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Legalization of Marijuana: Advantages Outweigh The Disadvantages

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Contentious Issue
  3. Stakeholders:
  4. Supportive Stakeholders
    Government/illegalization activists/council
    Illegalization activists
    Personal Opinion
    Opinion changed
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to discuss and analyze the contentious issues about “Should marijuana be legalized?” Marijuana is most commonly used drug throughout the world and has been used for different purposes such as recreational activities, and medicinal purposes. It has been widely used for spiritual and religious purposes in ancient times. However, misuses can create harmful effects to health as well as to society. Hence, it is one of the controversial issues in today’s world. This report believes to analyse the various stakeholders’ issues, their perspectives to legalize or illegalize, and my stance with it.

Contentious Issue

Marijuana has oldest history throughout human civilization. One of the oldest history of marijuana can be found from the Chinese civilization in 2737 BC (Narconon, 2018). Eventually, it has been used all over the world. There wasn’t any law against the use of marijuana till 1900’s but in 1913 first law in contradiction of marijuana was conceded in California (Anon, 2018).

As the consumer of marijuana is increasing, around 183 million people use marijuana till 2015 which is 3.8% adult population of world (Eve Ripley, 2017). Some countries have already begun to raise voice for the legalization of marijuana. However, there is still the deliberate among the supportive and non-supportive stakeholders. According to UN Medical Journal, The Lanchet, in Australia, 16% of cannabis users in Oceania region along with New Zealand had made the largest cannabis users countries in the world. Moreover, survey conducted by ABC News, 2015, in NSW among 35,000, 79% strongly supported the legalization of marijuana. Meanwhile, at the beginning of 2017, the Australian government has permitted to access medical cannabis to chronic and serious illnesses (Killalea 2017). Besides Australia, Canada, Uruguay, Netherland have legalized too and some other nations have begun their footsteps toward its legalization (Kalvapalle 2017).

Having the footsteps for the legalization, the underlying debate of the issue is social, economic and health sectors. The strong opposition viewpoints of both sides have made marijuana legalization as a controversial topic around the world in the current situation.

Stakeholders:

There are different types of stances regarding to the legalization of marijuana. The following table provides some of the key stakeholders’ viewpoints and my opinion and option towards those principles.

Stakeholders’ Stance My opinion on the stance

Recreational consumers of Cannabis cannot make addiction. It has countess effective than alcohol and cigarette whereas they are legal. Even though it doesn’t create any serious health issues but excess and long-term consumption can cause serious health issues.

Government/ Constituent council Marijuana can cause addiction and the doorway to drugs. Hence its supply should be legitimate under strict and extreme circumstances. The rate of addiction is less than alcohol and cigarette users. Hence, the strict rule can be applied for its inappropriate use only.

Illegalization activists Marijuana is inapplicable for health and so many lives can destroy because of its addiction. Hence it should be outlawed There is no such record that marijuana has caused death. Thus, legalization should be flexible in need

Pharmaceutical Body It is necessary to legalize and supply for medicinal purposes but from the accredited pharmaceutical body only. It is better to give licenses to both farmers and pharmaceutical companies to get the benefit from it.

Cultivators or farmers Cultivators stance that marijuana farming is one of the sources to uplift their income. It should be legalized for harvesting Legalisation of marijuana can help to uplift the income of cultivators.

Medicinal users Marijuana helps to relieve the pain and can use for so many other medicinal purposes. Chronically illness and critical condition patients should be given a prescription of marijuana from the doctor.

Following are the more elaboration and analyses of stakeholders’ viewpoints:

Supportive Stakeholders

Recreational consumers:

Marijuana is frequently used plant for recreational purposes. One of the stakeholders to support the legalization of marijuana is recreational users and their arguments are:

  • Marijuana is an herbal plant, not a drug
  • It cannot create any serious health issues instead it can cure lots of health-related problems.
  • There is no such record of death caused by marijuana. It is not psychologically addictive, unlike others drugs and alcohol.
  • The addiction rate is only 9% (Barclay 2016)
  • In Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek religions marijuana was used for spiritual and religious proposes (Royal seeds, 2017)
  • A to research conducted by Columbia University, the biggest risk of accident is caused by alcohol with comparison to other drugs. The given graph illustrates the accidental effect of California in 2015, where marijuana has a very least accidental effect (Lopez 2015).

Farmers and Economy:

(Claughton 2017) in Australia, twenty-five applications have been received to produce and manufacture for medicinal purposes. Recent cannabis agriculture in Australia is evaluated of $100 million worth per year which is a substantial amount in the agriculture economy. Australia along with the Netherlands, Canada, and Israel has targeted the “Fast-growing legal global marijuana market” where they have predicted to $63.5 billion worth by 2024 (Smyth, 2018). Similarly, research conducted by Archie, a cannabis venture group in the United State marijuana worth in 2016 was $4.8 billion which is projected to hit $ 7.4 billion by 2021. Hence marijuana can be an economic crop.

