While some Americans believe that marijuana should not be legalized because they believe it to be a safety and health concern, marijuana should be legalized because it has medicinal, economic, and environmental benefits.
The Argument Against
Some Americans believe that the use of marijuana is a gateway drug. This argument suggests that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to try cocaine and heroin. Those same Americans believe that marijuana is a safety concern .
Evidence for Anti decriminalization
Gateway drug; This argument suggests that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to continue drug use with even more dangerous substances, such as cocaine and heroin (Newton). Newton also explains, “The American Council for Drug Education, for example, has cited a study claiming that adolescents who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to go on to use cocaine than adolescents who do not smoke marijuana.”
Safety concern; The use of marijuana leads to other drugs, also believe that smoking the plant will lead to health problems. Hugghins says, “Despite these observations, the only confirmed negative effects of marijuana are caused by smoke inhalation.”
The Argument that discredits the previous argument
Gateway drug; While some Americans believe that marijuana is a gateway drug, that argument has since been discredited by recent research. According to a 2006 study by the American Psychiatric Association, people whose drug use escalates from alcohol to marijuana are no more likely to develop an addiction to drugs than those who follow a reverse pattern—using marijuana before abandoning it and substituting alcohol.
Health and safety concern; No cause for concern because nobody has been diagnosed with lung cancer due to the use of marijuana solely. A person is more likely to die from the smoking of a cigarette as opposed to smoking marijuana. People all around the world die from the smoke inhalation of tobacco cigarettes.
New research suggests that teens are more likely to drink and become dependent upon alcohol and tobacco in comparison to marijuana. Both of which are legal in America. Tobacco becomes readily available for teens as soon as they turn 18, and alcohol three short years after that. Meanwhile, the least addicting, and least harmful plant is illegal for consumption and possession in much of America. More than 480,000 people die a day from inhalation of Tobacco related illness as well as secondhand smoke. 16 million people currently suffer from smoke related illness but have not been pronounced dead yet.
Statistically speaking, nobody has ever died from the use of marijuana solely.
Marijuana actually has medicinal benefits. As well as economic and environmental benefits
Marijuana is a cure for severe nausea, as well as chronic pain and asthma. Patients who have smoked marijuana for pain and other illness have not become dependent nor have they died. Patients who smoke marijuana as a cure to an illness have only become more healthy.
Not only is marijuana a cure for illness, it also has economic benefits. The war on marijuana proves ineffective to this day and costs the US government billions of dollars. About 700,000 Americans are arrested annually for possession (Smith). Possession in small amounts can amount to years in federal prison for years on end. The money that would be saved from the wages of police officers would be significant if they would attend to more dire crimes- actual crimes. In Colorado, (legal) sales of recreational and medical marijuana totaled nearly $1 billion in 2015 (Smith). The United States as a whole, could generate revenue greater than one could imagine.
Hemp has traditionally been grown for utilitarian purposes such as making hemp twine, paper, cloth, and the all-important rope. Hemp is the best material to make rope of. Because hemp is fast growing and thrives in poor soil, it makes for a perfect resource. Hemp produces up to 75 tons of dry matter per acre. Hemp needs no fertilizers, no pesticides and thrives on CO2, helping with the greenhouse effect. It produces more fiber per pound than either cotton or flax, and these fibers are easily extracted in order to make hemp rope, twine, or cord.