THESIS STATEMENT: Legalizing marijuana proves to have more beneficial effects or consequences on our society as a whole than banning it, as could be proved by other countries wherein purchase of marijuana is legalized.
Legalizing marijuana had been one of the most controversial issues on many societies. Marijuana could be obtained from a plant named “cannabis sativa”. Marijuana’s most dynamic element is delta tetrahyddrocannibino or simply THC. THC is the one responsible for the way people gets high once they used marijuana. Marijuana is called in a number of ways such as grass, mary jane, smoke, pot, weed, etc. Most people have certain connotation that marijuana is something which is bad and harmful. Most think of marijuana as nothing but illegal drugs. However, marijuana also has its medical uses which would be discussed later on this paper. There is also wide range belief that marijuana could either make or break a person. If marijuana is used on medicinal purposes only then the results are considered helpful but when used for other reasons then the result would be harmful. These claims would all be tested on this paper. The main question would be whether legalizing marijuana would cause more positive or negative effects on the individuals using it as well as on the society as a whole.
ARGUMENT ON LIBERTY
Many people condemn the use of marijuana because of its harmful effects on the society as well as on the individuals living in that particular society. It is basically because of the people’s fear of the harmful consequences of marijuana on which they argue that cannabis sativa be banned. The prohibition of using marijuana is often supported with claims like legalizing it would cause serious harm on our society especially on young adults. There are claims that most people under the age of 18 may have open access on marijuana. Another factor is some people beliefs that even people whose 18 years of age and above often do not know the consequences of their actions and thus they could not decide for their own selves. There are claims that continuous use of marijuana would result to violence and in this regard marijuana really ought to be banned.
First and foremost, an argument using John Stuart Mill as well as the liberals’ point of view regarding freedom is due on this paper. Mill strongly believes that the state as well as the other people does not have any right whatsoever to interfere with other people’s businesses unless the said people’s activities prove to be harmful on the society or on other individual. Not simply because other people find’s one action to be offensive or not to that person’s liking it already follow that that person has a right to limit or to prohibit other people from doing exactly what they please. For one, Person A may not find marijuana to his liking and thus vow to never use it, however, not simply because Person A does not like marijuana it already follows that he could prohibit Person B from using marijuana.
The state could also not intrude on Person’s B’s freedom to smoke marijuana provided that Person B does not cause the state or the state’s individual any harm. There are arguments which state that most people who use marijuana gets violent and thus marijuana should be prohibited. In a way marijuana could be likened to alcoholic beverages. There are people who tend to get violent once they get drunk but most people often just go home after drinking and then they go to sleep. Thus, if alcohol could be legalized then why is it that marijuana ought to be banned? Violent person tends to get more violent once they get drunk, and such is also the case with marijuana. Marijuana makes a person feels high but it does not make a person violent as long as you are not inherently a violent person.
ARGUMENT ON COST AND FAILURE
On terms of cost to the government there are people who believe that once marijuana is legalized a lot of people would have open access to the drug thus heightening the likelihood that more people would have to go to rehabilitation centers in order to cure them of their addiction. These people argue that expenses used on rehabilitation centers are supported by people’s taxes thus legalizing marijuana would be an additional burden for the rest of the society. However, these arguments do not really prove to be valid, and often they are found to be unsupported or based on very shaky grounds of argumentation added to the fact that prohibition of the use of marijuana is not really effective.
Most countries and individuals do not really support the legalization of marijuana especially since they consider marijuana as harmful. Marijuana may be harmful but so is cigarette and alcohol and yet cigarettes and alcoholic beverages are legal for use. With the endless efforts of the government to hunt or to track down people who uses and who traffic marijuana on the country peoples taxes just go to waste. In contrast to the arguments of those who are not in favor of legalizing marijuana on the basis that rehabilitation centers costs a lot and is a burden to the society as a whole, pro legalization of marijuana would argue that the endless efforts of the government and of other individuals to prohibit the use of marijuana is what really costs a lot of money.
