The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

Search site

Marijuana should be legalized for medical, recreational purposes

With recent discussion over marijuana legalization in the United States, three different camps have arisen.  One definite side, believes legalizing the drug for recreational and medical use is necessary and that the nation would benefit from it.  Another side believes that marijuana is an illicit substance for good reason and should stay that way.  The final side is somewhat undecided;  often praising marijuana for its medicinal qualities, while still questioning the necessity of recreational use.  

Becoming more educated about this generally beneficial substance is important to removing oneself from this middle ground and joining the more enlightened group that encourages legalization.  Legalization of marijuana is inevitable, and through information one can understand why this plant is a huge step towards an improved nation.

Marijuana legalization would greatly benefit the U.S. from a financial standpoint.  Projections show that legalizing marijuana could save the U.S. up to $8.7 billion.  This money would be saved by freeing space in the already overcrowded prison system and allowing law enforcement to spend more time focusing on violent crime.  In 2010, over 50 percent of all drug related arrests were for marijuana.  Most of these arrests do not involve a drug trafficker, but simply a single individual with a small amount of marijuana.

The U.S. would also profit off of the taxation of marijuana.  Studies predict America could raise between 5 and 22 billion dollars annually.  In Colorado, where marijuana was legalized for recreational and medicinal purposes in 2014, legal marijuana was a 700 million dollar industry.  Around 63 million dollars was made through taxation of the drug.  

Currently, illegal transactions of the drug damage the government by pumping money into a black market.  With the creation of government-run marijuana dispensaries, money can be earned to improve school systems and programs that provide aid to those who are less fortunate.

N.C., specifically, would reap tremendous benefits from the legalization of marijuana.  N.C.’s economy is largely agricultural based.  As a state, we have a history of growing cash crops.  North Carolina is the number one producer of tobacco in the U.S., a substance that is responsible for over 480.000 deaths annually.

Conversely, marijuana has been linked to a number of medical benefits.  Doctors can prescribe medical marijuana to multiple sclerosis patients suffering from muscle spasms, cancer patients with nausea caused by chemotherapy and those who are victims of chronic seizures.  To prevent further illness from smoke inhalation often associated with marijuana, the drug can be vaporized, taken in pill form or baked into cookies and other edibles.  There are very few minor side effects such as drowsiness, short-term memory loss and dizziness.

By legalizing marijuana, the government can regulate and enforce strong standards for a typically harmless drug which is not going anywhere.  To produce a lethal overdose on marijuana an adult must smoke 1,500 pounds of the drug in a fifteen minute span.  The real danger associated with marijuana is the risk of purchasing from a dealer who has laced it with other drugs.  This issue would be completely avoided if the government regulated the production and sale of marijuana.

The topic of marijuana legalization will remain at the forefront of political debates alongside other controversial issues until we finally make the correct decision.  The correct decision is to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes.  The benefits to the economy, law enforcement and safety of our citizens far outweigh any possible consequences.

More to Discover
Donate to ATHENS ORACLE
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal