Legalize It!

March 25, 2014
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Legalizing marijuana would benefit the country in many ways. It would greatly reduce crime in our cities and have a positive influence on America. It hasn’t ever killed anyone directly, but when you put a law prohibiting it, crime starts to occur. If we legalized it for recreational uses, crime will decrease. It also can benefit patients medically.

If marijuana was legalized in more states than only Colorado and Washington, some users would not have to go to extremes to get ahold of the hallucinogen. These extremes could include stealing money from people to pay their dealer, or killing for it. These crimes would be eliminated if marijuana was legal. Do we want our family and friends to be hurt and possibly killed in a crime related to acquiring marijuana? Or do we want our family and friends to be safe and be able to enjoy themselves and lessen their stress levels by smoking a legal harmless substance?

There is no known/seen danger factor when smoking marijuana by itself. According to the NFIA, National Families in Action, every year tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans. This is more deaths than all Americans killed in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. Meanwhile, marijuana has never killed anyone and is legal in only two states. Only 9% of marijuana users become addicted, compared to the towering 90-95% addiction rate of tobacco users. How can the leading cause of death in the United States which is tobacco, be legal; but the non-lethal, not dangerous, depressant called marijuana be prohibited? Another substance that could be compared to marijuana is alcohol. A big problem with alcohol is driving under the influence. Marijuana has potential to inherit this problem also, but we will regulate the use of it. We have things like breathalyzer tests for alcohol, so we have to find ways to do something similar with marijuana. People are worried that marijuana users will begin to drive while high. We will find ways to make sure people do not overdo it by putting laws limiting (rather than banning) marijuana use and there will be extreme consequences to breaking this law. After doing this there is not going to be a high-driving problem. When people realize that this is a safe drug, marijuana will be legalized. So we need to speak up!

Marijuana is also prescribed to cancer patients and to other patients with varying diseases. When cancer patients go through chemotherapy, they lose their appetite. Shortly after someone smokes marijuana, they become very hungry. This helps keep patients who are going through chemo stay healthy and don’t unintentionally fast. It also relieves pain and controls nausea and vomiting. According to CNN Health, Charlotte Figi, a young girl, was unable to do anything because she would seize so much. She would have about 300 seizures per day, which prevented her from doing normal everyday things. Things were terrible for her. She had tried everything, medications, pills, etc. Her parents were running out of options, so they decided to try giving her medical marijuana, which is legal in her state. The next day, she only had 3 seizures. Now she is able to walk, learn, and do what most girls her age get to do. This outcome could come from many other patients if medical marijuana were legalized in more states. Medical marijuana is legal in 20 states, but we need to sign petitions and get both medical and recreational marijuana legalized in all 50 states.

Why is marijuana illegal when tobacco is not? This is a problem and the solution is to legalize marijuana. The way we can do this is sign petitions in our colleges, community, and state. If another state succeeds at getting marijuana legalized it could spark many more to follow suit. We need to be heard, it needs to be realized that marijuana isn’t bad. People need to see that this would save many American lives from an accident while acquiring marijuana or end up in jail because it is illegal. It is an obvious problem - tobacco which is the leading cause of death is legal; but marijuana - the substance that has never killed anyone, is illegal.

Marijuana being legalized would benefit our country greatly because it is nonlethal, and if it were legal there would not be crime on our streets.

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