Doing Right by the Citizens of America: The Legalization of Medical Marijuana

A guest blog article by Tibet Azar (student, world citizen)

Marijuana, one of the trending topics in society today, is becoming more and more relevant. Although the use and possession of cannabis is illegal, the U.S government announced that if a state chooses to decriminalize its use for recreational purposes, they may  (True Activist, 2013). This can only come with regulations. The federal government also classified marijuana as a schedule 1 substance which simply means that it is highly abusive and seems to have no medical use. Individual state laws, however, sometimes do not conform to the federal standard (True Activist, 2013).

The only two states who currently have actually legalized cannabis are Colorado and Washington.  In these states, the possession of up to an ounce with a license is allowed  (True Activist, 2013).  Several other states allow the possession and medical use. When looking at the regulations under each state I’ve notice they are all different with different toleration and consequences. This just shows how lenient our nation is about the topic because the government gives each state it’s own freedom to chose. My question is, why is the use of marijuana still illegal in the majority of states?

Yes, I completely understand and am aware of the abusive impacts of marijuana use, but one cannot see the cons without the pros. Marijuana use has many benefits and has helped many patients cope with the harsh pain they must endure.  According to Ault (1999), there have been no independent studies that link the consumption of cannabis to psycho-social problems. Some benefits on consuming this natural drug are increase in concentration, inhibition of tumor growth and the killing of bad cells in cancer patients, reduction in symptoms in Tourette patients, muscle relaxant to prevent seizures, treatment of migraines, stopping neurological effects in multiple sclerosis, alternative to Ritalin for ADD patients, helps with the symptoms of IBS and Crohns (prevents nausea), prevents Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease, and helps with the symptoms that come with Premenstrual syndrome such as cramping (Ault, 1999; True Activist, 2013).

With all of these benefits it seems extremely odd that half of drug arrests in the United States are for the possession of Marijuana. When taking a closer look at the federal government it is easy to see why Cannabis is still a substance 1 drug. If the government did chose to promote and accept the powerful health benefits of marijuana, there would be cuts in huge profits geared towards cancer treatment, not to mention they would have to admit that it imprisons the population for no good criminal cause (Ault, 1999).

With that being said it is clear as to why it is not legalized thoroughly, but is this fair?  Essentially, the government is either trying to save themselves from any conflict or they really haven’t thought about what the legalization of cannabis can do for society in the health industry and the economy as a whole.  If it were legalized, it could be taxed as alcohol and tobacco are.  It’s hard for me to comprehend that the government doesn’t do what is best for its citizens when there are proven facts to support the legalization of marijuana.

Works Cited
Ault, A. 1999.  “Institute of Medicine Says Marijuana Has Benefits.”  The Lancet 353.9158 (1999): 1077.

True Activist.  2013.  “Still Believe Nature Got It Wrong? Top 10 Health Benefits of Marijuana.”  Posted May 1, 2013.  Date accessed 11 Dec. 2013. http://www.trueactivist.com/still-believe-nature-got-it-wrong-top-10-health-benefits-of-marijuana/

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100 thoughts on “Doing Right by the Citizens of America: The Legalization of Medical Marijuana

  1. Not only can medical marijuana/legal marijuana benefit states, and on a federal scale, you also have to take into consideration the profits and economic boost this could have on the state’s economy and if legalized, federal economy. We would also see a huge boom in industrial grade hemp which again would bring in high profits and boost the federal economy. I ask you what do you think would happen if it were to become legal on a federal level? What regulations, profits, and overall pros and cons would come into effect?

    1. Much resistance would be met at the federal level by the alcohol and tobacco industries. Since marijuana is faster from sober to high than alcohol, it would be a competitive alternative to alcohol if it were made legal. It would also be harder to monitor as it passes through your lungs and into the bloodstream almost immediately. Also, differentiating those who are using it for medical use and those using it for recreational use would be tough. In Colorado, I believe they restricted it to private use, which is a good start

      1. It might be harder to monitor the potency but it is still safer and smoking more wont eventually make you black out like with alcohol. With alcohol you can end up killing yourself after one night of drinking. No one has yet to have died from smoking marijuana. As far as the potency goes if the government legalizes they can then monitor every aspect of how it is grown to ensure the safety of the product for the citizens. Besides the health benefits the money that the drug cartel is making would help the government out for smokers and non smokers.

  2. According to the author, the federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug signifying that it has no medical purpose. How can the government state that when there are well respected medical organizations that have run tests and found positive uses for medical marijuana. However, there are many alternative drugs that can achieve the same desired effects; they may also be a cheaper option, hence why the government wouldn’t want to transition. It stands to reason, however, if the government legalized marijuana for recreational use it would open the door for hefty profits. Hemp is another product that can be made from the stalks of cannabis plants and used for durable clothing and oils.

  3. I totally agree with you, I do not understand why this happens either. I believe part of the reason for this is because of the fear that has been planted on citizens’ minds. A lot of logical fallacy propaganda has been used during the years to steep people away from marijuana. The most common one is the slippery slope argument that says that using marijuana will lead to other harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is an argument that is completely based on superstition. Since marijuana is not addictive (unlike nicotine) it means that if someone chooses to start doing harder drugs is their own choice and it is because they like the feeling it brings them. This statement would be exactly like saying that I am an alcoholic because I used to drink milk when I was younger. Ideas like this scare citizens and make them fight against the legalization of products such as marijuana.

    1. Ariemolina you couldn’t be more correct. I did a huge research paper on marijuana last year. There are countless benefits to the legalization of the drug as well as questions of why it was made illegal in the first place. Before marijuana was made illegal, hemp was used to make paper, clothing and rope among other things. There has not been a single death ever associated with the use of marijuana. However prescription drugs kill thousands a year and doctors prescribe those without a second thought. In addition there is no scientific proof that marijuana is a gateway drug. The tax revenue marijuana has the potential of bringing in could be extremely helpful to states, not to mention the benefits of its medical use. I think legalization has a long way to go, but similar to alcohol, it will eventually be legalized for recreational use as well as medical use throughout the country.

