Marijuana? Legal or not many people still use it. Marijuana, also known as pot, weed, etc, is smoked to get high, but it also has many positive effects and should be legalized. If tobacco and alcohol are legal at a certain age, so should marijuana. Marijuana can be used to stop the spread of some cancer cells, prevent blindness, expand the capacity of lungs and save the government a lot of money.
One reason why they should legalize marijuana in the United States is because it would create more revenue for the government. The legalization of marijuana would save the U.S. a lot of money every year. “The new measure is expected to bring the two states -- Colorado and Washington -- more than $550 million combined, with more than 300 economists previously estimating that legalizing pot could save the U.S. up to $14 billion a year,” (Harry Bradford). Another piece of evidence that shows that the government could benefit from the becoming of legal marijuana. “In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fee on medical and recreational marijuana. Sales in the state totaled over $996 million,” (Mrinalini Krishna).
Another reason why the legalization of marijuana should happen is because prisons are already overcrowded with regular people caught smoking marijuana. Legalization of pot may decrease the amount of violent crimes.
“Researchers have suggested that any increase in criminality resulting from marijuana use may be explained by its illegality, rather than from the substance itself,” (Matt Ferner). The author of this article is saying that people who smoke illegal marijuana are more likely to commit more violent crimes. There is evidence that states that if pot was legal there would be less violent crimes committed. Another piece of evidence that supports the claim that weed should be legal because of overcrowded prisons is that “inmates incarcerated on marijuana-related charges cost U.S. prisons $1 billion annually,” (Alternet Reports). This connects with the first topic of how the government would save a lot of money if weed was legal. Prisons waste a lot of money on inmates there for marijuana use, if it was legalized there would be a lot less people in prisons and a lot more money saved.
The third reason why marijuana should be legalized is because it can help people with stress, anxiety and pain relief. It is also believed to help with some serious concerns like cancers and lung problems. “Some effects-- including relief from pain and nausea, increased appetite, and reduced muscle spasms-- are considered beneficial for medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis,” (Welsh). Marijuana, medical marijuana, can be extremely beneficial for relief from pain from other major diseases. Many people believe that when you smoke marijuana it affects your lungs in a bad way, but it is thought that it can be beneficial. “Marijuana does not impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity,” (Welsh). As I said before it can also benefit by helping cancer cells not spread throughout your body. The drug cannabis, found in marijuana, “stops cancer by turning off a gene called Id - 1 … Cancer cells make more copies of this gene than non-cancerous cells, and it helps them spread through the body,” (Welsh). One more benefit of marijuana is that it can be used to treat Glaucoma. “The effects of the drug may slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness,” (Welsh).
Some people may say that marijuana shouldn't be legalized because it is believed to be a gateway drug. A gateway drug is “any mood-altering drug, as a stimulant or tranquilizer, that does not cause physical dependence but may lead to the use of addictive drugs, as heroin,” (“gateway”). There is some evidence showing that Marijuana is a gateway drug, but the drug itself is not physically addictive. “Marijuana isn’t addictive in the same sense as heroin, from which withdrawal is an agonizing, physical ordeal. But it can interact with pleasure centers in the brain and can create a strong sense of psychological dependence that addiction experts say can be very difficult to break,” (Philip M. Boffey). Whether you get into other, more serious drugs, is up to the decisions you make for yourself.
As you can see, marijuana should be legal for many important reasons. As I said in my essay marijuana should be legalized for medical reasons, decrease in prison population, as well as a large profit for the government. Now that you know some of the many benefits of marijuana you should try and help out your community by taking some actions into legalizing weed.