Well, you are not alone as nearly 60% Americans favor legalizing marijuana across the nation. Even both Republicans and Democrats have backed marijuana decriminalization. This way, legalized marijuana movement has been gaining momentum in the nation. Recently, Canada has legalized weed—another reason for pro-weed people to smile over.
There are many more reasons to legalize weed. Many scientific studies have found that marijuana can be an effective remedy for several medical conditions.
Despite people’s support and numerous scientific claims, marijuana is still illegal in 21 U.S. states. Legalizing it in the rest US states will not only benefit their domiciles, but may also add to their economy. Here’s how…
Marijuana Contains Medicinal Value:
Marijuana is more than a recreational drug. It is an effective remedy for several diseases. Many ancient scriptures have documented the use of marijuana for treating digestive disorders, memory, gout and insomnia.
Modern studies have found that marijuana is an effective drug for pain, cancer, AIDS and depression. For example, cannabinoids present in marijuana can prevent tumor growth by killing cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. Marijuana also eases the cancer symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea and pain.
According to some clinical trials conducted in 2015, marijuana can significantly minimize chronic pain as it contains analgesic properties like CBD and TCH.
Marijuana is also used for depression as it enhances endocannabinoids chemicals being responsible for stabilizing mood. According to one study, marijuana can ease the HIV/AIDS symptoms like vomiting, loss of appetite, stress and nausea.
Marijuana is Safer than Alcohol and Tobacco:
Alcohol and tobacco are the legal drugs in the USA. Ironically, they are associated with the half-million deaths occurring annually in the nation. The consumption of alcohol and tobacco leads to several diseases that affect the person in medical bills, affected productivity, and other expenses.
But this is not the case with marijuana. It is a non-toxic drug. There is not even a single death caused by marijuana so far. According to a 2015 study, the mortality risk with cannabis is 100-114 times lower than that of alcohol.
In this context, the NY Times writes in its editorial…
“Casual use by adults poses little or no risk for healthy people. Its effects are mostly euphoric and mild, whereas alcohol turns some drinkers into barroom brawlers, domestic abusers or maniacs behind the wheel.”
In other words, it can be a safer alternative to alcohol and tobacco.
Marijuana Can Improve Economy:
Marijuana can also boost the nation’s economy. It has improved the revenue of the states where it is legalized. In 2014, Colorado earned $ 25 million from its pot-related tax revenue in the first six months of weed legalization. NerdWallet claims that the U.S. can earn more than $3 billion in tax revenue if marijuana is legalized today.
Marijuana Industry Can Generate More Jobs:
Apart from boosting the nation’s economy, the marijuana industry can generate one million jobs in the nation. Setting up marijuana nurseries and dispensaries can create more job opportunities. According to one report, the industry created 18,000 full-time jobs in Colorado within one year of legalization in the state. An RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group Study found that legalizing recreational marijuana in Nevada can create over 40,000 jobs by 2024.
On the basis of this, it can be said that weed legalization can improve the employment rate in the USA to some extent.
Marijuana is Eco-Friendly:
Cannabis is a resilient plant, and it can grow anywhere (except for the desert and Antarctica), in any climate. Their cultivation doesn’t require fertilizers or chemicals, unlike most crops.
Further, they remove the toxins (phytoremediation) underground, thereby maintaining the fertility and health of the soil.
They contribute to the environment by minimizing deforestation. How?
They grow quickly and in excessive quantity. Therefore, their fiber can be used to make paper products like papers, envelopes and cardboard. Cannabis plant is stronger and has more fiber than cotton, meaning that it can be used in textile industry. This way, it can reduce cotton cultivation that requires the huge amount of pesticides and other dangerous chemicals.
Marijuana plants contain biomass that can be converted into biodiesel and ethanol. And these biofuels emit 80% less sulfur dioxide and carbon footprints than conventional fuels.
Marijuana is Nutritious:
Marijuana’s seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, iron, omega 3 and calcium. They can be used in several recipes like chips, salads and bars. You can sprinkle them on the top of stews, pudding, soups and yogurt.
Legalizing Marijuana Can Reduce Arrests:
The negative consequences of prohibiting marijuana translate into wasted resources and ruined lives. Firstly, police have to spend thousands of hours to arrest, book and imprison marijuana smokers. Many culprits have been sentenced for over a decade in prison, even for the possession of cannabis for a personal use.
The prohibition is extremely expensive. The New York Times reveals that there were “658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figurescompared with 256,000 for cocaine, heroin and their derivatives.”Further, the NY Times states that the enforcing the prohibition law costs over 3.6 billion dollar and many hours. Milton Friedman and a group of over 500 economists concluded that marijuana prohibition costs more than $7.7 billion per year. These arrests not only distract officers from more critical issues, but also eat up their valuable time being spent in the arrests.
The effect of the arrests on a convict is long lasting. Many convicts stay on police records for years, ending up with slim chances to get jobs, loans and housing. With soaring unemployment rate and many US cities facing a housing crisis, a single marijuana arrest can lead to serious effects.
So these are the reasons why marijuana should be legalized. It is clear that decriminalization of marijuana will benefit health, economy and environment. It shouldn’t be looked as immoral or illegal drug any more. The positives of marijuana should be given more press to get more “YES” vote.
Romit is a Marketing Manager at Phytoplant Research S.L., a Medicinal plants research and development company in Spain.