  4. I think one of the reasons why it is still illegal in most states is because they don’t want people driving higher then the clouds haha. Especially in the major cities, everyone high and all, causing accidents and all types of fuss. Our society is supposed to be open minded and we are already struggling. I’m not against nor am I for weed. But I agree it helps physical pain. I think they should make it legal with sense. I mean we already use it and its illegal and easy to get in trouble by the law. They get there money and we suffer because of a sometimes small amount for pain.

    1. Nora, obviously there would be some issues with marijuana, like the driving part, but if the proper laws and regulations are set in place those issues would exist on a much smaller scale. Like someone said in later comments, a marijuana breathalyzer will help detect this. Personally I don’t think marijuana is worse than prescription painkillers, it is much less addictive, and it does not have long term effects like some painkillers possibly have.

    2. Marijuana use can be limited to those who need it as treatment, but its use in the public is still up for debate. You have to think that most people using marijuana for medical reasons aren’t out and about driving in their car all the time, but how can this be regulated. Simple, just like alcohol or other drugs, it would be illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs. This would allow for continued recreational use and medical use without putting the population in danger.

  5. Actually, since the legalization for recreational use in colorado and Washington, there has been a development for THC breathalyzers, it would be treated the same as alcohol, there has only been prototypes released so far but we are for sure on the verge of these breathalyzers being released. This would also eliminate the need for heavy painkiller pills such as morphine and oxycotton, which are extremely addictive drugs and have been killing people for years. Doctors an simply prescribe marijuana as a substitute in a smoking form or an edible form both being highly effective and less harmful then painkiller pills.

  6. I agree with the author that the legalization of marijuana could be extremely beneficial to our country’s economy and those who are suffering painful illnesses. Marijuana has and will continue to be used as a recreational substance whether it becomes legal or not. I think our country would profit from placing extremely high taxes on it and selling it to the masses. There are downfalls, as there would be to any new law. Would there be an age limit set like there is on drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes? If so, what would it be and how would those caught under the age limit be punished?

    1. Yes, 21 years old to purchase Marijuana in Colorado/Washington, This has already been put into effect, it would be treated as stratus offense just like getting caught drinking under age, it would be a misdemeanor charge

    2. I don’t know anyone that grows their own tobacco. When it comes to marijuana, it grows wild, in a closet, in water, a drawer, and anywhere else you can think of. Why would you buy it when you can easily grow your own. I’m sure that the government is aware of this and any tax benefits would not last long. That is why it has not been legalized as far as I see it.

  7. This is a topic that I am quite adamant about. Marijuana is the cause of countless prisoners, whom I believe were falsely accused. This so called drug is a plant, people. There have been many studies that have proven the medical benefits of this plant, and they come with little to no side effects, besides a case of the munchies. Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and cigarettes. According to the American Cancer Society, THC, the active chemical in marijuana, is not even a carcinogen. This means that the only reason why there could be carcinogens in marijuana is additives put in by the manufacturers. There have also been studies that prove marijuana does not affect the driving abilities of smokers unless they have smoked well over the legal limit (like in Washington or Colorado). For these reasons, there is no logical reason why marijuana is illegal. It is more expensive to pursue it than it is to legalize it.

  8. This is a very sensitive subject to not only me but many other Americans as well. To set the record, I am not a marijuana smoker, but plenty of people I know are. The fact that Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, along with heroin and LSD is very problematic in my opinion. Growing up DARE is a mandatory awareness program in middle school, thru the program young kids are taught that Heroin is in fact just as Marijuana. An “All Drugs Are Created Equal” type of approach. So when these children grow up into teenagers, and eventually experiment and feel the effects of marijuana, which are typically less extreme than alcohol say, they begin to think and believe that DARE and other drug awareness programs were simply scare tactics. Also if marijuana were to ever federally become legalized young adults and teenagers would be much less susceptible to experimentation with other drugs. When someone goes to a dealer they will eventually be offered or exposed to other drugs. If weed was federally regulated however, the marijuana dealers business would greatly struggle.

    1. I agree with you, the reclassification of this drug needs to happen. DARE programs are beginning to treat Marijuana just like alcohol as in regards to awareness and yes the “scare tactics” are the same as well. These programs are beginning to focus on harder drugs such as heroin, meth, and MDMA aka Molly. I believe this is a step in the right direction. Even programs like this are beginning to accept Marijuana as a norm in are society even if its not on a legal on a federal level.

      1. Wow. I had no idea. It’s really about time. It doesn’t take a lot of street smarts to see what’s going on right now. you have to do is turn on the ten o’clock news in Chicago to hear about how many teenagers died from heroin overdoses. That’s becoming a really big suburban epidemic. Where are the marijuana overdoses? If your looking for it ask your teacher, pastor, next door neighbor, or personal trainer. Molly is being popularized through Hip Hop and the recent Electronic Dance Music craze. If marijuana is being legalized at a state level not even exclusively for medical use but also recreational use these programs need to change the way they approach it. But nonetheless I would feel quite silly if I was comparing marijuana to alcohol, and alcohol is legal but marijuana is a schedule 1 controlled substance right beside LSD, Heroin, and Meth.

    2. I agree Mike, the reclassification of marijuana would make a change and create a better understanding for the youth in schools. However, my question is how we can moderate the drug so it can become like alcohol or tobacco when we really don’t know the bad effects of the drug. People talk about how less dangerous marijuana is then tobacco and alcohol but not about the bad effects of marijuana and that creates a problem. It creates a problem because if we legalize it we need to tell people both sides of the issue and create awareness so kids know the effects.

