Alexis Shipley essay for Neosho County Community College over the subject of the legalization of marijuana is titled, “ The Legalization of Marijuana”. Negative propaganda has led portions of the United States to be persuaded that the use of cannabis will lead to more and stronger drugs. The legalization of cannabis has been a controversial topic in the United States for decades. This essay explores the advantages of the practice of cannabis for revenue, recreational and medical use. The legalization of cannabis will save money that has been wasted for convicting marijuana-related offenses and the tax dollars will help improve communities across the united states.
Legislation should be enacted in every state to legalize marijuana in all forms.
The legalization of marijuana is a controversial topic. Marijuana should be legalized because it can help better our community in many positive ways. Not only is it used as a form of medicine, but the money that we generate from it can help modernize our infrastructure and be put towards education.
Historically the United States has used tax dollars for war on drugs exceeding fifty-one billion each year , but that never stopped anything it just put the operation underground. Marijuana can be used for a lot of things but one thing that benefits everyone whether you disagree with the legalization of it or not is how it helps to modernize our infrastructure. Colorado is mostly known for its beautiful snowy mountains where plenty of people come to ski with their family and friends. But now it is also a popular tourist destination in the U.
S for its recreational marijuana.
Colorado was one of the first two states in the U.S to legalize recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana became legal for use in the year of 2000. In 2012 Colorado passed the sixty-fourth amendment which legalized the use of recreational marijuana. And in 2014 marijuana shops started popping up all over the state. According to the Colorado Public Radio article, Where Does All the Marijuana Money go? “In 2017, Colorado made more than $247 million in marijuana taxes, licenses, and fees. Ever since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2014, the purse has gotten bigger and bigger.” Colorado has used the money in a multiple way to help improve their communities. In Aurora Colorado, the tax money from marijuana helped build a place for the homeless people to go during the day called The Aurora Day Center. And also according to Colorado Public Radio “For the third year in a row, Pueblo has used marijuana tax money to fund scholarships, doling out $634,000 to 563 students so far in 2018.”
This helps by providing students that may have not went to college because they couldn’t afford an opportunity to better their everyday life in the future. Washington also legalized marijuana in 2012. They have higher taxation on marijuana then Colorado does. While Colorado’s is fifteen percent Washington is thirty-seven percent. According to the Washington State Treasurer “ Revenues collected by the Liquor and Cannabis Board from legal cannabis taxes, license fees, and penalties are distributed as follow, according to the report: General Fund – $116.5 million, Basic Health – $188.3 million, Cities, Counties – $15.0 million, Education, Prevention – $9.5 million, Research – $0.4 million, Other – $49.2 million.” All of the research completed by states that have legalized marijuana has shown improvements in public services, public transportation, education and health care.
Marijuana is a growing industry as it continues to expand so will the job market. To date marijuana has generated around 123,000 full-time jobs. Rather than working in the fast-food business where you start out with minimum and are stuck in a hot kitchen for eight hours a day entering the marijuana business can get you a job where you start out making twenty-two dollars an hour with full benefits in a climate-controlled greenhouse. In the states where marijuana is legal the full-time employees have benefits that include medical, dental and they also have the advantages of the taxation like the roads being fixed and better education for their children. Medical marijuana has been around for centuries. According to the article History of Marijuana as Medicine medical marijuana can be traced to ‘The Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi, whom the Chinese credit with bringing civilization to China, seems to have made reference to Ma, the Chinese word for Cannabis, noting that Cannabis was very popular medicine that possessed both yin and yang.”
In 1990 scientists discovered cannabinoid receptors, which helps scientists understand how marijuana affects the brain. There are several stories around the world that discuss the use of cannabis to help improve a variety of medical disorders. Researchers are using marijuana as an anti-anxiety, which for some clients, is superior to other anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax, Valium, Prozac and Zoloft with few or no side effects. I am sure you have heard of the extensive research centered around epileptic seizures and cannabis. Parents in the united states have advocated for medical marijuana for many years for their children and their families hoping to find a more effective treatment than the traditional medication that not only decreases seizures but make their family lethargic and changes in behavior.
Pharisaical companies have been working on different approaches with using cannabis to treat seizure disorders such as CBD oil and Epidiolex. The states that have legalized Cannabis have seen lower opioid use and overdose. According to Medical Cannabis Can Help Americans Opiate Crisis “Forty-four people in the United States die every day from prescription opioid overdose; the number increases to 78 every day when we include heroin. Almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms in the United States every day for misuse of a prescription opioid.” Using Cannabis and opioids together can enhance the effects of the opioid and decrease the chance of an overdose.
The article Medical Cannabis Can Help Americans Opiate Crisis also stated “ Medical cannabis use was associated with an overall 64% decrease in opioid use, a decrease in the number and side effects of other medications, and a 45% improvement in quality of life. An Israeli study from the same year found that 44% of 176 opioid-using patients were able to discontinue opioid therapy entirely seven months after they began smoking cannabis or eating cannabis-infused cookies.” The above statistics show that medical and recreational cannabis has decreased the use and the death rate of opioids. Research will continue to show this improvement in the health of the population that has been dependent on opioids for pain management.
Anyone can go out and buy all the marijuana they want in Ottawa, KS where it is illegal. Using or not using illegal drugs in states where it is illegal or legal is a personal choice. Marijuana not being legalized is taking all the money the state can earn from the tax revenue and put it right in a drug dealers’ hand. The states that haven’t legalized it are losing a lot of money that they could be put towards education, roads etc. As the legalization of marijuana is being pushed through legislation some community leaders have in acted with lesser penalties for possessions of small amounts for personal use. Fifteen states have decriminalized cannabis but have not legalized it yet.
Lawyers, doctors, nurses, construction workers there is no specific group of people that use cannabis. In the past the stigma of someone that uses marijuana is bad a bad person, or they’re using it for the wrong reasons. The propaganda of marijuana use was created to inflect fear like refer madness, helter-skelter, and Charles Manson. It was an attempt to create this stereo type that marijuana was as bad as cocaine or heroin. Alcohol has been legal for quite some time. Alcohol is a depressant and it slows the function of the central nervous system. According to the article What Happens When I Drink Alcohol “ Alcohol in the body quickly moves to the brain. Effects can be felt within five to ten minutes after drinking. They can include mood changes and impaired ability to think, coordinate movement and lay down memories (blackout).”
While on the other hand marijuana has proved of benefits for example relief for long-term pain and it is used as a medicine, unlike alcohol. In the article, Marijuana Policy Project states “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 30,000 annual U.S. deaths are attributed to the health effects of alcohol (i.e. this figure does not include accidental deaths. On the other hand, the CDC does not even have a category for deaths caused by the health effects of marijuana. A study published in Scientific reports in January 2015 found that the mortality risk associated with marijuana was approximately 114 times less than that of alcohol.” Encounter with a person who has smoked marijuana then a person who has three or more drinks of alcohol.
According to Facts and statistics impaired driving “ Alcohol-impaired crashes are those that involve at least one driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams per deciliter or above, the legal definition of impaired driving. According to NHTSA 10,511 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2018.” Which is a lot higher then driving under the influence of marijuana. In some states, they have certain laws about driving under the influence for example Colorado. According to the article Drugged driving marijuana-impaired driving it states, “Colorado’s reasonable inference law states that in instances where THC is identified in a driver’s blood in quantities of 5ng/ml or higher, it is permissible to assume the driver was under the influence.” In conclusion, recreational and medical marijuana has not only improve our basic facilities and services that are supported with tax dollars but overall removed the stigma of the use of marijuana to control medical conditions that have been shown to respond to cannabis therapy.