented fewer street dealers will remain, and will help preventing them gain profit. Using dispensaries and placing restrictions with regards to growing your own, it would become far more difficult for kids to obtain it.
Legalizing marijuana takes away major profits from the drug trade. It has already shown positive effects in America and the Mexican drug cartels. It is impossible to completely eliminate these illegal cartels, however marijuana is used as a big source of their revenue. By implementing legalization, you can drastically reduce their source of income with regards to marijuana. Legalization would reduce profits of dealers, ideally being able to fully push them out of the streets. This would cause people to use legal government ran dispensaries or even grow their own rather than street dealers. This will drive for less street dealers and less money going into the drug trade industry. Legalization of marijuana has had an effect in the healthcare field, social field and lastly it helps to put a stop on the never-ending losing war on drugs.
Drug enforcement is extremely expensive, and it is often viewed that much of this money can be put to better use The main purpose of implementing laws with regards to drugs is to help prevent production/supply and use. The large use of budget involving drug enforcement continues to grow, and other important government funding is often cut, including environmental and education. As of 2013, America spends over $20 billion in regards to marijuana prohibition. Legalizing marijuana would allow this money to be used much more effectively. With the legalization the government wouldn’t have to funnel so much money into forcing drug laws.
Legalization will also reduce the number of criminals incarcerated and put in jail for possession of marijuana related crimes. Many criminals are incarcerated for non-violent crimes and for the possession of marijuana. It is very costly for taxpayers to keep those people incarcerated, as of 2014 it costs approximately $117,000 to keep a prisoner incarcerated in Canada for a year. By reducing the amount of people in prisons, it frees up money to be used more beneficially for the public. With the legalization of marijuana these people are free to grow and possess marijuana, leaving less people incarcerated for seemingly harmless crimes. Legalization of marijuana has seen no increase in crimes, and in fact reduces more severe violent crimes, including homicides.
The drug trade is a very dangerous trade involving both the government and criminals. Governments are trying to regulate the drug cartels and their dealers. This often leads to conflict between both the government and gangs, which often leads to violence and death. There are often gang related issues, causing a large increase in street crime which can create an unsafe community. With legalization put in place, these issues will stop marijuana sales within these drug trades, which will help prevent many of these violent crimes associated with it. Government officials can focus on the more severe and life dangling drugs, including heroin, cocaine and prescription drugs. Legalization of marijuana can enforce a positive movement for the healthcare field, social environments and it can help fix the never ending losing war on drug.
Marijuana can be used to treat various illnesses, diseases and primarily various forms of cancer. It can be used to keep money out of the hands of criminals allowing the money to be put towards the government. Lastly legalization can be used to support and put the stop to the drug trades. Many people are skeptical whether the pros would outweigh the cons regarding legalization of marijuana. With proper research done and provided, with the many positive benefits mentioned, it can be easily argued that the pros do outweigh the cons regarding legalization. Overall, it is hard to see why marijuana is still illegal in this country, as it has the potential to benefit all aspects of society.