Should Marijuana be Legalized in America?

by julienlaberge on May 5, 2017 - 8:40pm

This is an article talking about how the American election could be a turning point for the marijuana legalization. I’ll just focus on both worldviews concerning this major new possible law. It was written in October 2016 so actions have took places since then but the fundamental ideas are still the same.

The article presents some states in favor of legalization such as Arizona and Nevada, and a map of the U.S if this law passes. The movement towards legalization in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington over the past years has opened the door for an eventual federal legalization. This legalization would mean “the beginning of the end of the war on marijuana” said Gavin Newsom, the lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco. We can say that this is a conflict between the liberalism and conservatism point of views, liberalism in the sense of liberty, but the liberty of consuming or not this drug, and conservatism in the way of refusing any changes or innovations.  

The liberalist side puts its energy more on the economic aspect by promoting that the market of both recreational and medicinal marijuana “is projected to grow to $22 billion in four years from $7 billion this year if California says yes”. They promote the fact that this legalization would create an explosion for the market and boost the American economy in no time. It would be even bigger than the wine industry if legalized in all states.

The conservative arguments are more centralized around the health damage that it would bring if legalized. Marijuana smoke is compared to cigarettes smoke with its harmful repercussions. It would be exchanging a criminal crisis for a public health crisis. Many studies has showed that these effects are seen in the “adolescent development, to the cardiovascular system and to fetuses”. Marijuana is more addictive than alcohol, but less than tobacco. 25% of weekly users risk to become addicted to this drug. This is a battle to “protect the human brain, the mind, our futures, our kids”, this is what they defend.

I personally think that even with the health problems, we should legalize the cannabis because the impact on the economy is just too big. It will help so much the government with a new income as big as these predictions. However, I would put restrictions on this drug. The same as alcohol, you need to be major, so 18 or over here and 21 and over in the U.S. There should have limits to the quantity you can buy in a certain period of time to prevent excess and abusive consummation. I see this legalization as a human right to buy it or not, I really prefer see people smoking marijuana bought in those certified cannabis shops then marijuana bought at the black market, non-certified and really toxic. I agree with this innovation because the cannabis available will be “clean” if I can say, it will not be a toxic substance as the one circulating in our streets right now. Studies and verifications will be made in order to sell a product the less harmful as possible. I may not be in total favor, but I don’t think we can stop people from smoking cannabis, so I want it the less damageable for these smokers.   

 

Work-Cited

Fuller, Thomas, “Election May Be a Turning Point for Legal Marijuana” New York Times, October 24, 2016, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/25/us/marijuana-legalization-ballot-measures.html

This is a quality source because it has been published in the New York Times, and had like purpose to inform people about a critical situation.

 

Comments

Hi julienlaberge,

Legalization of marijuana is a subject that we have been talking about for a long time now. Since you wrote your article, many discussions and decisions were engaged, resulting in legalizing marijuana starting in July 1st 2018 in Canada.

I agree with you on the fact that we should put restrictions for the people buying and consuming marijuana. It would also be very beneficial for the government and our economy. For example, the limit on the amount you can buy like you mentioned is a great way to prevent damages. The government will have to be very careful about the restrictions they will impose for this new legalisation.

Hi julienlaberge. I found your topic interesting since it is a hot subject on which almost everyone took position, and you added to your summary many facts and statistics, which made your arguments more convincing. You provided many interesting arguments and I agree with you that the legalization of marijuana will trigger important economic revenues to the government rather than to criminal gangs. However, I believe that health risks outweigh economic benefits. I think that making marijuana legal will increase drug consumption since it will be more accessible to people that feel uncomfortable to consume illegal drugs from the black market. Plus, I strongly believe that another way for the country to be economically prosperous is to keep its citizens healthy in order for them to be productive in the job market, which also consists of an important source of revenue. It was proven that the consumption of cannabis bring consequences on health, which will cost money to the country as some may be forced to exit the labour market and have a need for medical treatment. It is then possible for some individuals, who are a source of revenue for the state, to become a source of expense. And even if the legalization of cannabis would bring more economic benefits than workers, I think that having a healthy society is priceless and that the Canadian government has the responsibility to protect his citizens against any potential threat over money. In order to minimize the negative impacts of such law, do you think it would be responsible to redistribute some money generated by marijuana legalization in the health sector?

hi,
yes i agree that it would increase the drug consumption but as I said, I prefer to see more people smoking a drug that is controlled then a drug without any restrictions. And yes of course they are other ways to increase our economy but this one isn't bad in my opinion.

Your summary cached my attention because your subject is interesting me and it is an issue that is actually discussed, but I might say that I do not agree with you concerning the legalization of marijuana. In my opinion, the negative aspects outweighed the positive ones. It is true the legalization might stop the illegal sale but as alcohol, it will not stop minors from buying it illegally and consuming it. More than that, my past experiences and from what I witness, this drug is highly addictive, can cause health problems and it has been shown that "regular adolescent marijuana users have lower educational attainment than non-using peers, that they were more likely to use other illegal drugs, the use produced intellectual impairment that use doubled the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia and increased the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged adults" (Stimson). Also, even if the consumption is legalized the risk of abuse will only be increasing because the access to the drug will only be easier. The fact is that, actually, the consumption is illegal and this is not stopping people from buying and consuming marijuana in excessive ways. However, if the consumption is legalized, in my opinion, it will only make it worse because the access to it will be easier. Therefore, I think that the legalization will not reduce the consumption or make people more reasonable and responsible, I believe it will have the opposite effect and increase the consumption and abuse of this drug. In addition, we have to think about the fact that restrictions will have to be imposed and laws applied which means that we will add a “burden” for the authorities who have to deal with the legal consumption of marijuana. In other words, it is hard enough to deal with the legal consumption of alcohol and other drugs but if we add the legalization of marijuana it will only make it harder to control the sale. Also, I do not think that the government should base the economy on the sale of an addictive drug because I think it is wrong to freely sale marijuana while we know the negative impacts that it can have on the body and the mind. In conclusion, I do not think it is a good idea to freely “encourage” people to smoke weed because the risk of abuse will be increased and therefore create addictive problems and health problems as well. Do you think that it is worth taking the risk that the legalization will make things better or do you think that the authorities have enough trouble already with the consumption and sale of marijuana?

