The debate on legalization of marijuana has been going on for years, but no conclusions yet. Some people across the world believe that legalization of the drug will help curb its production and use. People who support its legalization are determined to fight for its legalization, though it might take a long time to achieve this. However, other people still maintain that prohibition of the drug is the only way to curb its use, and legalization will only increase its consumption and abuse to dangerous levels. In this essay, we look at pros and cons of legalizing marijuana across the world.
Prohibiting the use of the drug has failed to stop the production and use of marijuana. Governments impose penalties on the users of the drug, but this has not been successful in the control of the consumption of the drug. The imaginations that eradication of the drug is possible through prohibition are a ridiculous fantasy, and governments around the world need to accept these facts (Beddow, & Thibodeaux, 2010).
The goods on legalization of marijuana
Several movements and organizations have been pushing for the legalization of marijuana around the world. Some states and countries have already legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. Many people around the world feel that marijuana should be legalized with a survey by Rasmussen International Poll indicating that 40% of Americans prefer the drug legalized. However, some people still oppose legalization due to the adverse effects and health damage.
Prohibition of marijuana is based on lack of adequate information. The dangers and harmful effects of the use of the drug have been exaggerated over the years. Many people including doctors believe that the said effects of marijuana use have its origin in the 20th Century, when scientists were not able to explain how the drug produced its effects. Modern research has not confirmed that marijuana indeed causes such harmful effects. If used in moderation, like any other drug, then there will not be such harmful effects. Thus, marijuana, as well should be legalized (Beddow, & Thibodeaux, 2010).
Legalizing marijuana can be an effective way of reducing its sale and consumption among the young people and decrease their contact to other illegal drugs. A legal and regulated market for the drug would ensure that sale of the drug can be monitored and controlled. Moreover, the drug has more value since it is illegal that it would have been if it were legal. Legalization would reduce the abnormal profits got from the sale of the drug, and this would discourage teenagers from engaging in sale of the drug.
Legalization of the drug would act as a source of revenue for governments as taxes can be levied on them. In addition, this would reduce the amounts of money flowing from the economies to the hands of international criminal and terrorist gangs. These are funds, which would be used to fund productive economic activities (Jacquette et-al, 2010).
People advocating for legalization of the drug argue that the drug does not have worse effects than other drugs like alcohol and tobacco if consumed in moderation. Most doctors agree that the effects of the drug are not so harmful, for as long as the consumers moderate the intake. The doctors agree that the effects would be harmful if the drug is abused.
Other school of thoughts argues that legalization of the drug would reduce streets over the drug disputes. Currently, if it arise a dispute over the drug, people settle it in the street since they cannot get lawyers to litigate on the disputes or have the police settled the disputes. This results in increased street disputes, some of which results in loss of life. If the drug is legalized, these street disputes would be reduced, as there would be means to settle such disputes.
Having the drug as illegal, traps teenagers, and young people into a cycle that transforms them into all-time criminals. A teenager living in poverty and tired of the poor life would easily take up opportunities to move the drug from one part of the country or state to another. If caught, he is thrown in jail and interacts with other hardcore criminals even though he initially was not a criminal(Crone, 2010). Then he gets tough and mean while in jail because he has to protect himself from the tough criminals. On completion of his term, his school and career is already ruined. Normal life becomes hard for such a teenager, and he turns to crime again. Eventually, the teenager turns into a lifetime criminal. Legalization of the drug would eliminate the possibility of the teenagers turning into criminals after they are busted with the drugs.
Marijuana has positive qualities, for instance, it has some medicinal values, and informed people use it as a leisure drug with meek side effects. The drug also provides relief from spasticity, nausea, and pain. In addition, many other products are produced from the crop. The crop from which we develop marijuana has many other alternative uses like producing papers, construction materials, thermal insulation materials, insect repellants, and dynamite. However, illegality of the drug does not allow the production of these products.
Replacing prohibition of marijuana with legalization will save governments across the world a lot of money used on enforcing the prohibition. It would also save on the costs used in maintaining convicts in jail. Moreover, this will create space in the jails and need for more jails will stop (Jacquette et-al, 2010). This will eventually be cheaper for the governments around the world.
The bads on legalization of marijuana
The debate on legalization of marijuana has received an equal amount of criticism as its support. While some people think it is morally wrong to take marijuana, there are other people who think there are worse consequences that would result from the legalization of the drug (Crone, 2010). One of the reasons is that marijuana usually is the drug that introduces people to other hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Researches show that use of the drug eventually progresses into the use of other hard drugs. Legalization of the drug would, therefore, mean that a big number of people will have a high likelihood of using the hard drugs in the long-run.
Legalizing the drug increases the likelihood of the drugs getting to reach children. All unhealthy items, though legal are forbidden from sale to children since their bodies have not developed enough to handle the effects of such items. The effects of marijuana are even worse for a developing child than for an adult. Legalizing something makes it more accessible to children, more often than not, children get their hands on alcohol or other item like cigarettes, and the same thing should be avoided with marijuana at all costs.
Legalizing the drug would lead to an increase in dangerous driving. When under the influence of the drug, most people do not reason well and this exposes them to risks of driving dangerously. This endangers their lives and the lives of the people around them. In addition, there are chances that the drug users suffer from lapse of judgment leading them to committing of other crimes like rape or even robbery (Beddow, & Thibodeaux, 2010).
Legalization the drug will make the environments more dangerous and prone to other forms of crimes. People who traffic and sell hard drugs have a high possibility of committing other crimes like murder, rape, and robbery with violence. If the police arrested and jailed such people, then they lack the opportunity to commit such crimes. Consequently, the streets and living environments would be safe for other people (Crone, 2010).
With or without scientific proof, marijuana causes damage to its users. Such damage includes brain damage, depression, lung damage, and even cancer. Brain damage causes memory lapse and complications in solving problems. In some cases, people die from the effects of marijuana. It is the responsibility of all governments around the world to protect its people from the effects of such drugs. This is despite the fact people have rights to make choices on whether to use the drug or not. Some people may not have adequate information and may abuse the drug leading to the mentioned health effects.
Legalization of the drug would result in an increase in second hand smoking of the drug by people not intending to smoke the drug. The effects of second hand smoke are worse on the second person than the person smoking first. Legalization the drug exposes people in public places, at home, siblings, spouses, and other people living in the neighborhood. This increases health damage for non users of the drugs. To protect the families and society from these health issues, marijuana should not be legalized in the world.
Legalizing marijuana could consequently lead to the legalization of other hard drugs. The society changes with time and with the legalization of marijuana there would be an increased advocacy for the legalization of the other drugs like heroin and cocaine (Beddow, & Thibodeaux, 2010). The already legal drugs like alcohol and cigarettes have resulted to many problems in the society like family breakups, increase in crime levels and delinquency among the teenagers. With the legalization of marijuana, the problems will only escalate. Prohibition may not be effective in controlling the use of marijuana, but it does not mean that governments should just stop it.