    3. There are countless substances that are carcinogenic as exposure increases. Marijuana, having been illegal for so long, may have skewed numbers when it comes to its possible cancer link. This could be due to lack of reporting that one smokes marijuana. Also, alongside marijuana use, there is a correlation with alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and drug use beyond marijuana. It may be some time until a definite carcinogenic link (or lack thereof) is exposed

    4. I agree, marijuana should be legalized and federally regulated instead of money going straight into the pockets of dealers. The tax dollars generated from medical marijuana can be spent on things like schools, healthcare and road repair instead of going straight into the pockets of the drug dealers who controlled the marijuana market. I also can agree that the reclassification of marijuana would create a better understanding for the youth in schools.

  9. I agree that marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes. It has many benefits, like Tibet Azar mentioned. Many other drugs that are used by doctors are addictive, like vicodin, but marijuana is not. I know many see marijuana as a gate way drug, but so is alcohol. Actually marijuana isn’t any worse than alcohol, maybe it’s even better. No one has ever had marijuana poisoning, but many people have had alcohol poisoning. Also no one has ever become violent after smoking a joint, but many become violent after dranking. Actually it is hard to believe that are tax dollars are used to imprison people who grow and sell marijuana when we have liquior stores all over the place.

    1. I agree with Christina. If we think about it alcohol is the true gateway drug. Think back to when you were growing up, did you first see someone smoke a joint or drink a beer? When your parents went out did they smoke or drink. Most likely drink. When you go to your very first High School party you may have had a beer then were introduced to weed. Not the other way around.

  10. I agree. Marijuana should be legalized. At this point in our society there is enough information to know the harmful effects of this drug. The effects are less dangerous then smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol as far as I have read and both of the substances I mentioned are legal substances. The fact that it is not legal yet is pure social, and most or all the fault falls on the people running our government. The fact is that there is a legal industry and parallel industry thriving with the current laws and things should change. From the penitentiary system lobbing to keep the current laws to the law enforcement agencies expanding, America is slowly but surely becoming a prison state. The laws should fit the social status of the people and not accommodate only a few to fill their pockets. The majority of people are comfortable with the idea that marijuana should be legal I am one of the people that would like to see marijuana become legal, I am not a user but I can tolerate the people who use it. As the author of the article mentions it has also medical purposes, I think it should be legal and like everything else that is legal it should be used in moderation. I also want to add that when people have a drug issue in this country they get penalized for it instead of being treated as sick people suffering from a disease. With all said Marijuana needs to become legal and tax so it creates legal revenue and jobs. We need to leave the Regan drug tactics behind see the facts and change.

    1. I agree, and I’m not a user as I had mentioned earlier. The laws just need to change along the social stigma about it. I think that America is ready for the change(most of us anyways). Its only as of late that a couple members of Congress are willing to back Marijuana. It’s all a money game. The polititions can not quite figure out a way to consistantly profit off every marijuana user, grower, and seller. A very close aquaintence of my has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments thru th VA Hospital. The only thing that has helped has been….what else, MARIJUANA. But they litterally told him to stop, instead they want to perscribe oxycottin. Of coarse he refused. But it shows where our politicians intrests are, the big pharmaceutical companies.

  11. I do believe marijuana should be legalized, however I do not think it will make things much better. For instance, if one was to use cannabis medicinally as a pain reliever. Sure it is better than nothing, but in today’s society we have had so many advancements in modern medicine. There are so many other pain relievers that could work just as good if not better than marijuana.
    Marijuana used for recreation is kind of a bad idea because it is a gateway drug and impairs judgment and senses, but so does alcohol which is legal. There both bad for you, but if you want to do it, you should be able to. People should be able to make their own decisions. I cant tell you how many times I see a kid high out of his mind doing something stupid. I don’t like marijuana or what it does, but taking the bad with the good, it seem pretty harmless. A lot of people like it and as long as they are smart with it, they won’t be any worse off. In the end people are still going to use it regardless.

  12. I think the benefits of marijuana is common knowledge. Part of why it is illegal may lie within these facts. 1: Marijuana puts a lot of people behind bars. 2: The government would have a hard time making money off of marijuana if it was legal considering their competition with everyday dealers.These facts being mentioned, do you think it’s possible more money is being made with marijuana being illegal thanks to jail than if it wasn’t.

    1. Ever since Colorado legalized weed for personal use they have earned 53 million dollars. I’ve tried both and can say more people would lean towards the medical marijuana than the street so called “loud.” If one state can make that much wonder how much the country would make together as a whole if the government controlled it. They could bust the illegal new way of selling on the street and still make their greedy money but it has been proven that marijuana is a positive.

  13. I think the legalization of marijuana will do good things for a lot of people. it will help the economy and save lives. I don’t see why local police enforcement track down and chase the people that sell or use the drug when there are more things going on around. I mean there are serial killers and rapist out there. I don’t think legalizing it would cause too much damage. In fact that I think it would make a lot of things easier. For example it has become a huge deal and it is everywhere. It is useful in senses like medical treatment and all of that. To be honest it would make a lot of money to it would help our economy. It is usually done under the table and so much exchange of marijuana goes unnoticed. It is loss for those people trying to make money. I know that people in states where it is legal have been growing it. Those people will be ahead of the game, when it does become legal.

    1. I agree Saharbari, things would become easier for those who are involved heavily in marijuana and there would be a chance for some financial opportunities. This is why I feel we should look closer and ask why isn’t it? Could it be because we profit more with marijuana being illegal? I think so

  14. Marijuana should be legal plain and simple. With advancement in medicine sure there are more effective pain killers, but those are both mentally and physically. Where Marijuana is only mentally addictive. Regardless,it’s considered a class one drug which states there are medical benefits.

