4 Jun 2022


Should Marijuana be legalized?

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1139

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Marijuana also is known as cannabis is a drug that alters the brain function and leads to changes in discernment and behavior. It is gotten from the cannabis plant. It’s meant for medical and recreational use. Marijuana is mostly used for its physical and mental effects and a general change in behavior. Marijuana has its effects which might be long term or short term. The short-term effects include an increase in appetite, dry mouth, a decrease in short-term memory loss and impaired movement (Choo, Benz, Zaller, Warren, Rising & McConnell 2014). The long-term side effects of marijuana include behavioral problems in kids whose mother used cannabis while they were pregnant and decrease in mental ability in those who started using it as young adults. Marijuana has its positive and negative effects. Whether marijuana should be legalized is discussed in the following essay. 

Marijuana was introduced into the new world by the Spanish where it was a chief cash crop together with tobacco and was full-grown as a source of fiber. Later hemp was substituted by cotton as the main cash crop in the southern states. Marijuana then started being used in some medicines but in small quantities. It started to catch on in the 1920’s when it was prohibited to people in show business and jazz musicians (Anderson & Rees, 2014). By then marijuana shops and clubs sprung in the city. The authority tolerated it because it was not illegal the individuals who used marijuana were not making trouble for themselves and did not disturb the public. 

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Marijuana was then listed in the United States as a medicinal drug and was prescribed for nausea, labor pains and a pain reliever for cancer patients; it was also used as an intoxicant (Volkow, Baler, Compton, & Weiss, 2014). A campaign was led by the Department of tranquilizers and dangerous drugs and showed that marijuana was a strong drug and it’s an addicting element that would lead the user to tranquilizer addiction to the user. In the 1950’s marijuana was used by college students to rebel against authority. In the 1970 control substance, marijuana was classified as an illegal drug along with heroin. It was relative the most abused drug in the states. There was zero tolerance for marijuana by the government; this lead to the enforcement of severe laws and compulsory punishment for having marijuana (Cerdá, Wall, Keyes, Galea, & Hasin ,2012). There was also intensified attentiveness against trafficking of marijuana in the southern border. 

Following the research restraint and prohibition of marijuana, popular demand and state action reckoned conspicuously in the path towards legalization. People realize through personal experience that marijuana was not an evil weed as the federal government made it seem. In the recent years, these efforts extended beyond the healing uses of marijuana to fruitful campaigns in some states to decriminalize its recreational use. Countless Americans hail these efforts as the achievement of average people over a draconian lawful system that imprisons large numbers of drug users who are not violent unnecessarily, a futile War on Drugs and an insensitive regulatory government that repudiates easily assimilated relief to patients who are suffering (Joffe &Yancy, 2004). Through campaigns, nine states voted towards legalizing marijuana and won. The states that legalized cannabis for recreational drives have landed on a business model, where private businesses sell the drug for profits. The state government also imposed some restrictions on sales, which including an age necessity, how much a person can buy and have at once, the packaging of the marijuana, and taxes. 

There are benefits involved with legalizing marijuana. The first one is that marijuana has good health benefits for cancer patients. The marijuana helps to make the pain bearable and it makes it easier on the patient. It also helps with the patient appetite, this enables the patients to take in healthy foods and it enables to maintain a good health which hastens their recovery. Secondly, legalization of marijuana helps to reduce the black markets (Galston & Dionne, 2013). It also helps reduce the crime rate and illegal activities that take place. This will enable the police to concentrate on more serious issues that citizens are going through. Legalizing marijuana has been proven beneficial on pregnant women. It helps decrease nausea and excessive vomiting. Lastly, legalizing marijuana will be beneficial to the economy. Marijuana can help increase revenue by taxing it. In the states that it has been legalized have recorded that marijuana has generated almost double tax revenue compared to alcohol. 

Marijuana legalization has its disadvantages; the first one is that marijuana is addictive. Users develop a dependence on it over time. And if an individual quits it abruptly they could develop withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and irritability. Secondly, the user could develop a decrease in mental health. Marijuana users have restricted blood flow to the brain which leads to loss of memory and this can increase the likelihood of depression. Marijuana smokers are also at a risk of developing lung cancer due to holding in the smoke which is very harmful to the individual. In addition, marijuana alters the user’s perception. Impaired judgment can lead to problems of impaired driving which can lead to accidents and people might die. Due to lapse in judgment individuals might engage in hard crèmes like robbery (Hurley & Mazor, 2013). Lastly, some marijuana users tangled in unlawful purchasing and peddling of the drug are more likely to get involved in other serious crimes and that society is harmless with marijuana criminals imprisoned. 

There are arguments that people have on legalizing marijuana. Some individuals argue that Delinquency and viciousness, both in the U.S. and at the United States and Mexico border, are highly elevated due to unlawful peddling and purchasing of marijuana. Authorization would reasonably end the necessity for such illegal behavior. Another argument is that Marijuana is no more damaging to a individual's wellbeing than alcohol and tobacco, which are both authorized and commonly used and controlled by the United States Food & Drug Management. Another important point that is argued is that cannabis has established medicinal welfare for people suffering from illnesses and infections, which including cancer, AIDS, and glaucoma (Hall &Weier, 2015). However, there are individuals who are against the legalization of marijuana their arguments include the Long-term or use for the wrong purpose usage of cannabis can be damaging to a individual's interests and well-being. Another argument is that certain Americans trust that it’s just dissipated to use cannabis. They also argue that consistent cannabis intake can lead to the intake of tougher, more destructive drugs such as heroin and cocaine. 

In conclusion, legalization of marijuana has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of legalizing marijuana are more pressing and it will end up benefiting the citizens state economically and security. Legalizing marijuana will help with the sick patients and make it easier to handle their illness. It will also give the public the right to choose what to use for recreation. Use of marijuana is less harmful compared to alcohol and tobacco. 


Anderson, D. M., & Rees, D. I. (2014). The Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: How Likely Is the Worst‐Case Scenario? Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 33(1), 221-232. 

Cerdá, M., Wall, M., Keyes, K. M., Galea, S., & Hasin, D. (2012). Medical marijuana laws in 50 states: investigating the relationship between state legalization of medical marijuana and marijuana use, abuse and dependence. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 120(1), 22-27. 

Choo, E. K., Benz, M., Zaller, N., Warren, O., Rising, K. L., & McConnell, K. J. (2014). The impact of state medical marijuana legislation on adolescent marijuana use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(2), 160-166. 

Galston, W. A., & Dionne Jr, E. J. (2013). The new politics of marijuana legalization: why opinion is changing. Governance Studies at Brookings, 1-17. 

Hall, W., & Weier, M. (2015). Assessing the public health impacts of legalizing recreational cannabis use in the USA. Clinical pharmacology & therapeutics, 97(6), 607-615. 

Hurley, W., & Mazor, S. ( 2013 ). Anticipated medical effects on children from legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington State: a poison centre perspective. JAMA pediatrics, 167(7), 602-603. 

Joffe, A., & Yancy, W. S. (2004). Legalization of marijuana: potential impact on youth. Pediatrics, 113(6), e632-e638. 

Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(23), 2219-2227. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 17). Should Marijuana be legalized?.


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