Flower cannabis sativa. The drug has numerous
Flower Power: The Legalization Of Marijuana In The United States of AmericaDrugs are believed to be harmful to the health of many individuals across the globe. For instance, drugs such as cocaine and heroin are dangerous to the well-being of an individual. These drugs can damage the liver, lung, and kidney and cause heart attacks (Newton, 2013). Drugs that are dangerous and harmful to the health of the people should be criminalized. On the contrary, a drug such as marijuana which is harmless to the wellbeing of the people should be legalized in the nation. Numerous individuals have argued for and against legalization of marijuana in the USA. However, marijuana is a drug that can be used for recreational and medical purposes in the country, and it should be legalized to reduce the numerous problems arising from its criminalization. Marijuana is a greenish-grey drug that is made by mixing the dried flowers of the cannabis sativa. The drug has numerous slang names that are utilized by distinct people across the globe. Some people call it pot and others refer to it as a weed. Marijuana is also known as ganja, herb, bud, and Mary Jane. Currently, some states have legalized marijuana whereas others continue to debate on whether it should be a legal or criminalized (Barcott, 2015). In the modern day world, only nine states are known to have made marijuana a legal drug that is utilized for recreation. On the other hand, about 29 states have legalized marijuana to be used as a medical drug.The drug had been legalized in some states as early as the 1990s. In California, the drug was made legal in 1996 whereas in Alaska and Oregon it was legalized in 1998. Other nations that had decided to follow and make marijuana legal include New Mexico, New York, Illinois, Hawaii, Montana, and Florida among others. Additionally, states such as Washington and Colorado had made plans to legalize the drug for recreational reasons (Monte, Zane, and Heard, 2015). The two had legalized the drug in 2012. These two states had taken the first step to vote for the legalization of marijuana so that it could be used for recreational purposes. This decision by Washington and Colorado had motivated other states to legalize the drug.Approximately twelve states are known to have plans for legalizing the drug. The majority of the states that are planning to make marijuana legal are using it for medical and recreation purposes. Some of the states that consider marijuana legal include Ohio, New Jersey, Vermont, Michigan, Rhode Island, Delaware, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Utah, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Missouri (Martin, Rosenthal and Carter, 2011). States that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes are using it to assist the public cope with pain. Although these states have made plans to make marijuana a legal drug, anybody caught with it is considered to be committing a crime. Users of marijuana have distinct reasons for wanting the drug to be legal. For instance, some of the users claim that the drug enables them to feel relaxed once they consume it. Others argue that their sensory perception is enhanced and they feel pleasure while consuming the drug. On the contrary, critics claim that some of the chemicals within the drug can cause adverse effects on the health of the users. The drug is taken in distinct forms. Some people prefer to smoke the drug using a pipe or like a cigarette. Others use the drug to brew their tea or mix it with the food. On the other hand, users that avoid smoking the drug tend to consume it when it is in products such as cookies, chocolate, and brownies. Further, some users opt to consume the drug in the form of vapor, and hence they end up using the liquid marijuana.Marijuana benefits the society in that it can be utilized for medical purposes (Caulkins, 2016). Research findings show that marijuana can be utilized as a medical drug to provide relief to those suffering from various illnesses. Individuals in the healthcare sector would support the legalization of medical marijuana. The drug can be utilized to assist people suffering from diseases such as cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS among others. Also, people struggling with mental and physical conditions can rely on medical marijuana to relieve them from their pain.Additionally, marijuana releases suffering from patients. The drug can help a patient reduce their emotional and physical pain. By smoking marijuana, a patient going through chemotherapy can be able to cope with the pain and suffering resulting from the procedure. Further, uncomfortable conditions such as vomiting and nausea resulting from the chemotherapy can be controlled with the help of marijuana. Thus, by legalizing marijuana, the USA will benefit its society by helping people with various diseases to be free from any pain and suffering as they undergo certain treatment procedures. Marijuana should also be legalized for recreational purposes. The public should be allowed to purchase the drug and use it to enjoy themselves. The society has a right to decide on whether or not to use the drug. The drug provides simple pleasure to the people who consume it. Further, as a recreational drug, marijuana is utilized by business people to boost the sale of products.The recreational marijuana is being used in the business environment (Dijkstra, 2013). Some organizations sell the drug for profit purposes. Other firms utilize the drug in making products such as cookies to help them boost their sales. This is because consumers are willing to buy the products comprising of the drug as an ingredient. Further, states that allow the drug to be used in recreation make it easy for some people to grow and sell the drug. Also, as states allow people to have in their possession the drugs it helps to mitigate the black markets and hence promotes the health of the people. In addition to recreational and medical marijuana, the drug should be legalized to be used as a substitute. Marijuana is harmless as opposed to the legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. It should be legalized in the nation as a substitute for the legal drugs that are harmful to the health of the public. As opposed to legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol, marijuana brings about health benefits to the people. For instance, as a medical drug, marijuana can be used in treating glaucoma and easing symptoms such as vomiting and nausea. Further, unlike tobacco, marijuana does not cause physiological addiction to its users. Marijuana would be a better substitute in the place of the legal drugs (Fox, Armentano, and Tvert, 2013). The drug is not associated with any medical grounds that can make it an illegal drug. Further, in a place where more harmful drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are made legal, it would be a hypocritical decision to criminalize marijuana given that it is less harmless when compared to the legalized drugs. Thus, marijuana should be legalized in the USA for medical and recreational use as well as a substitute. In general, drug use is harmful to the well-being of the people and marijuana is not an exception. Its use is bad for the people in all ways possible. Although marijuana can be used to benefit the people when used as a medical drug it can be harmful to its users. The drug is bad for the brain, and it can make someone stupid. Further, Marijuana is harmful to the lungs of a user. It is also dangerous for the heart of an individual has a habit of smoking the drug. Additionally, marijuana is risky for individuals that smoke it and plan to drive or operate any machine. Also, people that smoke marijuana are at risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia (In Compton and American Psychiatric Association, 2016). Therefore, despite being a medical drug that brings more benefits to patients by reducing pain and suffering, marijuana is also a threat to the wellbeing of its users.Drugs are also associated with increased rates of crime within the society. In the same way, marijuana is likely to cause more violent crimes in the community. The decision to legalize marijuana will not be able to mitigate the black markets. Further, legalization of the drug will not result in a decline in drug gangs. The gangs will continue to operate and sell the drug for profit motives. On the other hand, the drug users are likely to engage in violent crimes. Heavy smokers of the drug will be more involved in violent offenses in the society. Social problems will also increase as a result of the increased abuse of the drug because it will be legally allowed in the nation. However, despite the arguments against legalizing marijuana some people continue to support the notion that the drug should be made legal in the nation. Critics claim that legalizing marijuana increases its availability to the children. Legalizing marijuana can be harmful to the health of numerous individuals including the kids. Parents will be more worried about their children since the drug will be available to them at all times. Although the drug brings pleasure and happiness to the people who smoke it, it can be dangerous to the health of others. Further, marijuana can be the cause of increased violent offenses in society. Nevertheless, some people maintain that the drug is harmless as opposed to other legal drugs.It is imperative to understand that the decision to criminalize marijuana has not provided any positive results. Criminalization of the drug has had little impact in society concerning reducing its access to the youths (Siegel and Worrall, 2018). The drug is still available in black markets where the young individuals can purchase it. Further, criminalization of marijuana continues to increase the problems that are faced by law officers as they try to mitigate its use. The police get into fights with offenders as they try to charge them with the crime of possession and illegal sale of the drug. As such, legalization of the drug will bring more benefits to society than problems.Additionally, supporters of marijuana claim that the drug is harmless especially when compared to the legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco (Pacula, 2010). Marijuana can be an addictive drug to its users, but the same can be said for alcohol and tobacco. Also, trying to protect the people from the impact of marijuana would be less effective when other drugs are allowed in the country. Tobacco and alcohol are more addictive and can cause adverse effects on the health of the people. As such, given that the legal drugs are more addictive to the people making marijuana legal would not be a harmful choice in the country.It is true that some of the users of drugs like marijuana can develop an addiction that could be a problem for their health. However, it is imperative to understand the medical benefits that the drug brings to the society. The drug can be used to provide comfort by reducing the pain and suffering experienced by patients as they undergo certain treatment procedures like chemotherapy. Further, the drug should be made legal since it is harmless when compared to the legal drugs already being used in the nation such as tobacco and alcohol. The country should make efforts to criminalize the dangerous drugs like cocaine and heroin to mitigate their use and adverse effects on the people rather than waste resources on criminalizing a harmless drug. Therefore, marijuana should be legalized in the US to allow its use as a substitute, in recreation and medicine.ReferencesBarcott, B. (2015). Weed the people: The future of legal marijuana in America. Caulkins, J. P. (2016). Marijuana legalization. Oxford University Press. Dijkstra, V. (2013). Recreational and medical marijuana: Legalization conflicts and questions. Fox, S., Armentano, P., & Tvert, M. (2013). Marijuana is safer: So why are we driving people to drink?. In Compton, M. T., & American Psychiatric Association,. (2016). Marijuana and mental health. Martin, M., Rosenthal, E., & Carter, G. T. (2011). Medical marijuana 101. Oakland, Calif: Quick American Archives. Monte, A. A., Zane, R. D., & Heard, K. J. (2015). The implications of marijuana legalization in Colorado. Jama, 313(3), 241-242.Newton, D. E. (2013). Marijuana: A reference handbook. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO. Pacula, R. L. (2010). Examining the impact of marijuana legalization on marijuana consumption.Siegel, L. J., & Worrall, J. L. (2018). Introduction to criminal justice.