Here are the top reasons why we need to change marijuana laws on a federal level.
1. The restriction has been a failure. Any declarations that the war on drugs has succeeded is entirely unsupported by evidence. The federal government has tried to use criminal charges for over 75 years, but ultimately the restriction has failed to control the use and production of marijuana.
As of today, over 25 million people use marijuana every year, making it the largest cash crop in the United States. Any idea that marijuana will be eradicated from this country or from the world is more than a dream– it’s a crazy imagination.
2. It would lessen gang activities. It is common sense: The illegality of anything is going to make it more valuable than if it were legal. Marijuana’s illegality makes foreign cultivation and smuggling to the United States an extremely profitable business for drug cartels and gangs. They send billions into the underground economy of other nations who may be hostile to the US.
This also goes with domestic drug dealing. Though the use of alcohol and tobacco continues being a serious health problem, even though they are legal, the accessibility of these two commodities gives people less incentive to sell them on the black market. If the sale of pot were legal, then teens would face more trouble making easy money off of selling it to their friends and peers.
3. Legalizing marijuana is safer for the community. Basing on history, regulation associates to public safety. Take for example, the restaurant industry, which has to be inspected for health violations, or pharmaceutical companies, who need to submit their products to the FDA for testing. The marijuana business would work the same way. Regulating marijuana would displace the underground market, making it difficult for minors to get the drug, while making things more convenient to hold specific pot dealers more accountable for foul play, ensuring consumers get quality products with no hazardous additives.
4. It’s a valuable agricultural commodity. Altering marijuana laws could lead to billions of dollars in tax revenue. The induction of Colorado’s Amendment 64 brought in greater than $30 million of taxable revenue for their budget. If California taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana, it could raise yearly revenue by $1.4 billion. If marijuana is legalized federally, the marijuana industry could potentially be three times bigger than the NFL, which could all be taxed, saving the US $13.7 billion a year.
Even if recreational marijuana use was not legalized, the US is still missing a golden opportunity to support legal hemp development– like Canada and Europe. It is also crucial to develop hemp as a biofuel source, as a way of decreasing carbon emissions. Hemp stalks will also not enhance demand and prices for food like corn does.
5. Marijuana is much safer than alcohol. Testing has revealed that using marijuana is significantly safer than drinking alcohol. In fact, for every thousand regular alcohol drinkers there are eight more trips to the E.R then for every thousand marijuana users. In short, you are 30 percent more likely to get sent to the E.R. for alcohol than marijuana. It is an established scientific fact that overdosing from marijuana is nearly impossible. Marijuana is also not as addicting as alcohol or tobacco.
6. Marijuana is costing our court system. On average, over 750,000 individuals get arrested for marijuana possession every year. The responsibilities of law enforcement are too great to concentrate on marijuana offenders and it is far too expensive for our justice system to dispose every one of these cases– as it wastes space, clogs up the court systems and diverts time away from attorneys, judges, and corrections officials. Their attention would be better spent on cases involving violent crimes and terrorism. What’s more, taxing marijuana would provide the money required to fund vital criminal justice and social programs.
7. Marijuana can treat. Although for several years the restriction on marijuana has hampered serious scientific study into the risks and health benefits of marijuana, there is considerable documentation that it can actually minimize many medical disorders, such as:
Pain: 70-80% of individuals experienced pain relief when making use of medical marijuana.
Glaucoma: Marijuana lessens the intraocular pressure and lessens breakage to the optic nerve.
Epileptic Seizures: Cannabinoids regulate seizures by binding to the brain cells in charge of modulating excitability and managing relaxation.
Cancer: In some research studies, cannabidiol has been known to put an end to cancer by turning off a gene named Id-1.
Alzheimer’s Disease: Researchers have discovered that THC, the involved chemical in marijuana, decreases the accumulation of amyloid plaques by preventing the enzyme in the brain that produces them. These plaques are what kill brain cells and result in Alzheimer’s.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: University of Nottingham analysts discovered that chemicals in marijuana, consisting of THC and cannabidiol, interact with cells in the body that play a significant role in gut function and immune feedbacks.
Anxiety: Studies recommend that some of the drug’s benefits may actually improve the smoker’s state of mind and act as a sedative in small dosages.
Enhancing Lung Health: In a research study, tobacco smokers lost lung function gradually, yet pot smokers certainly showed an improvement in lung ability.
8. Legalization is unpreventable. Right now, four states and Washington D.C. allow recreational marijuana use, while 19 states authorize it for medical uses, and 14 have decriminalized it. Alaska, Oregon, Washington are currently in the process of establishing a model where marijuana can be legitimately marketed, taxed and managed.
In the 19 states in which medical marijuana is legitimate, regulation changes so extensively regarding the needs for obtaining a medical marijuana card that it consequently assumes a quasi-legal standing. Like with medical marijuana, states that decriminalized marijuana can vary a lot in their laws. In the 14 states that have decriminalized marijuana, the charges have softened a huge deal that the courthouses are frequently limiting or eliminating prison time and are opting for fines instead.
Help and support for an adjustment in marijuana laws to legalization have continuously greatly improved, with the latest tally indicating that over 58% of the country.
About Marijuana. (n.d.). Retrieved from NORML Foundation: http://norml.org/aboutmarijuana
Chronic Pain Treatment and Management with Medical Marijuana. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.medicalmarijuana.net: http://www.medicalmarijuana.net/uses-and-treatments/chronic-pain/
Goodman, B. (n.d.). Marijuana Smoking Not Linked to Chronic Breathing Problems. Retrieved from www.webmd.com: http://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20120103/marijuana-smoking-not-linked_to-chronic-breathing-problems
Ingraham, C. (2014, July 31). The federal government’s own statistics show that marijuana is safer than alcohol. Retrieved from www.washingtonpost.com: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/31/the-federal-governments-own-statistics-show-that-marijuana-is-safer-than-alcohol/
Kreps, D. (2015, January 30). Colorado May Pay Residents Over Excess Marijuana Revenue. Retrieved from www.rollingstone.com: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/colorado-may-pay-residents-over-excess-marijuana-revenue-20150130
Lisa M. Eubanks, C. J. (2008, October 6). A Molecular Link Between the Active Component of Marijuana Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved from www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2562334/
Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say. ( 2012, April 17). Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840.html
Swift, A. (n.d.). For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana. Retrieved from www.gallup.com: http://www.gallup.com/poll/165539/first-time-americans-favor-legalizing-marijuana.aspx
Uniform Crime Report. (2010). Retrieved from www.fbi.gov: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/persons-arrestedCategories:
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