The use of marijuana in America should be legalized given the wide benefits of this drug were it not abused. Marijuana has medical benefits that can help the state in curbing various health issues. Were legalization made and policies set to regulate the use of this drug, the United States administration could reap from taxation instead of restricting the use of marijuana yet is it still been smuggled and used in secrecy. By regulating the use of marijuana, the government can greatly help the individuals who abuse the substance by giving a clear direction regarding dosage and wise use. According to National Institute of Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Mortality Statistics, (2010) annual death caused by use of marijuana is zero. Why the then the harassment of marijuana users? This research paper is advocates for the legalization of marijuana in the US by analyzing both the pros and cons based on facts revealed by various researchers.Marijuana use in the United States of America has faced criticism from various institutions and lobby groups. This is because it is seen as a drug that has serious health problems on the life of its users. Marijuana is a 'weed' with green, shredded leaves from the plant known as Cannabis sativa. The main component of this plant is the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is responsible for changing mind set of a user. Besides, it contains a stipulated 400 other substances. The United States government has condemned the use of marijuana by arresting people who smoke this substance. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, (2010) a good number of citizens have been arrested and the number of people charged for using marijuana stands at 5.9 million citizens since 1990. This number of arrests is a concern giving that those charged and arrested are citizens with families that they need to feed and take to school. Wide use of cannabis is supported by who says marijuana remains one of the most used illegal drugs in the United States used by both the young and old while the government at the same time remained consistent in criminalizing the use of marijuana, (Cermak, p. 10).Medicinal Values of Marijuana
Medical researchers have revealed the medicinal value of marijuana amid unwillingness of the administration to support the research. According to Gerber, (p.121) the Clinton government was reluctant to accept 1998 approval of California's Proposal 215. As a result, research on marijuana has been limited on ethical grounds and methodology of conducting the researches have always been done in the dark. Clinical researches require quality test apparatus and the failure to do so result in dubious outcomes which normally highlight the negative rather than positive results. Complacency of the US administration to legalize marijuana use has in a way made researchers give results perceived to be pro government in relation to policies on marijuana use. As a result, pharmacists have had a dwindled enthusiasm to rise to the medical challenges of marijuana. Researchers have concluded that apart from the THC, the plant has other effective constituent substances in form of synthetic analogues of the plant's extracts, (Guy, et al.
p. 230). The researchers have discovered different properties of the medicine of marijuana.1. Treatment of Multiple sclerosis (MS)
The second medicinal application of marijuana has been in the treatment of Multiple sclerosis (MS) mainly in spasticity. Also, it has been used in the treatment of other neurological conditions. THC alongside other cannabinoids have been seen to play a role in the spasticity and tremor by significantly relieving distress symptoms as a result MS and spinal cord injury (SDI) treatments. In the United States, recent researches have shown that use of cannabis in treatment of MS patients reduced the after effects symptoms by 30-97% of the patients involved and the percentage varied from one given symptom to another. (Guy, et al
. p. 232).2. Marijuana benefits on Appetite and Weight
Cannabis is responsible for stimulating appetite as confirmed by marijuana users. Alongside appetizing ability, cannabinoids also has effects on weight (exogenous and endogenous). The appetite and weight of patients suffering from a range of cancer types have been boosted by use of marijuana. HIV/AIDS patients have also reported improved state of health on use of the illicit drug as it enabled them have good appetite, reduced nausea and anxiety, and less pains. In addition, there has been reported anecdotal reports suggesting inflammatory disorders can be curbed by the use of cannabis in a range of ways. These benefits have been as a result of research on various animals in relation to this discovery as reported by GW Pharmaceutical survey.The process of healing using cannabinoid treatments shows that it has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory elements that aid in treating Rheumatic Arthritis (RA) by preventing severe bone joints pains.. point out that epilepsy disorders are the most common form of neurological disorders that affect the entire globe (1% of world population). The use of cannabis has been used in this front more effectively in treatment of epileptic patients since historical times than the modern anticonvulsant drugs. Anticonvulsant drugs offers only up to 30% success in treatment of epileptic patients, (Guy et al
p. 236).Tax and Revenue Benefits of Legalization of Marijuana
The United States administration can hugely benefit from revenues collections through legalization of marijuana especially at this point when the economy is slackened by the financial crisis. By legalizing the drug, much money could be raised from the growing, to the processing and packaging and final sales outlets. Such a move would make prospecting businessmen move to capture the market that is likely to grow rapidly on the passing of legalization law by the federal government, (Moffat, 2010)
. Currently traders in marijuana industries invest outside America both legally and illegally and these growers are paid substantial amounts in the range of billions of dollars.Besides, the government spends more money in policing and implementation of anti-marijuana use policies given the large number of offenders charged for marijuana use. It is suggested that the total value of revenue that could be raised from this illegal trade ranges from $45-$110 billion yearly given the 25-60 million consumers with a possibility on higher amounts given that the respondents could have tried to with hold their opinion on the research topic, (Easton, 2010). There is an added tax benefits that the government could reap from by legalizing marijuana use. Given the figure of revenues got from the cigarette trade, the government can expect a minimum of $40 billion assuming the selling price of one stick of marijuana is the same as the price of one cigarette.There are so many benefits that can be derived from the use of marijuana by both the patients and those who use it for personal benefits. On the contrary, the government has not done much in setting up legal measures that could serve these interests. The federal and some states law have criminalized the use of cannabis resulting to arrests and incarceration of the users. The medicinal researches have also been derailed by the government policies that advocate otherwise. The motive of the government on this matter on legalization of marijuana is biased. This is because the general effects of marijuana use are milder compared to other drugs that are legally used today. After the analysis of the medicinal values of marijuana and the statistics from the National Institute of Drug Abuse from the introduction above, it is clear the use of cannabis is more effective than destructive.Cons of Legalization of Marijuana
Despite the many uses of marijuana and potential tax benefits in the commodity use, there are those who still argue against legalization of marijuana. "Legalization of drugs will lead to increased use and increased levels of addiction. Legalization has been tried before and failed miserably," (Drug Enforcement Administration, 2003). This statement is not justified given that cigarettes and alcohol are legal in the US and there has never been a case of increased addiction. In addition, there are a number of states in the US that have legalized marijuana use and the legal framework has never failed. Nevada voters voted against ballot question that was meant to legalize possession of up to 3 ounce of marijuana for those aged 21 and above in 2002. There was a similar ballot question in 2006 that sought to reduce the quantity of possession to 1 ounce and to further regulate the planting, and distribution of cannabis. The vote was defeated depicting the citizens of Nevada were for legalization of marijuana."Alcohol has caused significant health, social, and crime problems in this country and legalized drugs would only make the situation worse," (Drug Enforcement Administration, 2003). As seen from the discussion above, marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the US and social and health concerns of the drug will in fact reduce. This is because drug cartels that may fight against interference with the trade will now have license to do their work, resulting to lower crime rates and social health. Cannabis is the most abused drug that is still illegal in the US. This trend is on the rise given that legalization of marijuana in getting more support from the society. We should expect more and more states through voter balloting to advocate for use of marijuana. Coupled by the vast medicinal values of the drug and the need of leaner research methodology, the United States of America should consider legalization of marijuana in all states by reforming the federal law deemed superior to the states law. In this way also, the government would reap from revenue and tax benefits besides reducing expenditure associated with law enforcement on the use of marijuana.