Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana in America

Subject: Law
Pages: 5
Words: 1419
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College

Introduction

The legalization of marijuana has been a key subject in the US and also many other countries around the world. The previous years have been characterized by substantial shifts in cultural notions that are directed towards marijuana. There seem to be potential problems and also health concerns over the use of bhang (Feng 17). In terms of medical purposes, marijuana should be a matter subject to unscrupulous review by clinical experts. There is a difference between hemp and recreational marijuana. Hemp means cannabis that contains 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content while recreational marijuana is cannabis with high content of THC that can get someone altered in terms of their thinking and decisions (Epstein et al. 13). This paper explores the legalization of marijuana in the United States (US).

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Frequency of Use Medically and Recreationally

Marijuana is used by many in the US and either to have recreational or medical consumption. According to the United Nations (UN), more than 158.7 million individuals around the world use marijuana (Feng 15). In the US to be specific, 95 million people or more are said to have used marijuana at least twice in their lifetime (Feng 15). In Florida state which has more than 21 million people, 2.61% use marijuana for medical purposes while 11.7% use marijuana for recreational purposes (Pistilli para 2-4). However, possession of 20 grams of marijuana is illegal in Florida and can make someone serve 30 years in jail or pay $50,000 as a fine for the same. More than 3.5 million people in the entire US use marijuana for medical purposes (Hackney 342). Thus, the statistics insinuate that the use of cannabis in the US remains primarily recreational. Other people have mixed reactions to using marijuana either for recreation or doctor’s prescriptions.

People Using Marijuana and the Purpose

Many people do not like disclosing their personal lives when it comes to drug and substance use. It remains a matter of concealing for marijuana users especially when they are required to reveal whether or not they use marijuana. The substance users are said to hide their stash in the private zones more so parents. Out of the total number of marijuana users in the US, only 3.6 million people express their concerns about the usage of cannabis (Hall, and Weier 116). When asked, 60% of the number claim to use it for medicinal purposes while the rest for recreation. However, some may not be open in terms of disclosing the truth of the matter and therefore, it remains a subject matter of discussion. The statistics are derived when many citizens are asked whether marijuana should be legal or illegal.

Size of Marijuana Industry in the US and Florida State

Due to many users of the substance, the industry is growing by the day. Reports by ArcView market research and bds analytics suggest that the cannabis industry is projected to grow by 19% between 2020 and 2025 and may reach up to $34 billion (Hansen, and Alas para 2-3). Florida is said to be among the states which shall contribute to the tremendous growth. As of 2021, Florida has approximately 570,000 medical marijuana patients and about 2500 qualified physicians (Lin, and Choi 45). There are more than 350 retail locations where cannabis can be readily available and the number may grow up to 500 by 2022 (Lin, and Choi 45). The industry is growing at a fast rate due to the efficiency of individuals to access marijuana. However, due to the legislation on the substance, Florida may be having a slow rate in the expansion of the industry due to the risk of legal actions after violating the laws.

Reasons for Legalization and Why it is Legalized

The public support for the legalization of marijuana in the US is high. 66% of people have shown interest in allowing the legalization of marijuana either for medicinal or recreational purposes (Pistilli para 2). The proponents of the legalization of marijuana in the US articulate that it will lead to more billions in the economy, create more jobs, free police resources and prevent the notable racial disparities when enforcing marijuana-related issues. Many people contend that when marijuana is legalized, it will lead to lower street crime, take enterprises away from drug lords and make the substance safer. Additionally, the use of medical marijuana in the US is typically for pain control (Sajdeya et al. 45). Although the substance is not strong to prevent severe pain, it may be effective for chronic pain that leads to the death of many Americans more so when they get older. Therefore, the legalization of bhang is debated on grounds that is medicinal and recreational purposes.

So far, about 19 states have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes examples being Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Michigan, and the list goes on. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and the district of Columbia. States such as California, Delaware, Arizona, Florida, and many others have legalized only medical uses of marijuana. Substance legalization has been a mainstream idea for political movers especially the Democrats. (Sajdeya et al. 48). There have been various state legislatures that back the idea and initiated the bills that aim to decriminalize it.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana

There are many benefits of medical marijuana to the patients who get a doctoral prescription to use the substance. Medical marijuana can treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, glaucoma, nausea, diseases that affect the immune system among others (Schlussel 23). Cannabinoids that are contained in marijuana lead to reduced levels of anxiety, relieving pain, lowering inflammation, control nausea caused by chemotherapy, kills cancer cells and tumor growths. Additionally, a patient who has tight muscles may have them relaxed when medically applying cannabis. Many people are also concerned about whether medical marijuana can help with seizure disorders. Following such questions, Epidiolex made from cannabis-related substances was approved in 2018 (Schlussel 23). That enabled treating seizures such as severe forms of dravet syndrome among others.