    1. Plus, the side effects of even the most basic pain medications on the market now are vast. Marijuana is more “naturalistic” instead of homeopathic. Being such, it is safer for our body to process, use, and rid. This is as opposed to current medications that are tough to process and sometimes harsh on the body.

  15. Why would we allow another drug onto the street for our kids? There is a reason we banned it. If we legalized it, kids would just be getting their hands on it and hurt themselves.

    1. You can always look at the negatives of the situation. when it comes to legalization you may have a new drug out there but their can be benefits. 40 to 50 % of adults say they have tried marijuana. people are getting their hands on the stuff non the less. At least having a legalized form of the drug can allow those who do experiment with the drug to be sure it is safe. Many street bought drugs may contain things such as added chemicals to change the appearance or in some situations glass beads have been even added to the product to make it heavier or look better. For their to be a safe alternative to already rampant use of he drug can be looked upon in a public safety way. Almost an FDA standard if you think of it.

    2. I think of the risks of legalizing the drug as well, the effects it would cause to kids and I disagree with your statement. The reality is different, because the information we have been receiving is to scare us from using marijuana to change our perspective on the drug I think the information is not accurate and creates disparity on what the actual truth is. Looking at countries that tolerate the use of the drug we can see that there data shows no such thing. With the information available now I think it should be legal, not just with the science information to back it up but also because the majority of people in the country are very familiar with the drug in this time of our society.

      1. Yes this is a big issue when it comes to this. Many old research or opinions that carry over to today can be shown through the law makers. The average politician is around the age of 60 and people of this generation have seen such biased media as the movie reefer madness. Movies like this have no grounding in actually scientific research yet still has put an impression on those who watch. The law makers of today can be absent minded to current culture or ideals based on what they where raised to believe. Old laws need be redone with new findings yet you find the push away from once established laws.

    3. Julia, marijuana is better than all the drugs out there including cigarettes. Bad decisions don’t come from the drug either; they come from the smoker. In fact, a lot of people have used marijuana for positive things.

      1. Charles, I agree that marijuana is less dangerous than a lot of other drugs legal and illegal but is not also all positive, is still a drug and also has negative effects. Let’s not portrait marijuana as the best thing out there but in fact let’s just say that is a drug that can be used in moderation for entertainment.

      2. I agree with you being that out of all recreational drugs legal in the united states marijuana is the safest based on almost every aspect of health to addiction. Many positive things can occur from this alternative to many prescription drugs. When you have over the counter drugs that have no guarantee of working or possible having strong negative which I have personally gone through, there should be the ability to use non big medical business alternatives such as marijuana. The medical uses are growing as research into the drug continues. The one thing that justifies it alone is the great help it can provide those suffering from cancer.

      3. In regards to Mario there are several negative affects. Alot of these are in regards to the formation of the brain. When in contact with Marijuana for a long time their is proof of altered growth in the brain. these receptors include specifically areas located with memory. This is mostly a problem when it comes to youth as this is a time when the brain is still maturing and outside chemicals can still cause great change. Although this is a problem i believe that this problem can be solved ethically by putting a legal age of the drug to about over 20 when the growth of the brain is slowed. Also this prevents young people from making uninformed decisions when it comes to their health.

    4. Julia, just because states may decide to legalize marijuana, doesn’t mean that children will be more prone to getting it. There is an age requirement just like alcohol. With it being illegal now, I believe children do it now because they think they look cool. It is already easy for people to get ahold of it, so why does it matter if they legalize it? Legalizing it couldn’t make it any easier for kids to get it, in fact it could make it harder because of the age restrictions.

    5. I respectfully disagree with your statement. Although marijuana’s classification is a level one substance along with ecstasy, cocaine, and heroine, I feel the classification of marijuana is limiting the potential in cannabis. Our public is willing to admit that it is much safer than alcohol and tobacco. I definitely feel it is worth exploring and may even hold the key to some medical discoveries.

  16. I agree with the message of this article of the good that can come from legalizing marijuana. My major argument for this is one that wasn’t covered in the article. It is the millions saved in processing criminal charges for marijuana. It is the millions taken away from drugs dealers whose business is taken away by home growers or legitimate extremely high tax paying businesses. The benefit to job creation to lowered profits to gangs seems to me justification enough when it comes to the relatively safe drug. When compared to legal drugs such as tobacco or alcohol, marijuana has lowered risk in all aspects of the drugs from health concerns to addiction. What scares people though is the taboo of being high. For many people they see this as a major impairment that although may seem bad can often be less severe than impairment that comes from alcohol. This can be seen in such studies as driving tests. Those who smoke Marijuana and drive show modest impairment while those who drive while drinking are majorly impaired. Also risk taking is increased in the use of alcohol.
    http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/the-harmful-effects.html

  17. Mario, i wasn’t trying to portray marijuana as a healthy thing to do. I was just saying it is very benign compared to other drugs. The biggest danger without law involvement would be the same effect that would come from smoking any plant. (Lung damage, etc.)

  18. Sometimes I go to my alter ego “Cynism Mode”, but rather than save the day I instead get, predictably, cynical. I sometimes think people wish to have marijuana legalized for recreational use and use medical marijuana as an excuse. I probably thought that was because I never heard the full citation on its medical uses. Calming the symptoms of Tourettes, keeping Alzheimer’s at bay, and helping people with Attention Deficit Disorder seem like good things it can accomplish, for the better of many people. While I may not fully support marijuana legalization, I’m not really against it either.

  19. There are a few good points to this article but I think the idea behind it is misguided. The idea that medical marijuana legalization on the state level shows the leniency of the laws is not true, because it is still illegal under federal law. But from that, people have shown and told the government that this is something that they want. And that the control the government currently holds should adapt to the people. Government holds and regulate control by punishing people’s choices especially in drug cases. When in terms it’s actually freedom they are taking away.

