Course Project Submission The Legalization of Marijuana J. Doe ITT Technical Institute March 7, 2013 Composition II Dr. Sue Introduction Marijuana should be legalized. That is the decision everyone in our group has come to. We believe the pros of marijuana use greatly outnumber the cons, and that the government needs to realize that. Defending either side of this argument is actually quite difficult. Any studies that you may find can be disproven by studies performed from the opposition and vice versa. Still, we have not found anything that has even came close to changing our opinions.
Medical Use Many studies have been performed that prove marijuana can help with the treatment of many types of cancers. Metastasis is when cancer cells spread from one part of the body to another (Mandal, n. d. , What is Metastasis). Scientists at California Pacific Medical Center have found a compound in marijuana that can actually stop metastasis. This compound is called Cannabidiol. They learned this first by testing the compound on animals that had cancer and have proven that it works. They are now waiting on approval to begin human testing (Wilkey, 2012, Marijuana and Cancer).
It can also be used to replace many pain pills that damage our kidneys and cause major addictions. Studies show that smoking marijuana can help lessen nerve pain or pain caused by surgery. “About 10% to 15% of patients attending a chronic pain clinic use cannabis as part of their pain control strategy”(Doheny, 2010, Marijuana Relieves Chronic Pain). Lower Crime Rates In 2011, after legalizing marijuana in California, the juvenile crime rate dropped 20 percent. The number of arrests for violent crimes dropped by 16 percent, homicide went down by 26 percent and drug arrests decreased by nearly 50 percent.
In 2010, marijuana possession accounted for 64 percent of all drug arrests, and in 2011, that number decreased to only 46 percent (Sankin, 2012, California Marijuana Decriminalization). Many people believe that drug dispensaries would attract crime. A study has shown that crime actually seems to be much less near the dispensaries then in the areas where dispensaries have been closed. “On the blocks with closed dispensaries, crime was 60% greater within a three-block radius, and 25% greater within a six-block radius than on the blocks with open dispensaries, according to the study” (Shaw, 2011, Study Show Lower Crime Rate).
A Better Economy There are many ways legalizing marijuana can help the economy. Marijuana-related charges would fall significantly, saving US prisons nearly $1 billion annually. Ending prohibition laws against marijuana would save taxpayers $41. 8 billion annually. Marijuana growers in California account for $14 billion a year now that is legalized there. The selling of marijuana illegally is a $38 billion industry which is money our government is missing out on (Bradford, 2012, Boost the Economy). Physical Dangers to Users
There are many studies that show marijuana use can greatly impair a user’s motor skills. They have shown that these impairments lead to a much higher rate of vehicle accidents even though people think being high has nothing to do with it. Studies have also shown that the constant inhalation of smoke, whether it is tobacco or marijuana, can lead to cancer. There has also been a link of marijuana use to psychosis, anxiety, and panic attacks (Lipkis, 2012, Impaired Driving Skills). A Worse Economy Polls show that many people do not believe legalizing marijuana would boost the economy. About a quarter of those polled said legalized pot would lead to more jobs in their communities; 57 percent said there would be no effect. About a third thinks the economy would improve, while 46 percent foresee no impact” (Grisling, 2010, Will NOT Boost Economy). In fact, many people think it will make things worse. This is because while marijuana dispensaries are favored, there are not many people that would invest in them. “If marijuana was decriminalized, more Americans favor private businesses selling it (54 percent) than the government (36 percent).
But just 24 percent said they would be interested in investing in a company that sells pot” (Grisling, 2010, Will NOT Boost Economy). Conclusion The legalization of marijuana is, in our opinion, a good thing. Many people have benefitted from using marijuana even if there are some undesirable side effects. Moderation is something that needs to be applied. Whether it be marijuana or even exercising, too much can hurt you. Recreational use is not what was discussed here. Improving upon the lives we are currently living, through the different applications of marijuana, is what we aimed to point out.