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Benefits of Recreational Marijuana and Cannabidiol

Similar to medical uses, marijuana can be used for recreational purposes with benefits. Smoking is said to be a bonding factor among friends and can loosen inhibitions. Thus, cannabis can help people to speak their minds and exchange information and ideas freely. Additionally, marijuana is important for heightening the senses and enhance the taste of food and the sound of melody (Subbaraman, and Kerr 206). The other recreational benefit of marijuana is that it unlocks an individual’s creativity. The reason is that cannabis has cannabinoids that promote thinking outside the box. Marijuana is perceived to help people persuade others especially when having a reception to new information. Socially, cannabidiol (CBD) provisionally helps users to mask negativity and get an important perception of a given situation.

People who indulge in physically engaging jobs can use CBD as it increases the feeling of energy and makes someone to be active for a long time. However, there are many risks to using CND as it affects memory and may lead to a lack of retentive cognition (Subbaraman, and Kerr 208). The substance also heightens fear, anxiety and can cause panic during productive moments. Therefore, an individual is expected to choose wisely on whether or not to use marijuana.

Why Marijuana is not Nationally Legalized in the US

Marijuana use is only accepted medically in 33 states and 19 states for recreational purposes (Epstein et al. 14). The reason why marijuana is not nationally legalized is the debate over the benefits to the individuals and the states. The proponents of legalization argue that it may lead to an economic boost while the opponent has a contrary opinion on the same. Those who oppose legalization base their arguments on the morality of society, the economic disparity, the welfare of the young people especially those in schools, and also religious conformations.

In the US, until the 2018 farm bill was passed under federal law, it was considered illegal to possess, buy, or cultivate cannabis in all the US jurisdictions. That phenomenon was legally pressed under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that categorized marijuana as a drug that had potential abuse by many hence having adverse effects on the country (Epstein et al. 15) more than 60% of US adults say marijuana should be legalized while some significant groups in the society are against that. (Hackney 344). Therefore, it has been hard to have the general legalization of marijuana in the US due to ideological, social, economic, and political differences.

Works Cited

Epstein, Marina et al. “Evaluating the Effect of Retail Marijuana Legalization on Parent Marijuana Use Frequency and Norms in the U.S. States with Retail Marijuana Legalization”. Addictive Behaviors, vol 111, no. 6, 2020, pp. 10-16. Elsevier BV, doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106564.

Feng, Bo. “Marijuana Legalization and Interest in Marijuana: Evidence from Google Trends”. SSRN Electronic Journal, vol 5, no. 7, 2017, pp. 11-19. Elsevier BV, doi:10.2139/ssrn.3053263.

Hackney, G. “Trulieve: The Production of Medicinal Marijuana in Florida”. Acta Horticulturae, vol 6, no. 1174, 2017, pp. 341-344. International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), doi:10.17660/actahortic.2017.1174.69.

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Hall, Wayne, and Megan Weier. “Has Marijuana Legalization Increased Marijuana Use Among US Youth?”. JAMA Pediatrics, vol 171, no. 2, 2017, p. 116. American Medical Association (AMA), doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3917.

Hansen, Claire, and Horus Alas. “Where Is Marijuana Legal? A Guide to Marijuana Legalization”. Usnrs, 2021.

Lin, Charlie, and Humberto Choi. “Unanticipated Consequences of Marijuana Legalization”. Chest, vol 156, no. 4, 2019, pp. 44-45. Elsevier BV, doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2019.08.1286.

Pistilli, Melisa. “What You Need to Know About the Florida Cannabis Market”. Investing News Network, 2021.

Sajdeya, Ruba et al. “Reasons for Marijuana Use and Its Perceived Effectiveness in Therapeutic and Recreational Marijuana Users Among People Living with HIV in Florida”. Cannabis, vol 4, no. 1, 2021, pp. 40-52. Research Society on Marijuana, doi:10.26828/cannabis/2021.01.002.

Schlussel, David. “Marijuana Legalization and Expungement in Early 2021”. SSRN Electronic Journal, vol 12, no. 45, 2021, p. 23. Elsevier BV, doi:10.2139/ssrn.3840263.

Subbaraman, Meenakshi Sabina, and William C. Kerr. “Support For Marijuana Legalization in The US State of Washington has Continued to Increase Through 2016”. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol 175, no. 5, 2017, pp. 205-209. Elsevier BV, doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.02.015.

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