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Essay on Marijuana Legalization: Why the Federal Government Should Say Yes to Pot

Updated August 9, 2022

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Essay on Marijuana Legalization: Why the Federal Government Should Say Yes to Pot essay

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Perusing the streets in big cities like Los Angeles, CA and Boulder, CO, you can’t walk fifteen steps without getting a whiff of a particularly popular herb. Over the last twenty years the once considered drug marijuana has been legalized both recreationally and medicinally in eight states across the country. Twenty-two other states have followed, shifting towards legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. It has become so ingrained in the culture of legalized states that their citizens have begun utilizing it in a widespread fashion. Marijuana has been shown to contain natural healing properties for numerous purposes that are better than its pharmaceutical counterparts. With that, it has been shown that recreational marijuana legalization boosts the economy in states with which it’s legal as well as nationally.

In places like Colorado and California, even drug crime has lessened due to the legalization of marijuana. Still, states like New York have continued to question the obvious impacts legalization could bring upon the local economy and social strata. Due to the numerous indisputable effects marijuana legalization has had on other states across the country, the push for legalization in the United States as a whole is inevitable.

Recreational legalization of marijuana nationwide would bolster the local state economies, much like other states that have passed for legalization. In Colorado, since legalization, the cannabis industry has created a huge net profit in their local economy. The Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research released a detailed report that said a regulated marijuana industry has accounted for $58 million to the local economy of Colorado (Zhang). The legal marijuana industry caused a robust increase in the local economy of Colorado, showcasing that it could have similar effects in non-legal states such as New York or Pennsylvania. In fact, marijuana legalization in New York State would make statewide economy boom due to the fact that it would become very popular in the highly populated areas of Long Island and New York City. On a more broad level, legalization at the federal level could add a whopping additional $105.6 Billion between 2017 and 2025 based on a report from the cannabis analytics firm New Frontier (Zhang). Obviously, this showcases the insurmountable effect marijuana legalization could have on, not only New York, but also the country as a whole.

In regards to economy, the legalization of marijuana could more specifically create jobs and effect property value. Upon the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado, there were a numerous amount of jobs created. According to a report created by the Marijuana Policy Group, in 2015 there were 18,005 jobs created due to the legalization of marijuana (MPG). The creation of these jobs in legal states have not only bolstered the economy, but also have given unemployed citizens a number of opportunities. All over the country, an increase in full-time positions would give the large number of unemployed residents an opportunity to work, all the while funneling more money into the national economy. Along with that, in states that have legalized “the ganja”, property value has increased. More specifically, in Colorado, since legalization the property value of households has increased six percent, according to a study by Colorado municipalities (Zhang). An overall increase in property value could keep the economy in states across the country high, while also keeping people from moving out of their respective state. Therefore, the legalization of marijuana in at the federal level could pour boatloads of money into the economy.

In the states where marijuana is legal, organized crime – rather than becoming more frequent – has lessened a tremendous quantity in certain facets. For example, in big cities gang related crime is very high due to the movement of drugs like marijuana. Being that marijuana is the main drug of choice at the highest volume for street cartels, the distribution of it in non-legal states spurs a plethora of violence. According to former Homeland Security special agent Jamie Haase, ”Competition over the profits to be made from this illicit industry has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of individuals in that country, and an ever-increasing amount of violence spilling over into the United States, where the Justice Department estimates Mexican cartels now operate in more than 1,000 American cities” (Gwynne). Obviously, cartel violence has spilled over into the United States due to drug trafficking competition with rival cartels.

Marijuana legalization in southern states where this is a current issue would combat the cartel’s affairs, virtually eliminating the cartel’s business in one single swoop. Organized crime through the drug trade is nothing without money, and if marijuana is legalized – especially in southern states where organized crime is an underlying issue – the value of the cartels’ marijuana plummets exponentially. Therefore, legalization can directly kickstart the withering of cartels who illegally import marijuana into the United States at the expense of American lives.

Total legalization not only slows down large-scale organized crime, but it also has been shown to lessen localized crime as well. “Slinging dope” at the street level leads to widespread crime and violence, especially in the numerous densely populated cities across the country like Denver. For example, in the weed friendly state of Colorado the Denver Police Department reports that in the years following marijuana legalization violent crime (homicide, sexual assault, etc.) has fallen 6.9% while property crime (larceny, auto theft, etc.) has fallen 11.1% (Delmore). This proves without a doubt that the total legalization of marijuana nationwide can aid in extinguishing the crime, especially in big cities where crime is more concentrated.

Widespread marijuana legalization can free up on duty officers dealing with marijuana related incidents so they can focus on more dangerous issues. In turn, freeing up more judges to hear trials that are more pressing than marijuana related issues – making the state level justice systems run more efficiently. All in all, taking away the distribution of marijuana on the streets can give police officers an exceeding amount of time to arrest convicted murderers rather than your average teenage skater with a dime bag.

The most pressing issue of marijuana legalization is the question of whether or not marijuana makes your lungs ridden with tar while at the same time slowly killing your precious brain cells. Some may argue that the legalization of marijuana can lead to an increased use of the drug, which in turn can negatively affect your heart, lung, and brain health. Even ciiting that smoking marijuana can contain much larger percentages of carcinogens compared to cigarettes. (Drug Rehab USA). Though this may be true, there are numerous benefits that the usage of legalized marijuana can evoke – especially within the entirety of the human body. The ingestion of marijuana in controlled doses has been proven to treat disease, improve lung function, and even halt the spread of cancer. Researchers conducted an experiment in which they took different groups of adults and studied their lung function over the course of twenty years. They concluded that while cigarette smokers lost a lot of lung function, marijuana smokers actually had an improvement in lung function (Loria). This in fact showcases that – rather than harming a person’s lungs with carcinogenic substances – marijuana can actually improve overall lung function.

Moreover, CBD (a main chemical in marijuana) has been shown to prevent the rapid growth and expansion of cancer cells within the body if taken at the correct dosage (Loria). This is a huge breakthrough given that cancer is one of the leading causes of death in our country and if the nationwide legalization of marijuana can help combat it – lawmakers have no choice but to listen.

Marijuana is a natural plant that has been used for more than its mind altering effects for centuries, showcasing its ability to slow disease among many other things. Therefore, the nationwide legalization of marijuana is inevitable given the positive ways in which it affects this country within states that are already legal. Countrywide legalization could decrease criminal activity at a national scale amidst the most crime riddled period in our country’s history. All the while pouring billions of dollars into an economy that hasn’t been at full strength in decades; little by little pulling us out of the debts we owe other countries. Marijuana – a drug once utilized by the lazy, jobless chip eaters – can be the cancer killer we’ve been searching for if legalized at the national level.

Essay on Marijuana Legalization: Why the Federal Government Should Say Yes to Pot essay

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