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Akhil Gundabathula

Ms. Lydia Allen

RHET 1302

23 April 2017

Word count: 1532

The legalization of marijuana

The legalization of marijuana has been a highly-debated topic for many years now. While

marijuana might be a drug that is addictive, it also has its medical uses. There are many cases

today where people are finding marijuana to be very helpful in treatment. Various medical

conditions like AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and Cancer can be treated with marijuana. There are many

people who don’t have a general knowledge about the drug and think that it is a gateway drug to

other hardcore drugs such as cocaine or meth. Marijuana has actually been legal for thousands of

years up until the early twentieth century. Around that time, the Mexican-Americans were

smoking marijuana and brought the plant with them. In order to drive out the Mexicans the states

started establishing marijuana prohibition laws and soon enough marijuana was illegal all over

the country. The Americans thought that the Mexicans were crazy and the reason behind that is

the use of marijuana. There was no scientific evidence that marijuana was actually harmful. The

government decided to make it illegal due to politics. People should be brought to light about the

facts about marijuana. They should be given the pros and cons of using this drug and then an

explanation as to why it would be better to legalize and regulate the drug. Currently, marijuana is

classified as a schedule 1 substance, which means that it has no legal medical use and it can be

highly abused, but there are many instances where this is not strictly true. In this paper, I intend
to prove why marijuana should be legalized and how legalizing marijuana would actually benefit

society socially, economically and medically.

The reason why most people think marijuana should not be legalized is because they

think that it causes injury. It is true that smoking marijuana can cause harm to your lungs and

also your brain, however, the use of marijuana has never been directly linked to causing cancer.

Additionally, marijuana is said to be a “gateway drug”. Many people get harmed by marijuana

from abusing the drug, but too much use of any substance like alcohol or tobacco can lead to an

addiction and abuse. It also true that people who try marijuana are more likely to try other harder

drugs than those who have never tried marijuana. It is because of this that people say marijuana

is a “gateway drug”. Another popular opinion among people who don’t want the drug to be

legalized is the thought that people who use marijuana are very likely to commit crimes. The use

of marijuana reduces a person’s ability to control their body. In the past, some criminals who

have been arrested have been tested positive for marijuana use and so crime is linked to


Further research into how marijuana can actually create harm will reveal that there is, in

most cases, a harder drug involved, and that many times the criminal punishment of marijuana

users actually worsens their interactions with society. The fact that marijuana does not make a

person violent is also revealed through more research. Smoking or eating marijuana would make

a person dizzy and make their reaction time slower. Marijuana users usually get this feeling

called “high” which makes them feel happy, relaxed, or detached from reality. Usually marijuana

users just sit in one place and tend to be lost in their thoughts. There are rarely any cases where

people go berserk and show unusual or violent behavior. The prolonged use of marijuana could

affect the brain, but using it occasionally does not affect the brain except for during the time in
which one is intoxicated. As far as addiction goes, only ten percent of people who have tried

marijuana get addicted. Light usage of the drug is not necessarily bad and does not result in

addiction. In fact, a good amount of people function better under the influence of marijuana, as it

increases creative potential. Take Caffeine, for example. Caffeine is scientifically proven to

boost work productivity. Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are all said to be more addictive than

marijuana. Therefore, getting addicted to marijuana is not too much of a problem.

Marijuana can be used for many medical purposes. It is used in treating Arthritis,

Alzheimer’s, migraines, hepatitis C, Glaucoma, psychological conditions and many other

conditions. Some doctors even recommend using marijuana for medical purposes. Marijuana has

never directly killed anyone in all of recorded history. The drug is used to help people suffering

with AIDS or other diseases to tolerate the pain. There are many successful cases where a patient

was given marijuana to help with the treatment and it helped with their recovery. According to

researchers in California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, CBD, a chemical found in

marijuana, stops cancer from spreading. Marijuana helps soothe pain and tremors for people with

Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, people going through chemotherapy suffer from vomiting,

loss of appetite and painful nausea which in turn can cause new health problems. These people

are given marijuana to cope with the pain and to stimulate hunger. It also helps people with

anxiety issues or depression. From this we can conclude that marijuana is very beneficial to the

medical department. It would bring forth a mentally healthier society.