Medical Consumers:

According to the research conducted by Deloitte, around 30,000 people of Australia suffering from diseases like HIV, epileptic seizures along with other dangerous and serious afflictions will be benefitted by legalized medicinal marijuana. In US 2016, 260,407,9 populations out of 323,086,798 used legal medicinal marijuana. Moreover, at the same year in US nearly 90% of doctors supported the legalization of marijuana (Ingraham 2016). Hence medical users strongly support the legalization of marijuana.

Non-supportive Stakeholders

Government/illegalization activists/council

Even though the government and other council bodies are trying to legalize marijuana, because of its negative effects, they cannot entirely deny illegalization policy because in some extreme cases it is needed. The key debating points are:

  • Marijuana is the pathway of drug abuse and can cause addiction.
  • Legalization can cause even more abusers which can cause violence in society.
  • It has a few advantages but the rest are harmful disadvantages.
  • As it alters brain function which can cause various kinds of accidents.

In the context of Australia, the federal government has permitted to use of marijuana for medical purposes such as chronic illness (Killalea, 2017). According to data collected by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014, marijuana users are basically of 15-19 aged group and marijuana is used more than other kinds of drugs which has been raised from 19% in 2007 to 21% in 2010 (Refers Fig. 2). Moreover, according to the Australian Bureau 2008, 7% of users of 25 and over and 18% of 15-24 aged group use marijuana daily basis. It depicts that the addiction trend is more influenced in the younger population.

Illegalization activists

(Casavant, 2001) Illegalization activists argue that marijuana is associated with criminal activities. In Canada 2000, among 87,945 illicit drugs offense, 66,171 was marijuana offenders. In Europe, most crimes was related to marijuana. A record presented by the insurance company, Institute for Highways Safety, between 2012 to 2016 in Washington, Colorado and Oregon, car crash claim due to marijuana smoke and drive was higher by 3% (Ingraham, 2017).

1. Medicinal companies:

(Lavin, 2017) one of the protesters for the legalization of marijuana is a pharmaceutical company and they are arguing to hand over the production and distribution to produce pain killers and other various types of medicines because, after legalization, the production of important drugs such as nausea pills and anxiety pills are hugely decreasing because its potential can replace medical tablets.  In Medicare, around $174 million budget had been spent per year for marijuana legalization in the US which indicates that pharmaceutical companies have lost a significant amount of budget (Ashley and Bradford 2016).

2. Outline and Statistics:

Why should be legalized?

  • The global marijuana market is worth 36 billion (Zhang, 2017)
  • Law enforcement spends $10.7 billion per year for the prohibition where more than $42 billion costs taxpayers per year (Armentano 2017).
  • Australian domestic market of marijuana is valued at more than 100 million (Brooks and Wynn, 2017)
  • The addiction rate is 9% which is less than other illicit drugs and alcohol
  • Patients having serious diseases like; chronic pain, HIV, cancer epilepsy can be experienced benefits from medicinal marijuana (Brooks and Wynn, 2017)
  • According to research conducted by CBS News in US, it is around 7 times less harmful than alcohol.
  • Similarly, according to CBC News in US, the majority of people are supporting the legalization of marijuana. In 1997, 51% of people protest legalization but by 2017 it alters and 61% of people support the legalization of marijuana.

Why shouldn’t be legalized?

  • According to the foundation of Drug-Free World, there are short-term and long-term health-related issues of marijuana:
  1. Short-term issues: panic, hallucination, lower reaction time, more like to have sexually transmitted diseases, heart attack, cause violent and crime
  2. Long-term issues: addiction and gateway to drugs, development of opiate abuse, antisocial behaviors, the greater chance of unemployed and uneducated.

• According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime 2014, Marijuana is the most prominent drug overall drugs in the global trend.

3. Fallacious ideas and facts

  • Fallacy: marijuana is the gateway to drugs.

Fact: Current study on rhesus monkeys has experienced after giving marijuana they were given heroin, they were less attractive and rewarding because THC presents in marijuana recovered morphine and heroin addiction (Szalavitz 2015).

  • Fallacy: Marijuana cause brain damage

Fact: Short-term memory loss is only temporary action. Morgan and Zimmer 2015, Rhesus monkeys were given 4-5 joints each day for a year, nothing was changed in their brain function and cell, rather it was proven that it increased some brain functions which helps to activate the creative side. Also, according to World Health Organisation, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contains in cannabis helps to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Fallacy: Marijuana is physically addictive.

Fact: Marijuana is not addictive, unlike alcohol and cigarette. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, its addiction rate is only 9%. THC presents in marijuana helps to recover morphine and heroin addiction.

  • Fallacy: Marijuana defeats the immune system

Fact: THC presents in cannabis helps to activate the immune system rather than destroy it (WHO).

