Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana for private personal use. Therefore, I support legislation amending federal law to eliminate all federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana” (Carter, 1977).
Carter’s quote makes a lot of sense, especially when he points out that penalties for drug possession should not be more damaging to a person than the drug itself. However, this statement is also refutable. Many people are against the legalization of marijuana simply because they believe it is “bad,” without actually knowing both sides of the argument. Despite the fact that the legalization of marijuana can lead to injuries, addiction, and crime, it can also cure diseases, ensure public safety, and even boost the economy of the country.
If one analyzes marijuana as the cause of injuries, it can be noted that these injuries are actually due to harder drugs and even violence resulting from being penalized for possessing marijuana. Marijuana is not a hard drug and does not induce violence; it is an all-natural herbal drug that does not cause direct damage to a person. Marijuana has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of many diseases, such as AIDS, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, migraines, hepatitis C, glaucoma, psychological conditions, and many more. In fact, some doctors recommend marijuana as a form of medication, known as medical marijuana. (Heyes, 2013) Marijuana has not been shown to affect an individual’s cognitive process in the long-term; it may only affect the process for the duration of being intoxicated, still not damaging the brain in the long run.
Marijuana use can be a problem and can lead to addiction. However, it is important to note that caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are more addictive than marijuana. Addiction can lead to decreased productivity and negative life outcomes, but many people find that marijuana use actually improves their functioning and cognitive abilities. The idea that marijuana causes injuries and crimes is often linked to the fact that it is illegal in most places. When marijuana is legalized, law enforcement can focus on more serious crimes and violence. To ensure public safety, laws should regulate the selling and use of marijuana, including measures such as not driving under the influence. These regulations can help raise awareness and reduce crime rates related to marijuana possession.
The legalization of marijuana not only benefits individuals who need or want marijuana, but it can also help the country’s economy. The number one reason for crime rates related to marijuana possession is because it is illegal. More and more people are getting arrested, even if not everyone possesses it for negative reasons. Over 800,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession, and the rest are for selling or manufacturing marijuana. Legalizing marijuana would result in fewer arrests for the right reasons. It would also lower prices due to greater availability or supply. Marijuana is in great demand, which would increase the economy because more people would purchase it if it were legalized. With that being said, we can look at new tax revenues and compare marijuana to tobacco. When marijuana is legalized, governments can start taxing it just like tobacco and start earning from it as well. The legalization of marijuana can also provide more job opportunities, especially in industries, physicians, private securities, and even delivery drivers.
After reading many articles about marijuana use and possession, people will understand that marijuana is not what everyone is portraying it to be. There are pros and cons to almost every situation, but people have to further study and analyze to determine if their stance is correct. When a person researches the pros and cons of marijuana, they will find more positive effects than negative effects. The legalization of marijuana not only helps the individual who is in favor of it but also the people around them and their country. All the disadvantages of legalizing, possessing, and using marijuana are refutable and have less evidence to support them than the advantages. The legalization of marijuana will not harm individuals or the country as a whole because more harm is inflicted by possessing the drug itself.