A lot of people think that marijuana causes crime, however, this was proven wrong when

marijuana was legalized in Colorado and the crime rates dropped significantly in the following

year. The reason why crime rates are higher when marijuana is illegal is because thousands of

people get arrested for the possession of marijuana even though they don’t have it for the wrong
reasons. Getting arrested has a negative impact on the life of the person who is arrested. It is

harder for that person to get a job. Legalizing marijuana would reduce the number of arrests for

the possession of marijuana and the people being arrested would be arrested for the right reasons.

Also, legalizing marijuana would be highly beneficial to the economy. The government could tax

the drug just like it taxes other legal drugs, such as alcohol or tobacco. Taxing marijuana would

provide the government with a lot of additional income. Another effect of legalizing marijuana is

the reduction of drug dealers. Most drug dealers are mainly used to obtain marijuana instead of

hard drugs. Legalizing marijuana would cut off most of their income and this would result in a

decline of underworld drug dealers. This would also reduce the number of underage users since

they wouldn’t be able to get access to the drug easily. There will also be laws placed restricting

the use of marijuana to people only above the age of 21. Additionally, people wouldn’t be

growing the plant illegally in their homes or personal gardens. Instead the plant would be

properly cultivated on farmland. This would result in the creation of many new jobs.

Colorado can be used as an example to prove that legalizing marijuana will provide

positive results. In the year 2015 Colorado generated $2.4 billion in economic activity. They also

created 18,000 new full-time jobs. The people who grow marijuana would have to buy or rent

out more space and purchase materials and other equipment that are essential for the cultivation

of marijuana. Various services will be required to maintain the business of cultivating and

distributing marijuana. This not only helps with unemployment but it also helps the economy

grow. The state of Colorado said that the money it would receive through taxing marijuana

would be used to build schools.

Marijuana has also been used for industrial purposes. Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis

sativa plant species. Hemp is used for clothing, food, beverages, paper, building supplies, plastic,
and fuel. The cannabis plant can be used for more than just medical and recreational purposes.

The quality of the cloth made from hemp is superior to that off cotton. Growing it is very safe

because it barely requires any pesticides and it produces oxygen. Hemp can also replace tree

paper since the process of making paper from hemp isn’t as harmful as making paper from trees

that uses chlorine bleach which results in waste product.

Legalizing marijuana will benefit the society economically, socially and medically.

Making the drug available to the public with certain laws placed on it will restrict the use of

marijuana and it would lead to a safer environment. Crime rates would be reduced due to the

decrease in arrests for marijuana possession. The society will be mentally healthier because of

the regulation of the use of marijuana. People will be able to have access to the drug to treat

various diseases that they might be suffering with. The drug would also be available to access for

recreational use. Also, putting taxes on marijuana would allow the government to gain additional

revenue. There would be an increase in the number of jobs and unemployment rates would go

down. The number of underworld drug dealers would be reduced by a massive amount. These

are all reasons on why marijuana should be legalized. Marijuana should be legalized for the

benefit of our society and not legalizing it would cause more harm than good.
Works Cited

Ginsberg, Irving J., and James R. Greenley. “Competing Theories of Marijuana Use: A

Longitudinal Study.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, vol. 19, no. 1, 1978,

pp. 22–34.,

Green, Brian E., and Christian Ritter. “Marijuana Use and Depression.” Journal of Health and

Social Behavior, vol. 41, no. 1, 2000, pp. 40–49.,

Hickenlooper, John W. “Experimenting with Pot: The State of Colorado's Legalization of

Marijuana.” The Milbank Quarterly, vol. 92, no. 2, 2014, pp. 243–249.,

"Top 10 Reasons To Legalize Marijuana." N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2017.

"Medical Marijuana - Menace or Relief?" N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Apr. 2017.

KXLY. "Dad Gives Toddler Battling Brain Cancer Medical Marijuana." YouTube. YouTube, 29

Apr. 2011. Web. 13 Apr. 2017.