  20. Obviously, taxing the product and its distribution related to decreasing the alcohol and tobacco sales is probably the biggest obstacles to the legalization of marijuana. If marijuana were legalized, as you stated, the government may lose profits geared towards cancer treatment. I’m sure the alcohol and tobacco industry have put in their two cents regarding their potential profit loss as well. From a nurses standpoint, I wish it were legalized. I personally don’t take any over the counter medications because I am aware of side effects, especially in manufactured drugs. The naturalistic ways of healing have exponentially less side effects. I’ve seen the detrimental things some medications do to patients and wish some would resort to more natural ways of healing. I’m not saying smoking marijuana is right for everyone, I’m just saying it has considerable implications and rationality of use.

  21. Marijuana should be legal for the people that need it, such as all the patients you noted that benefited from Marijuana. That is why the government hasn’t made legal all throughout the country. It should only benefit the sick, not the junkies looking to get another high. Sure, we could generate a huge revenue from taxing it. That is what they have been doing in Colorado, is it really worth it? I don’t know eventually there will be studies conducted on Marijuana and influences it has on the brain’s development, which will allow us to make our decisions on what to do about this topic. Personally, I don’t care for this topic if you want to get high for the rest of your life that is great.

  22. When looking at Medical anything, people are going to abuse it whether you like it or not. Alchohol used to be used as a medicinal remedy along with heroin and LSD. Marijuana out of all of them though is actually been proven to be safe. Whether it is through vaporization or straight combustion it’s safer than drinking something that is physically poison. When drunk too much you actually throw up…. Because your body rejects it. This does not happen with marijuana. Happens with alcohol, LSD , heroin, everything except marijuana. And with it legalized you can take away the people that take people that need it for their medical problems and end up going to some shady guy that happens to have any other drug you want. Medical marijuana would help thousands, if not millions, like it has already helped people in Michigan and Washington.

      1. Right and the only reason it won’t become illegal is because the government makes so much money off of taxes.

  23. Look at what happened in Colorado, they legalized it and instantly the state was making millions. to this day I believe that the state of Colorado has made over 80 million dollars and it’s only been 5 months. Now that it has gone public and everyone has seen the results, the government has no choice but to make it legal everywhere.

    1. Yessssss the result in the legal use of medical marijuana for personal use should show the federal government can make a whole lot of profit. Colorado became one of the richest states in a matter of months because of this great product that is trending everybody. It will not stop underground transactions but it will bring people together.

    2. Exactly, since they legalized it in Colorado, the medical marijuana industry has developed quickly and has gotten great results and even generated thousands of new jobs. If positive economic and social stats keep on rising in Colorado, we could be seeing the beginning of a revolution in medical cannabis industry.

  24. I find it kind of funny that the government made a plant illegal. I mean it’s not like you have to make it or mix a certain formula. It just grows in the ground, all you do is dry it and smoke it no alterations what so ever. Although I do see how the government is a business which needs to make money on pharmaceuticals. You also have to take into consideration the amount of money that was invested into research equipment… But the only way to know what you are missing out on is to try something new.

    1. The fact that you mentioned this is a plant brings up a point that I think about a lot. Although possible (it is happening more often now), it is generally not common for people to sell “fake” marijuana. Generally, when you buy it, it is safe and what you paid for. This is something that is generally not dangerous to your health. That can’t really be said for many other illegal drugs. When people buy a nondescript white pill from a shady guy, there is no way of knowing what they have, since it is outside of government control and regulation. I would rather have people smoking relatively safe marijuana than doing other drugs, which could be dangerous.

      1. Yeah, it’s scary to think about what kinds of things people mix in those drugs, who knows it may effect you permanently. Safe marijuana is the way to go.

  25. This is usually a topic I stay away from because I feel like the U.S is just running in circles until the inevitable happens, which will be that marijuana will be legalized. As much of a joke as the war on drugs is concerning marijuana, and how we spend multi millions a year to try and regulate it. On a personal experience, getting your med card in California and other states is far too easy now. I had to set up an appointment with a basically retired doctor, and pay $100 for my script, and i was officially a patient in the state of California for that year. If it were properly government regulated and taxed, we would be seeing economic benefits, and social benefits, not as extreme but similar to the effects of what Uruguay has done.

    1. Good way to put it as I do agree with you that the Government is just using us citizens to pay taxes for the officials on the war on drugs. Yet if you think about it with the right way of governing this product it could benefit us in many ways. Both socially and financially as less deaths would happen, more weed smokers that use to be square smokers.

    2. I agree with smithj2612 comment completely. I think that the government is avoiding this situation too. I can’t figure out why though, with the legalization of marijuana everyone benefits from it. The government shouldn’t be wasting money on trying to regulate marijuana and instead profit from it.

  26. I strongly disagree with this author because I believe that marijuana should be illegal and stay illegal. Marijuana is a gateway drug which means you will do it and then once the high is not strong enough anymore you will go do crystal meth or some other drug to chase that high. I can see the positives to it but they do not out weigh the negatives for example when you smoke marijuana you kill brain cells which you can never get back.

    1. I can not say that Marijuana is a gateway drug because the tolerance of weed make you want to find the next loudest of the weed. People that do molly or any of that is more then likely to do crystal met, etc…Marijuana will be legal sorry for your disappointment but if it is proven to be allowed for medical use then what are the harms of marijuana? Thing about brain cells is we have billions and billions of them which will last a life span so why not destroy little by little but as you can see you never heard of anyone dying of the use of marijuana.

