The legalization of marijuana in the U. S. has become one of the most debated topics in the last few years. Even though numerous studies have proved cannabis to be much safer than alcohol and tobacco, most U.S. states have strict laws with regards to marijuana use, possession, and distribution. Medicinal use of marijuana is legal in 25 states, and in 18 states, the possession of marijuana has been decriminalized. Legalization of marijuana in the U.S. would be beneficial for the economy and public health; moreover, it would help to decrease the presence and profitability of illegal drug distribution channels, resulting in lower street crime levels.
With half of the American states not allowing the sale of marijuana even for medical use, all the money from the illegal distribution of cannabis goes to the criminal drug channels. However, if the sale of marijuana were to be legalized, the vast majority of current and potential users would obtain it from legal channels. Since sale and distribution taxes would be applied to the legal distribution channels, the legalization of cannabis would create an additional source of revenue for the government.
Better law enforcement
Secondly, the legalization of marijuana would increase the effectiveness of police and law enforcement services. Today, in the states where cannabis is illegal, many police officers spend a considerable amount of time following and arresting street marijuana suppliers, people who grow cannabis, as well as those in possession of the drug. While these offenses are relatively minor, they take a large share of the officers’ time. Legalization of marijuana would ensure that this time is spent on more serious offenses, such as violent crimes, hate crimes, theft, and burglary, thus leading to a more effective law enforcement system.
Another argument for the legalization of marijuana is the evidence of its positive effect on the health of patients suffering from certain conditions. For instance, it has been proven that marijuana helps people who suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are currently no medications that could provide relief to PTSD patients; however, cannabis can alleviate the symptoms by replenishing endocannabinoids, which can deactivate traumatic memories and decrease chronic anxiety, as well as to enhance the quality of sleep. Other medicinal uses of marijuana include the treatment of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer: the U.S. National Cancer Institute has recently admitted that marijuana can indeed kill cancer cells, thus inhibiting tumor growth. Finally, marijuana is widely used as a pain suppressor, which means that is could potentially provide relief to patients suffering from painful chronic and incurable conditions.
The decrease in drug cartels’ presence
Lastly, the distribution of marijuana in the U. S. constitutes a significant share of business for drug cartels. The legalization of marijuana would shut off this revenue channel, which could potentially help to decrease the overall presence of drug cartels in the country.
All in all, I believe that marijuana should be legalized and sold across the territory of the U. S. under certain restrictions – for instance, to people over the age of 18. The legalization of marijuana will have several substantial advantages for the U. S. economy and the quality of life of people who could benefit from the controlled use of the drug. Furthermore, it would result in increased efficiency of law enforcement and help to eliminate some illegal drug suppliers from the U. S. drug market.