Dear Future President,
I believe that the legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use should have a prominent place within your presidential term. Words like "Stoners" and "Potheads" may make marijuana seem like a lowly thing, however there is a plethora of benefits from the plant. Before introducing my main points I would like to present a scenario for you to ponder.
If you had two rooms of people, one you placed alcohol on the center table, other you have cannabis, which room of people are most likely to get into a fight. Exactly. Logically applying the maxim that alcohol is safe to openly sell and regulate so should marijuana especially with all its pros and relatively no cons.
Without further adieu I would like to jump into the reasons why marijuana should be legalized, and why you should be supporting it. The enforcement of it being illegal holds so many problems, all of the economic benefits that could be unlocked if it were legalized, as well as the medical benefits from the plant.
A very strong reason to legalize marijuana is that keeping it illegal increases the risks and dangers of the shifty transactions of the drug. We all know of the large controversy surrounding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement within the country. Legalizing marijuana is one less enabler of racism. “Marijuana use is roughly equal among Blacks and whites, yet Blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.” (Aclu.org) If Police officers could not use marijuana as a warrant for persons under their scrutiny there would simply be no room for racial bias at least among marijuana use. The enforcement of marijuana is an enabler of racial bias.
Another issue among cannabis enforcement pertains to the drug trade. International drug trades are a scary, tricky business to secure. Unless a dealer gets their product from a licensed dispensary there is no way of knowing where it came from, in a good amount of cases it may be from a totally different country. “But I'm in Mexico getting marijuana for Miguel, Bring it back into the States, put it on the scale” (Wild Boy, Machine Gun Kelly) The citation of a rap song may seem a little silly however it does pertain some truths. If dealers didn't need to sneak around they would be able to simply grow their own here in the states, if and when legalized. When marijuana isn't regulated it becomes ambiguous, a toss up of its reliability.
The economic benefits of legal cannabis is gold mine ready to be discovered. One of the negatives of illegal cannabis enforcement is the hefty costs, therefore legalizing the drug eliminates the ineffective resources. “Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.” (Aclu.org). Thinking of all the wasted time and money our policemen put into the failing enforcement going to schools and forwarding our country sounds like a much better plan. Not only does the untapped industry promise jobs, it also holds the guarantee of tax benefits.
Not only would it aid in the end of harmful drugs it also brings tax benefits. As mentioned earlier tax benefits of marijuana would be an undeniable benefit. “Colorado collected almost $70 million in marijuana taxes during that time, nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol taxes.” (TIME) Colorado one of few where weed is legalized banked in on the check of pot. Imagine those numbers on a national scale! The statistic truly does speak for itself.
The medical benefits of marijuana is something that compared to any other drug on the market is undeniable. When a plant-based alternative is presented many like to call it out and challenge its credibility. With the controversy of marijuana it may come as a surprise to some that the majority of medical professionals support the drug, “A 2013 survey in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nearly 8-in-10 doctors approved the use of medical marijuana.” (Washington Post). There is a grand amount of medical professionals within America that support the use of Medical Marijuana. The benefits of medical use come into treat the obvious problems such as Chronic Pain, Migraines, and Severe cramps. In addition, it also aids in cancer treatment! “In May 2014, London researchers noted that pre-treating brain tumors with CBD and THC [Cannabinoids found in Marijuana plants] prior to radiation therapy increased sensitivity to the radiation, thus improving its effectiveness. In studies, tumors pretreated with CBD and THC wound up being just one-tenth the size of tumors in the control group.” (Fool.com) There are many more specific cannabinoids and chains within the natural plant that may be used within treatment plans of various needs. If the legalization of marijuana was a widely accepted way, the distinction between these cannabinoids would be regulated and offered to those who would benefit from the plant when modern medicine fails or simply brings in too many negative side effects.
Even with the impressive statistics of legalization there is still such an incredible resistance. Therefore to understand this resentment let's take a look at the opposing side. One of the most popular oppositions is that marijuana is addictive. When evaluating such an implication we have to define addiction. When one hears such a word they may think of a heroine addict, someone losing their mind over a NEED for an extremely dangerous drug. In such cases addiction is almost untreatable. The body once getting a taste of poison becomes reliant. The body truly does need the drug for simple survival. Another form of addiction that may come to mind is one of a teenager and a cell phone. A teenager maybe on their cell phone for 90% of their day but does that mean that if it was magically taken away from them that they wouldn't be able to survive biologically. No, yet so many are quick to say teens are addicted to there phones, simply due to the amount spent with. When one calls a pothead addicted it is purely based on the amount the person smokes. “Pot head” is a term used for someone who heavily uses and takes advantage of the properties of cannabis. This use of addiction is similar to a teen on their phone, it does not mean they would not be able to survive without marijuana as obviously at some point they were living fine without it. Using it simply as a tool to enhance their day to day life, not a dire necessity to live on.
In conclusion, I believe that the legalization of marijuana should hold a prominent position in one’s presidential term as it holds grand medical benefits, a solution to problematic enforcement, as well as incredible economic benefits. When challenged with an opposing view always be sure to evaluate such, and please do so to this paper even. Hopefully doing so shines a light on such a misunderstood drug.