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The Hawkeye

Legalizing marijuana would benefit the economy and more

Hope Stapleton, [email protected]

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n the past, marijuana has been grown or bought illegally due to usage and possession restrictions.

As of today, however, nearly 26 states including the District of Columbia have legalized this plant for recreational purposes or for medical use.

Currently, over 200 million residents in America have access to legal marijuana.

In 1998, California was the first state to take action in allowing residents who are 21 and older to possess at least eight ounces with the choice of owning six mature plants or 12 immature plants.

As of 2017, West Virginia has joined them by passing laws for the legalization of marijuana. They currently allow residents to have a 30-day supply.

While several other states are in the process of creating laws to legalize this plant, Louisiana has yet to join them.

While the discussion of legalizing the cannabinoids has been widely controversial, there are several reasons why legalizing marijuana can have a positive outcome for our nation.

With taxing, a drug this popular could be used to raise millions of dollars to help boost revenue. In 2016, Colorado raised almost $70 million in taxes with marijuana. That is almost double the $42 million they raised in alcohol taxes.

With the government always looking for creative ways to help with the economy’s budget, this could help create a stable start to lowering debt, help cover government-funded businesses and create jobs for thousands of people.

Legalizing marijuana will also help make criminal justice and law enforcement more effective.

Since marijuana is considered a victimless crime, law enforcement would have more time and more resources to put toward bringing an end to violent crimes.

With fewer people in prison on drug charges, we can eventually make crowded prisons more spacious. The prisons would require fewer resources and a much smaller percentage of our tax dollars.

Illegal drug trading is often associated with violent crimes as people take things into their own hands to right a wrong. With legalization, there will be civil ways to settle disputes that occur.

This will lead to a decrease in violence that is associated with the illegal drug trade, which can save many lives in the process, and it will take even more weight off of law enforcement.

Legalizing marijuana will most likely cut off revenue for drug dealers by making the drug less profitable compared to how much the retail cost will be.

Stores will sell greater amounts and will have the knowledge of knowing exactly where it came from. This will create the frame work of a safety control system that dealers will not have. With that kind of competition, most dealers will finally fade out.

Another thing to think about is how marijuana compares to alcohol and tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco are addictive with effects that can result in serious illness or even death.

However, you cannot overdose on marijuana. So far, studies have not shown any long-term effects that would harm you, either. Additionally, most people who have used marijuana say it gives a calming effect that can result in stress relief.

With legalization, there will be a wider access for medical use that will result in health benefits. Medical marijuana is used to treat a variety of health conditions such as epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and cancer.

As for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, medical marijuana can help control the nausea, vomiting and neuropathic pain they experience.

Dronabinol and Nabilone, also known as THC and CBD, can kill cancer cells and stunt their growth. Marijuana can safely treat cancer by slowing the growth and reducing the spread of cancer cells. HIV patients have shown improved food and liquid intake.

Patients who took prescribed doses of marijuana ended up needing fewer pain medications.

It’s not proven to cure cancer, but more studies are being done to find the extent of the benefits of medical marijuana.

Even though there are a variety of arguments against the legalization of marijuana, these are just the beginning of reasons why marijuana should be legalized.

Not only can it be used to treat illnesses, it can help our law enforcement be more effective, and it can help our economy’s debt while creating jobs for thousands of people. Marijuana should be legalized for all the benefits it will bring now and in the future.

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Legalizing marijuana would benefit the economy and more