You may know it as weed, bud, the devil’s lettuce, or the countless other names associated with marijuana, but however you identify it, marijuana plays a big role in our society today. For decades, there has been a debate about whether or not marijuana should be federally legalized across the United States. Here are some reasons as to why we should not longer stigmatize marijuana.
Despite the constant debate, marijuana is not addictive. According to former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, THC is not addictive, unlike alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Although people are able to gain a tolerance to THC, they do not gain a dependency like you would to alcohol or tobacco products. In addition to this, it’s been proven that marijuana is less likely to cause potential health problems.
According to the American Cancer Society, marijuana has been deemed helpful when treating nausea and vomiting among cancer patients. Furthermore, patients who have used marijuana have reported feeling less pain and require less medication.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 130 people die every day in the US because of an opioid overdose. In contrast, it’s been proven impossible to overdose on marijuana. Furthermore, while a majority of people start off using additive pain killers to reduce their pain, they soon progress to using hard drugs like heroin. Studies show that legalizing marijuana would provide a safer alternative to addictive pain killers and opioids that are killing hundreds of Americans each day.
Based on the Monitoring the Future survey distributed to high school seniors, it’s not hard for high school students to find a dealer who will sell them marijuana. This is because drug dealers aren’t concerned about who they sell their product to. While it’s no secret teenagers will access other ways to buy pot, at least the pot they’ll be buying will be safer than what they’re getting from the streets. By legalizing marijuana, you’re forcing marijuana sales to take place in stores that are designated for people who are of age. Additionally, the marijuana you’ll be purchasing will be much safer and organic compared to dealers who are selling fatal synthetic weed.
Today, Government data shows that more than 118 million people have admitted to trying marijuana. Despite the constant fight to keep marijuana from being legalized, Americans are still finding ways to access it. Although there have been hundreds of health concerns traced back to tobacco and alcohol use, we continue to legalize drugs that harm Americans, but won’t legalize marijuana which has been proven to help them.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness among Americans. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 40 million adults, 18 and older, experience some form of anxiety. Depending on the strain of Marijuana, it has been proven to help treat anxiety immensely. According to publications like “HighTimes” and “Leafly”, strains with higher soothing CBD, rather than higher THC, ease anxiety. Although 40 million people suffer from anxiety, only 39% of people seek help or treatment. While some people are open to taking prescription drugs to treat their anxiety, others rely on marijuana because it’s more natural compared to pharmaceutical drugs.
According to the FBI, 13 million marijuana arrests have been made since 1995. Of those 13 million arrests, 89% were for possession. As of today, California, Washington, D.C., Alaska, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, and Nevada has legalized marijuana. Since legalization, marijuana arrests have decreased significantly, resulting in millions of dollars being saved and thousands of being haunted by a lifelong criminal record. With the millions of dollars saved, multiple states have decided to use tax revenue to further fund their education systems. Additionally, other states have used tax revenue to fund drug treatment and prevention centers. If marijuana were to be federally legalized, not only would arrests decrease as a whole, but the tax revenue from marijuana could be used toward state school funds and other community needs. Furthermore, since these states legalized marijuana, overdose death rates and opioid dependency has decreased significantly.