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.
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/