The Legalization of Marijuana: An Economic Perspective

Feb 1, 2008

Statistics show that marijuana is the most commonly abused drugs by adolescents. Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana is also one of the most widely debated upon issues since the last couple of years. In this regard, public opinion takes a high pedestal. According to those against it, marijuana is illegal because it is perceived as a danger to an individual and to the entire society, both at the same time. On the other hand, a vast number of people believe that if life-threatening substances such as alcohol and tobacco can be legal, then there should be no problem in legalizing marijuana. It is said that one-third of Americans favor legalization of marijuana. Support for legalization has risen nearly threefold since 1969 (Paul, 2015). It has lately been proved that marijuana is highly addictive and can destroy the life of many of those addicted, but people still refuse to accept this fact. They believe that, compared to other lawful social drugs - alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco- marijuana does not pose greater risks. One the other end, a group of people believes that not legalizing marijuana means that the government is denying the citizens’ rights to freedom and medication. The other group believes that legalizing marijuana will make things worse for society. But then again, people are pushing the fact that marijuana can be medically used and that it should be legal for medical purposes only, as it can be helpful in controlling the pain caused by ailments such as cancer. Additionally, legalizing marijuana would also help in reducing the black market related to selling marijuana illegally. By considering its devastating impact on human body, however, the cons of marijuana legalization become evident. Marijuana has a number of adverse effects on an addicted person. People who smoke marijuana are more likely to be diagnosed with psychiatric disorders then people who do not smoke marijuana. Like all drugs, marijuana can cause harm if taken in excess and abused (Rosenthal and Gieringer and Mikuriya, p. 4). Its effects vary from short-term to long-term effects. The use of marijuana not only affects a person’s health but harms a person’s social behavior. Excess use of marijuana also damages the reproductive system. A scientific report states that marijuana has a wide range of psychological effects which under certain circumstances can turn to be very harmful to the human body.

All illegal drugs are sold at very high prices, because their production and sale carry high risks. People who do not have enough money regularly steal and commit other such crimes to get hold of some money to buy marijuana. Legalization of marijuana would lead to fewer crimes and would also reduce the prices. Also, the legalization of marijuana would also put the black market out of business. Many people, especially teenagers, are convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana, which then creates ripples of problems for them in various aspects, including problems at schools, college and at home. Legalizing marijuana would put a halt to these problems - it would also help in cleaning out the number of marijuana crime related cases piled up in court.

In the light of the above discussion, we may culminate that drug addiction is a widely spread problem, which affects the lives of millions each day. People use drugs for a lot of reasons, ranging from family problems to peer pressures. Marijuana has its own good and bad aspects, good point being that it can be used as a medicine, and bad being that it causes all sorts of ailments. The legalization of marijuana is an issue which has not been settled yet. Hence, it is upon a country’s government to decide if legalization of marijuana is good for the country’s citizens or not, as it is the government’s duty to protect the citizens from such dangerous and life-threatening drugs. If it is legalized, then age barriers should be setup to restrict the drug’s usage.  

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