  27. I agree. Marijuana should be legalized when it clearly has done no wrong to the community. Tobacco has caused tons of deaths and it’s pretty much at every store in the corner. I find it odd how the government can have people promote tobacco and not marijuana when it does not lead to any signs of death.

  28. Marijuana should be legalized in my opinion. it can actually help our country money wise because there would be a tax on it. We can gain high profits and it would create more jobs. If alcohol is legal and tobacco use is legal I don’t see why there is a problem in legalizing medical marijuana. Tobacco and alcohol have caused a lot of deaths marijuana has no recorded deaths….yet..

    1. Everything in this post was very straight forward and accurate. I agree 100% because we are spending pointless taxes on the government’s branches for stupid wars. If they can do that then why not figure a secondary way to bring in which could be more of a profit then we losing. Point said in the legalization on the process of why alcohol and tobacco is legal if because the system does not mind the deaths caused by it to keep the population somewhat stable.

  29. I disagree with this article because it has negative affects on people. It causes many problems within families and it is also a gateway drug. It can lead to kids doing marijuana later doing other more harmful drugs. That could lead to kids ending up in prison or rehab or dead because of the impact the drug had on them.

    1. I totally disagree with your disagreement because weed is not an addicting drug or harmful drug. Yes, it may cause lost of brain cells but tell me why is cigarettes legal and they cause more deaths and got all type of negative chemicals in it. I truthfully think the use of marijuana can prevent the use of other drugs because me personally know a lot of people that will not go out of the use of marijuana with other drugs. Weed is not a drug it is a stimulant plant.

    2. I disagree with your comment. Marijuana doesn’t have negative effects on people. Marijuana actually helps lots of people deal with medical issues. Marijuana is way better and safer than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.

  30. I completely agree with the author of this article. I believe the benefits of legalizing marijuana greatly out weighs the harm. As he stated, there are many proven medical advantages to smoking marijuana. So, if that is the case, why wouldn’t our government be open to the possibilities? The profit this country would make would be outstanding. Not to mention, most of the drug arrests in this country have to do with weed. Why would we as tax paying citizens of the united states be okay with paying for the imprisonment of a stoner with no other recorded record? People may view weed as “gateway” drug, however, it is that own individuals choice to further their drug use which is entirely situational. Weed does not merely make you want to do other drugs, the people you surround yourself with do.

  31. Main purpose I say in my eyes from them illegalizing weed in the face place was to find more reasons to lock a citizen up. Now that it is shown to have positive effects and cause no deaths compared to drinking and all that other stuff. It is started to be accepted by all and legalized in many states medically and personal use. It would definitely help out our billions of dollars in debt by the stupid use of our tax money for overseas. So why not let us enjoy our land with the happiness of smoking something that would calm everyone down.

    1. I agree, I once read an article saying one year of legalization of marijuana generated $70 million dollars in tax revenue for Washington state and expected to see even more revenue generated. These impressive numbers of the first year of legalization are likely to catch the eyes of policymakers in many other states that could use a little help closing their budget gaps. Money generated from recreational marijuana can also be spent on things like schools, healthcare, and road repair instead of going straight into the pockets of the drug dealers who controlled the marijuana market prior to legalization.

  32. I think legalizing marijuana is a great idea for states to pursue. The benefits of legalizing marijuana outweighs the potential damage it can cause. The biggest benefit to states legalizing it is the tax they can put on the drug. By taxing marijuana the states will have an income that they’ve never had before, which could be used to build schools or even get that state out of debt. I think that marijuana will eventually be legalized across America because of the pros it has.

  33. This is a great article, I feel the legalization of marijuana would cause a drastic change in the american culture, especially in the federal system,crime rate would drop, and the overcrowding of prison systems would lower. Recreational use of marijuana has many medicinal purposes for individuals with health issues, I find it odd that marijuana is illegal compared to alcohol and tobacco, there has never a case in the world of someone overdosing on the use of marijuana.

    1. I agree that the legalization of Marijuana would have a drastic effects on American culture. As a Registered Nurse it is the norm for a patient to tell me they were prescribed narcotics for pain. The pain can be as minimal as a muscle spasm to a tooth ache. In my career I have heard of many people overdosing on narcotics. This is the norm in our society. It comes as no surprise when in the nightly news it is reported that a movie star or athlete has overdosed due to narcotics. Narcotics are prescribed liberally by doctors and are killing Americans everyday. I have yet to hear of someone overdosing on Marijuana.

      1. I believe we are all clear about the fact that Marijuana has not hurt anyone. At least not the point where Americans are dying, unlike other legal drugs have. As the article mentions, might the Government only care about the income they get? Patients with health issues such as cancer and many other that are mentioned in the article spend a lot of money in hospitals, other than that they are still in a lot of pain. This makes me wonder why is Marijuana illegal by government in some states but not in others? Then I think well if the Government doesn’t want to make Marijuana legal because of the income they get from patients would they also get a lot more benefits by legalizing marijuana for example in the article he mentions the Government can charge tax on all Marijuana purchases. Then what is really the reason we are holding back?

    2. Exactly you couldn’t have said it better Kevin! I have never heard of people overdosing marijuana. My friend’s father passed away last year due to his consumption of alcohol. We are all aware of the medical issues smoking cigarettes bring but smoking Tabaco is still not prohibited. Before reading this article I was already aware of some of the advantages legalizing marijuana would bring along. I agree with everything you mention above especially with the crime rate. People are taken to jail because they “were caught with weed”. I understand they were breaking the law and should get punished but there are bigger problems to worry about now. If it has been made legal in other states why not make it legal in the rest of the states? If it is clear it would only help our society. If marijuana is illegal then Tabaco and alcohol should be too! More people are being negatively impacted by drinking and driving or having lung cancer or other deadly medical problems.

