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Should Marijuana be Legal? Argumentative Essay

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Updated: Jul 3rd, 2019

In the United State, various topics are being debated. However, among the most contentious and debated topics is whether marijuana ought to be legalized or not. Strong advocates for the legalization of cannabis claim that marijuana should be legalized because it numerous medical benefits. However, the opponents strongly assert that cannabis should be considered illegal because of its high abuse potential.

From the impetus that currently surrounds the topic under discussion, it is evident that various movements have gained momentum on the legalization of cannabis (Stateman, 2009).

In California, there are regions where the legalization of marijuana has been endorsed. A number of American citizens currently suppose that cannabis needs to be legalized. Others appear to be very skeptical about the adverse effects and health damage caused by marijuana.

The reasons why marijuana needs to be legalized are many, and they outweigh the rationale behind its illegalization. For instance, the Olympic swimming champion, Phelps Michael, lately appeared in the global news for consuming cannabis. This hurt Phelps repute and made him lose some cash in approval. These reports rekindled discussions on whether cannabis should be lawfully recognized or not.

Most debates conclude that the United States needs to legalize cannabis. Research has proved that the drug is neither hazardous nor very addictive as most opponents alleged. When marijuana is legalized, it might assist in stopping drug trafficking cartels and aid in impeding the criminal or gang activities.

This implies that, the U.S. economy will have an opportunity to save additional funds (Hollister, 1971). This cannot be realized unless marijuana, which has numerous medical benefits, is legalized.

It is perhaps very essential to be acquainted with an account of laws that surround marijuana in order to understand the reasons why the drug ought to be legalized. In the fiscal 1930s, various unenthusiastic misinformation concerning cannabis and its consumption emerged. For instance, in the financial year 1937, a popular movie dubbed ‘Reefer Madness’ depicted the negative effects of marijuana.

Reefer Madness showed that innocent teenagers experienced soul-destroying effects from the consumption of violent sedatives (Hollister, 1971). In 1938, the legislature had to pass the Marijuana Tax Law due to the off-putting info on cannabis. As a national law, the Marijuana Tax Law allowed the federal administration to arrest any person who consumed cannabis even if the nation had de-criminalized its usage.

This brought about various lawsuits, confusions, as well as unwillingness to carry out research on cannabis by the health sector. Thus, if marijuana laws could have been altered, the medical industry might have done many research studies on the drug. Lawsuit cases could have been reduced, and all citizens might have benefited from this.

Most individuals however, have their own reasons why they believe marijuana should not be legalized. According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuses) director, Volkow Nora, marijuana produces adverse behavioral, emotional, mental, and physical changes when consumed. For example, when teenagers increase the level of marijuana consumption, their development can be negatively affected.

The drug is harmful to the lungs and can cause short-term judgment, verbal skills, and memory impairments (Dubner, 2007). Nevertheless, research studies conducted on the health effects caused by cannabis is open to doubts. In fact, most studies have proved that incase the use of cannabis has negative outcomes they could be mild.

Moreover, similar sets of laws imposed on alcohol and tobacco consumption can proscribe the consumption of marijuana by the minors. Most anti-marijuana activists object its consumption by asserting that the drug is addictive. Research studies conducted by medical experts reveal that cannabis is just mildly addictive.

There are two standard reports from California University and Addiction Research Center that compared the level of addiction of marijuana, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and heroine (Stateman, 2009).

From these research reports, it emerged that marijuana was the least addictive while nicotine was the most addictive of all drugs under study. The legalization of marijuana is only criticized because the drug acts as an opening to the consumption of other dangerous drugs.

In the fiscal 2002, scholars conducted a study on the consumption of marijuana. Students were the study participants. The results showed that 74.0% had not tasted marijuana but 77.0% had already tried it in the past years (Messerili, 2007).

However, it was confirmed that the use of cannabis hardly results into the consumption of other more harmful drugs. The legalization of cannabis appears to be a rather intricate issue that is being opposed by most individuals and groups. The reasons behind the opponents’ claims cannot offset the various reasons why cannabis ought to be legalized.

If the U.S. legalizes the consumption of cannabis, the impacts caused by unlawful gangs and illegitimate drug trafficking will be lessened. For instance, the Mexican Officials and the United States drug enforcement agency raided a processing complex used to cultivate cannabis. They found about nine thousand stacks of cannabis that were valued at four billion US dollars.

This money was used to sustain businesses run by drug cartels and to finance various criminal activities. Hence, the streets will be safe if the rivalry amongst drug dealers and gangs is reduced. This can only be realized if the use of cannabis is endorsed.

In a ‘Marijuana Legalization Timeline’ article found at ProQuest, it emerged that in the fiscal 2008, drug cartels from Mexico generated a sum of $23.0 billion from the sale of drugs. Such cartels tend to fund and manage street supplying criminals in all regions within the state (Stateman, 2009).

The unlawful drug sellers only have interests to sell additional cannabis because the drug is illegal. Thus, if it is legalized, people who are encouraged by pushers and criminals to use marijuana may be few.

Sanctioning the use of cannabis can weaken drug cartels as well as lessen organized street crimes. Decimalization is another benefit that comes because of endorsing the use of cannabis. The United States incurs higher costs to prosecute and punish lawbreakers.

In California, Gray James, a superior court judge claimed that the state could save up to one billion US dollars if it stopped the imprisonment and persecution of the nonviolent cannabis consumers (Dubner, 2007).

A study conducted in 2005 showed that, the U.S. could gain about 6.20 billion annually if the country resorted to the taxation of cannabis at similar rates imposed on alcohol and tobacco products. Therefore, the benefits accruing from the legalization of cannabis can help the U.S. to increase its financial strength and evade the harsh economic times.

Cannabis also has some medicinal benefits that contribute to the justifications as to why the drug ought to be legalized. The information on legalizing marijuana indicates that there are no reported death cases resulting from cannabis consumption. When compared to alcohol and tobacco, cannabis is less harmful to individuals’ physical condition.

In fact, the drug can substitute about 10 to 20% of the medical prescriptions currently used. NIDA reported that cannabis has active elements that can be used to treat nausea, spastic muscles, pain, glaucoma, and appetite stimulation (Messerili, 2007).

Since marijuana has numerous medicinal benefits that are unenforced, the U.S. administration has no grounds to avoid sanctioning cannabis consumption. Thus, there are various grounds justifying why cannabis ought to be legalized as opposed to the weak reasons explaining why the U.S. needs to ban it.


Dubner, S. (2007). On the legalization – or not – of marijuana. Web.

Hollister, L. (1971). Hunger and appetite after single doses of marihuana, alcohol, and dextroamphetamine. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 12(1), pp.44-49.

Messerili, J. (2007). Should marijuana be legalized under any circumstances? . Web.

Stateman, A. (2009). Web.

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