  • Fallacy: Marijuana smoking cause cancer

Fact: Even though a small piece of burnt carbon injury the lungs and throats, THC and CB2 presents outweigh the injury. It also helps to stop breast cancer, recover the death cells and reduce the tumor’s size in the lungs as well as the brain. It also heals the pain of cancer patients in chemotherapy and cancer itself (WHO).

Personal Opinion

Having long research about both aspects of marijuana legalization, I come to the conclusion that it should be legalized but under rigidly enforced law and regulation. Through the research, I have found that it has insignificantly less effect than that of legalized alcohol and cigarettes. It has very less addiction rate i.e. 9%only. Legalization helps to stop the black market and that hidden income (prohibition) can invest in social development purposes. According to the research in Washington, after legalizing of marijuana, violence and crime related to the marijuana market was fell. In 2011, there were 295.6 violent offenses was reported per 100,000 which became 284.4 per 100,000 by 2015 (Ryder, 2017) which proves that legalization helps to reduce criminal activities too. Moreover, it has significant value for medicinal purposes, especially for fatally ill people. Also, local farmers can have the benefit to uplift their income. Hence it has great economic value. However, there is the issue of a gateway to drugs but research has discovered that there is no such evidence that it has led to use other drugs furthermore. Even WHO has presents a report regarding to the importance of THC and other important substances present in marijuana. Thus, its benefits outweigh its harmful effects. Hence, I believe that it should be legalized without any exploitation through strict rules.

Opinion changed

My viewpoint can be changed if the given points have evidence:

  • If there are more research and proof about marijuana can cause death
  • If there are evidence that marijuana can cause harmful health effects.
  • If there are concrete evidences about marijuana is the gateway to the drugs
  • If there are concrete evidences that it cannot have economic value.
  • If there are more research, data, and evidence that it has more disadvantages than advantages.

Conclusion

Marijuana is an herbal plant that is used for different purposes such as recreational, medicinal, and religious is now one of the controversial issues about whether it should be legalized or not because of its misuse lots of social and health-related issues are arising. After the wide research, it is found that most the people support the legalization of marijuana because its advantages outweigh the disadvantages, especially for medicinal purposes. However, this issue still remains unresolved.

References

  1. An Estimated 183 Million People Worldwide Use Cannabis – Medical Marijuana, Inc. News 2018, Medical Marijuana, Inc. News. viewed 1 February 2018,
  2. https://news.medicalmarijuanainc.com/estimated-183-million-people-use-cannabis-worldwide/
  3. Anon, 2018, viewed 9 February 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/monazhang/2017/11/07/global-marijuana-market-31-billion-investors-cautious/#75f0a9057297
  4. Anon, 2018, viewed 13 February 2018, http://healthpsych.psy.vanderbilt.edu/2009/MarijuanaBrain.htm
  5. Anon, 2018, viewed 13 February 2018, https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/consumer-industrial-products/articles/medicinal-cannabis-australia-emerging-industry.html
  6. Anon, 2018, viewed 11 February 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/
  7. Anon, 2018, viewed 13 February 2018, https://www.vox.com/2015/2/25/8104917/drug-dangers-marijuana-alcohol
  8. Anon, 2018, viewed 13 February 2018, http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6517-massive-majority-of-australians-support-legalisation-of-medicinal-marijuana-201510252317
  9. Anon, 2018, viewed 13 February 2018, https://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2014/World_Drug_Report_2014_web.pdf
  10. Cannabis and Religion: When Spirituality and Marijuana Coincide – RQS Blog 2018, Royalqueenseeds.com. viewed 5 February 2018, https://www.royalqueenseeds.com/blog-a-brief-history-of-cannabis-use-in-world-religions-n624
  11. Claughton, D. 2018, Interest in growing medicinal cannabis is strong, ABC Rural. viewed 13 February 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2017-02-22/medicinal-cannabis-new-agricultural-opportunity/8287346
  12. Exclusive: U.S. Marijuana Sales Could Rise 35% in 2017, Hit $17B Annually by 2021 2018, Marijuana Business Daily. viewed 8 February 2018, https://mjbizdaily.com/exclusive-u-s-marijuana-sales-rise-35-2017-hit-17b-annually-2021/
  13. History of Marijuana 2018, narconon.org. viewed 3 February 2018, http://www.narconon.org/about-narconon/
  14. Kalvapalle, R. 2018, Weed around the world: what legal marijuana looks like in other countries, Global News. viewed 4 February 2018, https://globalnews.ca/news/3378603/marijuana-laws-around-the-world/
  15. Marijuana as Medicine 2018, Drugabuse.gov. viewed 7 Feb

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Legalization of Marijuana: Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/legalization-of-marijuana-advantages-outweigh-the-disadvantages/
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Legalization of Marijuana: Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/legalization-of-marijuana-advantages-outweigh-the-disadvantages/> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2022].
Legalization of Marijuana: Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 Nov 29]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/legalization-of-marijuana-advantages-outweigh-the-disadvantages/
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