http://dailysignal.com/2014/11/30/why-legalizing-pot-is-a-bad-idea/

hi,
Yes I understand your point and agree that it would increase the drug consumption but as I said, I prefer to see more people smoking a drug that is controlled then a drug without any restrictions. And yes of course they are other ways to increase our economy but this one isn't bad in my opinion.

I really love this topic of discussion because people’s opinions differ from their beliefs and values which makes this topic so interesting. Your opinion is really well developed with supporting arguments.
In my opinions if people are already smoking pot, then the legalization of it will not increase the population intake, because if people want to smoke it then they will find a way weather its legal or not. There have been absolutely no deaths in relation to marijuana, in fact there are more deaths caused by smoking and alcohol consumption. Earth gave us this plant, and yes as I do agree it should be monitored and used cautiously, I don’t believe that legalizing it will have such a big impact. The biggest impact it will have, as you said is on the economy, which is why I don’t understand why it is such an issue. Marijuana should be controlled just like alcohol; would you drive drunk? No, so why would people drive baked out of their minds? They wouldn’t if laws were applied just like alcohol, and the same consequences would be applied. Wouldn’t you rather get your pot somewhere where you know it’s safe, than in an alley on the streets??

Hi,
Totally agree with you and yes of course that's the whole point of legalization, not getting your pot from an alley on the streets.

The discussions and debates surrounding the legalization of marijuana have been very animated over the past few years and the arguments brought to the table are very interresting. I support the legalization of marijuana for a handful of reasons. First of all, by making marijuana a legal drug, goverments have the possibility to have access to a billion dollar market and make it their own, granting them an enormous economical boost. Secondly, goverments can possibly reduce negative health impacts of marijuana consumption by monitoring and assuring a greater quality of product compared to what is sold on the streets. Finally, I do not think that leaglizing weed will create a boost in marijuana consumption, those who do not consume marijuana don't do it because it is illegal, but rather because their choice is probably grounded in personal values regarding drugs and a fear of the effects on their health. As such, legalizing marijuana has a great economical advantage and the risk on public health will not be greater or inferior to how it is now.

Hi,
Totally agree with you and yes of course that's the whole point of legalization, getting the a government actually control the circulation of this drug and assure it in a sense.

The discussions and debates surrounding the legalization of marijuana have been very animated over the past few years and the arguments brought to the table are very interresting. I support the legalization of marijuana for a handful of reasons. First of all, by making marijuana a legal drug, goverments have the possibility to have access to a billion dollar market and make it their own, granting them an enormous economical boost. Secondly, goverments can possibly reduce negative health impacts of marijuana consumption by monitoring and assuring a greater quality of product compared to what is sold on the streets. Finally, I do not think that leaglizing weed will create a boost in marijuana consumption, those who do not consume marijuana don't do it because it is illegal, but rather because their choice is probably grounded in personal values regarding drugs and a fear of the effects on their health. As such, legalizing marijuana has a great economical advantage and the risk on public health will not be greater or inferior to how it is now.

Illegalizing hasn’t worked one bit; the prisons have been over populated with people that aren’t even dangerous. They are imprisoned for minor offense like smoking weed or selling it. We spend billions of dollars in prisons. In my opinion, legalizing marijuana would be a good move, morally and economically. Buying marijuana isn't hard, even a kid in secondary school could easily access it, there are thousands of dealers around United States. You could grow the plant in your backyard and people won't even notice. By legalizing it, the government removes drug dealers from street which is what they are trying to do in first place but have failed miserably. Considering that the government could tax it like cigarettes and alcohol, they could make billions and billions of profits. The government could use those profits to improve the education and health sector, they could provide classes that would teach about these narcotics. It doesn’t make sense when alcohol and cigarettes are legal but not marijuana. Both are known to cause health problems and addiction problems and also, they have caused millions of deaths. There have been no deaths caused by marijuana. Odd, isn’t it? Yet, it remains illegal. Look at the Netherlands, their prisons are not over populated, government is making billions of profits and there are less criminals on the street compared to the US. The Netherlands is viewed as one of the peaceful countries and legalizing marijuana is one of the reasons why. Overall, just legalize it, there are more benefits. The government could put an age restriction just like alcohol and cigarettes.

Hi Haroon,
Totally agree with you and yes of course when we look at Netherlands as you said, their situation regarding the pot legalization is very descent and almost desirable.

Hi julienlaberge,
I decided to comment on your summary because for me it is something that should have been done many years ago. I am personally more on the liberalist side but the conservative view is also putting up some nice argument. Weed should be legalized not only for economy but for the security of it. Many young adult takes drug more than once a week from you never know what dealer they get it from. When it will be legalized here in Canada teenager, young adults and adults will be able to make sure that there drug is not filled with poisonned stuff like we've seen in many case in the newspaper. It will be great for the economy because it will be taxable and restrictionned could be apply just like other things that are for 18 years old+. But as we all know cigarette and alcohol is for 18 years old and more only but young adult are still finding their way to have access to it. What can the government do about that issue?

Hi Kaisha,
Totally agree with you and yes legalizing would assure us of it's "quality" if I can say. We will be sure that the pot we consume isn't fulled with chemical products as the one on the streets these days.

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