The endless campaign against drugs, the imprisoning of good people who just happened to like using marijuana in spite of their being peaceful, these are all a waste of time and money. Compared to other drugs marijuana is not that harmful and marijuana is just as addicting as cigarettes and alcohol yet these two are not prohibited by the government (Weinstein, 1999). Besides, if we would look at it in a certain way we would see that everything around us is indeed harmful once taken in excess. For one, high caloric foods got harmful effects on our body yet they are not banned. In a way marijuana is just like those foods with high calorie, and excess use of it could have harmful effects on one’s body yet when it comes to eating the government does not really imprison people who eat in excess.
Aside from that instead of wasting the government’s resources as well as the people’s taxes on chasing marijuana sellers and users, the government should instead legalize the use of marijuana and earn profit from it by putting taxes on the sells of it. Should truth be told the government is just making marijuana traffickers richer by illegalizing it in spite of the fact that they could not really stop the use of marijuana no matter what they do. People still use marijuana in spite of it being illegal and the government is spending money on the prohibition of it without earning anything in return, thus, they must reverse their strategy and earn profits from marijuana and spend most of their time and resources on chasing the real harmful criminals such as killers, robbers, etc.
ARGUMENT ON ADDICTION AND IGNORANCE
There are people who fight the legalization of marijuana to the extent. In spite of the medicinal uses of marijuana these people still do not wish to legalize it due to certain arguments like patients would rely more on marijuana to alleviate their pain instead of on normal medical procedures. This particular belief was mostly caused by their belief that marijuana is addicting. Just like all drugs they believe that marijuana is addicting and thus it would be hard to quit once you started using it especially since it causes withdrawal syndromes. Additional factor is their belief that legalizing marijuana would heighten the numbers of people using it.
The reason why many people turn against marijuana and why they dislike it so much is mainly due to their ignorance. Many people views marijuana as addictive and they believe that it causes harmful effects on individuals. During the late 1930s marijuana was assumed to be some kind of a narcotic mainly because they were mostly used by people who use narcotics such as opium and the like without making any effort at all to conduct a research on the real effects of marijuana. The government tried to fight marijuana by being silent and giving harsh penalties believing that by doing so they could protect their youths from being corrupted by marijuana. However, silence resulted to ignorance resulting people to believe the worse on marijuana.
As mentioned earlier people believed that marijuana is addictive. Yet a research conducted by Dr. Jack Henningfield and Dr. Neal Benowits proved that marijuana is not really addictive. They proved that cigarettes and alcohols are in fact more addicting than marijuana. It was also proven that marijuana does not cause any withdrawal syndromes on those people who wish to quit from using it (Wikman, 2000). Also in regards to others belief that legalizing marijuana would increase the people using it, Holland would be the finest example to rebut that claim. Marijuana was already legalized in Holland since 1976 and since that time the number of people using marijuana decreased by 40%. Other states in America which also legalized the use of marijuana did not show any proof that legalizing marijuana would increase the number of people using it (Meiners, 2000).
Overall this paper gave sufficient evidences that the legalization of marijuana would more likely cause positive effects on the society than negative ones. Study showed that marijuana is not really effective and that alcohol and nicotine is in fact more addictive and more harmful than marijuana. Also, anything in excess is bad and thus marijuana should be blamed for people’s misbehavior because even when someone does not smoke marijuana yet he drinks a lot then it would also surely cause harmful effects on that person’s body. Another point is that not since you views something as distasteful it would also necessitate that that person would abide by your rules and would quit doing what he wants to do especially if it does not cause any harm on the society and on the individual living on it. The government should also focus their attentions more on more serious crimes than the usage of marijuana. The government should also try to earn profit from the sells of marijuana to better help the nation. Marijuana is nothing really serious especially if not taken in excess thus, marijuana ought to be legalized.
Wikman, Eric. “Legalization of Marijuana.” 2000.
Meiners, Roger E. The Legal Environment of Business Cincinnati: Ohio South Western College
Weinstein, Sanford. The Educator’s Guide to Substance Abuse Prevention Mahwah, N.J.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Incorporated, 1999.