    3. I totally agree with your response. Marijuana seems to be doing more good than harm which is why it doesn’t make sense for it to be illegal. Marijuana can actually help society in a positive way unlike tobacco and alcohol.

  34. In order to fully understand why Marijuana is illegal and help the citizens of America, we must recall why it became illegal in the first place. In the early 1900s after the Mexican revolution there was an influx of Mexican immigrants into the United States (as per http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal). At the time, most households in America had Hemp in their medicine cabinets and it was used for many ailments. These Mexican Immigrants were calling it Marijuana, a term that was new to Americans. The media played on the fears of the public and spread lies about Mexicans being disorderly, disruptive, and a need to keep tabs on them was necessary. The Marijuana tax act of 1937 came into effect and banned the use and sale Marijuana in any form. Later, in 1970, the Control Substance Act placed Marijuana in the most restrictive category Schedule 1, making the public believe that it was dangerous and highly addictive, without accepted medical use. Big pharmaceutical companies are the main reason why Marijuana is still illegal in many states.

  35. I agree with Marijuana being used as medical use. Because I know a guy that has a rare disease that his stomach do not cooperate with his body so his never hungry and if he eats he ends up vomiting everything he ate. And the only way he wouldn’t vomit or be able to eat is him using Marijuana. So I agree that it should be legalized for medical used only but not for any everyone. Most people will or at the moment are taking advantage of marijuana being used as “medical” use.

    1. I agree about your response for medical usage. What are your reasons for not legalizing for recreational usage? What is the harm in recreational marijuana?

    2. I agree with your opinion on medical marijuana. People with these kinds of diseases should be allowed to buy marijuana for medical purposes. These are the ones who will benefit the most with the legalization of marijuana.

      1. Shouldn’t you think it could be legal for all people. Yes, some people will take advantage because that’s who we are. It shouldn’t be allowed for a select few, but for all.

  36. I agree with marijuana being used for medical purposes and recreational purposes. I have ADHD and because of this, I tend to be very active with how I move my body. Having marijuana stops that and I am able to relax my body. I agree with recreational usage but, that will need limits so people don’t tale advantage.

  37. I agree with marijuana being legal for both medical and recreational purposes. I have ADHD and this disorder tends to make me jumpy and not being able to stay around in a place for too long. Marijuana should be legal for medical purposes because studies have shown for it to be effective in treatments. Most people need marijuana for medical purposes.

  38. During these changing times it gets tough with changing ideas. Right now at this point of history we are a dawn of change. As the older generations of politics get out the newer more open minded politicians come in. Many people in the government these days are still baby boomers. Raised in a different era under different belief system, it is no wonder why the government has not legalized marijuana. Everyone is still brainwashed from the war on drug campaign. The government is also terrified to even allow testing of medical marijuana. One study based out of Arizona was shut down hard including having the researcher fired from her position all because she wanted to test pot on people with PTSD and survivors guilt. Another reason why it hasn’t become legal is due to the fact state governments need the prisoners that the arrests bring in as a source of income.

  39. I see literally no downside to the legalization of marijuana, medical or otherwise. We fill our prisons with small time drug offenders that end up costing tax payer millions. Prison, after all, is a 75 billion dollar a year industry. There are endless research studies to show that ill-medical effects caused by weed are nearly non-existent (much less than tobacco). If weed were legalized, it’s production could be regulated and supervised for safety, it would end dependence on illegal imports and therefore significantly reduce drug related crime, and it would likely come with a refreshing little tax cut due to the mass exodus of small time drug offenders taking up resources in prison. Marijuana needs to be legalized and regulated.

  40. Cannibis has been the scapegoat of the government for the past hundred years because majority of the population has not ever used it. Therefore, they are able to exaggerate the effects, complete case studys with fixed results, and turn it into an evil that needs to be defeated. As this nation gets closer and closer to full on legalization we will see the government do a complete 180 and be all for it, just like they are with tobacco which is much worse than Marijuana. The money that can be made from taxes will be massive and will drastically improve our economy. Every argument I have heard that is against legalization is the product of misinformation or fear mongering. No large budget study on the effects of marijuana has happened because the government doesn’t want to see hard evidence that they were wrong.

  41. Marijuana is like any other drug. It has to be regulated or else things may get messy. What bothers me the most about this issue, is that the federal government is so set on seeing this drug as negative aspect in society. Like stated in the article, there has been many tests and studies to prove that Marijuana helps with these certain health issues. They ignore the facts and focus on other things that are so called “more important”. Marijuana deserves more respect in this society because it has been neglected and looked upon for centuries as a bad thing that will ruin peoples lives when in reality, it does not. I’m sure once America gets in more debt, the federal government will consider marijuana just for the money/profit they can make off it.

  42. A long time ago, American’s used hemp in their every day lives and cannabis for medical reasons. It wasn’t until Mexican immigrants introduced “Marihuana” that Americans saw recreational use. From then on, Americans began to fear a plant that was already in their medicine cabinets. This association led people to believe there were negative effects, calling it a poison and a narcotic. John Ehrlichman, involved in watergate, explained that connected weed to hippies and heroin to blacks, helped crack down their leaders and dissolve the groups. So this negative stigma attached to cannabis came from the government, and continues to build with it and the media.
    Colorado has shown immense prosperity since the legalization of recreational marijuana, and other states (like our bankrupt Illinois) should take it as an example. It’s not for everyone, but it has many benefits that could and should be taken advantage of.

  43. There are countless benefits of legalizing marijuana in an economic and medical aspect. It would bring in a ton of money to regulate the economy more. When the alcohol prohibition ended, the purchase of legalized alcohol brought in a ton of money. The medical aspects are endless. The prescription drug boom we see today could decrease through allowing some patients natural healing alternatives. It would decrease the demand, thus lessening the supply. Legalizing marijuana for recreational use allows for some people who could not afford hospital bills, medicine, and doctor appointments to become healthier. I have no idea why the government would not want to do what is best for its citizens in every possible way.

  44. Marijuana is something I do believe should be legalized, and I hope to have it be soon. I like your points but I do feel as if there were some missing. You see on a negative look, Marijuana raises your dopamine levels to a high that is impossible to reach naturally. Dopamine is what raises when you laugh, see a puppy, listen to a good song, etc. With the abuse of Marijuana you now have an issue where the things that used to make you happy don’t anymore cause you know of a higher happiness level, due to the marijuana. Does this mean it should be illegal? No, because if used correctly there is no harm, and alcohol is the same way. Alcohol can cause harm but it’s legal cause in the hands of the right people it is fine.

  45. I agree that marijuana has its benefits and also its downsides. Just recently Naperville North had a marijuana incident where 14 students went to the hospital because of the drug. Gummy bears were laced with the THC. This is a bad example of how this drug can be used. It can be just as dangerous as alcohol, tobacco, and other substances. On the other side, marijuana can be very helpful when used correctly. It can help headaches, seizures, and anxiety to name just a few. So should the government legalize it? Yes, I believe it should be legalized everywhere. Sneaking around doing activities that are currently considered illegal cause all kinds of issues such as overcrowded jails, gang wars and people unnecessarily suffering through chemo. If it was legal, people would talk about it openly and become educated so they could make smarter decisions. Also, in states where marijuana is now legal, the taxes earned from the sales has contributed greatly to the area.

  46. This is a big subject that many can relate to. I know I have been hearing about this since at least middle school. I have heard people being arrested and sentenced to years in prison over having this in their possession. I do not understand why because it is almost like regular smoking it is not a hard drug that causes a slow death. If the U.S. where to tax this substance they could easily reap millions in tax revenue (there have been many articles on this exact subject). With this drug controlled by distributors and not drug cartels we could better control what is in this drug so that people are not harmed by its consumption. Marijuana should be legalized but it needs to be controlled like any other substance like adderall or alcohol, and have warnings like do not drive and understand your limits with this substance.

  47. Marijuana legalization, or even decriminalization, is something I agree with. I see users argue that it shouldn’t be legalized because the government is going to mess with it and that “legal weed” isn’t going to be as good as how it is now with no government involvement. However, I think it mainly comes down to people who have been arrested and jailed for something that is now becoming legal in some states. It’s not fair for marijuana related charges to be on their criminal record and have it hurt their chances of pursuing their careers if it’s now becoming legal and decriminalized. I can see marijuana becoming legal very soon with it being treated similarly to how alcohol is treated, even though alcohol has way more negative effects on us while still being legal. I can understand why the sale of marijuana should still be illegal, but smoking it and possessing a normal amount of it should no longer be a crime.

  48. Medical cannabis is an overlooked resources for those with debilitating conditions. I can say first hand that medical cannabis is a very useful thing for many people my brother who I love to death struggles everyday to function because of the amount of pain he is in every day but thanks to medical cannabis he is able to take some of that pain that rests on his shoulders and feel better not only physically but mentally. I see the good in decriminalizing marijuana prison pops will go down, less people getting in trouble, taxes, and just everyone is in a much better place when they smoke a little marijuana.

  49. In today’s society the rise in popularity and use of marijuana is increasing for its recreational use. Regardless, the fact is that it is illegal for recreational use and yet citizens are committing a crime in selling and buying the substance 1 drug. However, the use of this drug for medical reasons has shown to help many people with medical issues where research has been published in academic journals and peer-reviewed research. Azar makes an important point in regards to the government taxing the substance and doing well for the societies in the health and economic industries. However, I believe that by introducing this law, it will create a problem in terms of enforcing who has the legal right and not, which in contrary to helping the health and economic societies it may create problems in economic terms as costs are associated with enforcement by the government, which ultimately is taken by the taxpayers and this factor could do worse for the U.S society than it does good.

  50. Marijuana today is now legal in more than half the United States. About 26 states have now legalized marijuana either medically, recreationally, or both. Marijuana is such a hot topic in society, because many think of it as such a horrible drug or a gateway drug. Then there’s the others in society who think it’s for good use medically. Truth of the matter is that there are many other drugs that have a higher chance of killing you that pharmacies sell and the government does not ban those or make them a class 1 drug like weed. My father has MS(Multiple Sclerosis) and he in the state of Illinois is eligible to accept marijuana as a medical treatment, but he has never been fond of the herb because as a kid in Spain many of his older cousins abused it and he never wanted to end up addicted, nor did he like the skunky odor it released. I understand its his choice to reject it, but marijuana did not end up harming his cousins. One of them ended up becoming a very successful anesthesiologist in Spain. So I believe marijuana should be legalized because of all its potential benefits and personal experience with family.

  51. I am someone who has grown up around marijuana. My Zeyda (Yiddish for grandpa) was an avid pot smoker until his very last days. Pot smokers are so stigmatized. They are thought to be lazy and stupid. However, many people would be surprised to find that I smoke pot every day. I am an athlete, a successful student, and work three jobs. I struggle with racing thoughts because I am so go go go all the time and marijuana is sometimes the only thing that can get me to relax. The government hasn’t legalized cannabis because of lobbyists. Lobbyists from big pharma do not want marijuana to be legalized because its medical uses are so various, therefore their revenue would be impacted by its legalization. If more successful people speak out about their use of pot, we can help to end the stigma. People call pot a gateway drug. If this were the case, it would be because people have to go to drug dealers to get their marijuana. Should the government legalize marijuana it would decrease the likelihood that marijuana would be a gateway drug, because people would have a safe way to purchase it, and allow the government to tax its sale in order to pay for things like education.

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