Why Legalize?

Shows the marijuana plant

sourced from livescience.com

Picture of a marijuana plant.

Paul Navis

There is a general level of stigma around the use of marijuana in the United States, Marijuana can be very helpful to some people for health benefits. Refusing to legalize marijuana for the general public is overall worse for society than if we allow its sale.

One major impact the legalization of marijuana would have is a huge boost to the economy. According to Procon.org, the marijuana industry could surpass $24 billion by 2025. Legalizing marijuana would likely increase this profit as business spreads and becomes more accessable. For example, Colorado marijuana takes in 3 times as much tax revenue as alcohol. Appling this to other, larger states such as New York would create a much larger market boosting the economy.

In fact when it comes to the idea of public view, marijuana use is becoming more popular. According to drugpolicy.org, both New York and New Mexico are both attempting to pass laws that legalize marijuana. This would add to the 15 states that already have legalized marijuana.  These states joining are likely to cause more to follow as legalizing marijuana is supported by more people and is viewed differently. A CBS poll finds that in 2019,  65% of people want to legalize marijuana, This is up from 59% in 2018 and 45% in 2013. These numbers seem to support that eventually marijuana will become normalized enough to be legal in most states.

Legalizing marijuana can also have major health benefits for people. According to harvard.edu, CBD, which comes from marijuana, is shown to help with many health issues including, relieving anxiety, insomnia, and pain from disorders such as epilepsy. Medical marijuana can also help with pain management. While this is not intended to help with pain as it relates to post surgery or injury, it can help with things such as chronic pain and is less dangerous then things such as opiates. 

Due to the stigma around marijuana usage, many are not able to use marijuana for these means. Jeremy Wilson, Blythewood Junior, had this to say, “ I think it’s fine for medical purposes but outside of that I don’t think it should be legal if people are only going to use it to become high”. This may sound like it goes against recreational marijuana usage but it forgets that many people may need marijuana for medical purposes but can not get it prescribed due to it being illegall. While this sounds like he is against recreational use of marijuana, this forgets that many don’t use recreational marijuana “to become high”. Many feel that they need it for medical purposes such as relieving anxiety.

Marijuana is mostly controversial because of it’s connection to crime..According to The Hill, “In Denver, the homicide rate has steadily climbed from 36 in 2013 to a peak of 67 in 2018.” Other places also had this increase such as seattle and the district of colombia. This is powerful evidence to show an increase in crime. The same article however goes on to state the reason being that black markets are now becoming more competitve driving rates lower and making marijuana easier to obtain. If the legalization of marijuana becomes easier on a federal level this is likely to die down a bit making crime rates go down as well.