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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.
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.
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 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 the 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:
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:
(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.
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.
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:
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.
(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).
(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).
Why should be legalized?
Why shouldn’t be legalized?
• According to the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime 2014, Marijuana is the most prominent drug overall drugs in the global trend.
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).
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.
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.
Fact: THC presents in cannabis helps to activate the immune system rather than destroy it (WHO).
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).
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.
My viewpoint can be changed if the given points have evidence:
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.
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