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Marijuana usage receives a portmanteau of skeptical reproach and approval from users, medical professionals, state institutions, and religious-affiliated centers. Striking evidence indicates the legalization of marijuana does not necessarily lead to an escalation in the usage of the drug. Perhaps, it is time government institutions and law enforcement bodies appreciate that marijuana usage is in existence. This is despite the approval or legalization of the drug. According to Gwynne (2013), approximately 36% of high school students smoke marijuana. This is an indication that the failure to legalize marijuana does not necessarily stop its widespread usage. Another fact is that the legalization of marijuana does not have a direct influence on the frequency of usage.
The support for legalization drives its propagation from the lack of extreme physical problems associated with intoxication and withdrawal tendencies. Contrary to other toxicants, including alcohol, cannabis is a benign frivolous drug with modest effects on the user. Five hundred seventy-three thousand cannabis plants underwent destruction in 2008 following a crackdown (Olivero, 2013). The high plant growth in one state indicates an increase in the demand for the drug. While there are possible medicinal effects associated with excessive consumption of marijuana, the physical problems are not dissimilar to other legalized drugs like alcohol. For instance, excessive usage of marijuana can lead to addiction and cognitive dulling. The same applies to overconsumption of alcohol, which has additional demerits of deteriorated health like liver cirrhosis. Therefore, cannabis ought to be legalized like a recreational drug.
The contemporary perception of cannabis usage tends to associate the practice of smoking with criminals and gangs. However, this is because of the initial position assumed by the government and law enforcers. Medical professionals have an alternative view. Rosenthal and Kubby (2003) argued that cancer patients under cannabis prescription show laudable results. The propagation of information by mainstream culture on cannabis remains distorted and biased. Critics seem to focus on the negative effects while assuming the possible positive effects of using marijuana. Bhang has positive effects that do not mirror the effects of other legal drugs. In fact, the legalization of marijuana would curb criminal activities involved with the peddling of the drug.
It is obvious that the usage of cannabis is widespread in almost every urban center. This is irrespective of government efforts to try and stop the usage of the drug. Optimistic thinking would focus on tax collection increase based on the legalization of marijuana. Legalizing cannabis would require that vendors acquire trade licenses. According to Fairchild (2008), legalizing cannabis could augment the tax returns by $8.7 billion annually. This is assuming that there would be minimal alteration in the frequency of usage. However, the tax returns could increase with augmentation in consumption. This would not be problematic as marijuana lacks carcinogens, and hence, it cannot cause lung cancer.
In conclusion, irresponsible behavior does not necessarily culminate from cannabis usage (Gerber, 2004). The current tendencies on juvenile delinquency are not a result of consuming marijuana. This is because marijuana does not lead to the development of vile behavior that was not already inherent in a person. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the public and the government to legalize marijuana because of its widespread usage. In fact, the lack of carcinogens in marijuana makes it more health-sensitive than tobacco. Legalizing marijuana would eliminate associated criminal problems and improve police relationships with society. The legalization of marijuana is long overdue.
Fairchild, C. (2013, April 20). Legalizing marijuana would generate billions in additional tax revenue annually. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/legalizing-marijuana-tax-revenue_n_3102003.html
Gerber, R. J. (2004). Legalizing marijuana: Drug policy reform and prohibition politics. Connecticut, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Gwynne, K. (2013, June 27). Five reasons cops want to legalize marijuana. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/five-reasons-cops-want-to-legalize-marijuana-20130627
Olivero, J. M. (2013). The Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States’ state of Washington and the impact on Mexican cartels. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(4), 8-17.
Rosenthal, E., & Kubby, S. (2003). Why marijuana should be legal. New York, NY: Running Press.
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