The never-ending debate about why marijuana should be illegal has fueled the anger of users, as well as people who believe in it versus those who want it to be listed as illicit. But have you ever considered its impact to the economy?
How do you think it can help the government out? Before we dive deep into that, let us first discuss the known history of marijuana in the United States.
Marijuana’s Known History in the United States
Back in the 17th Century, the US government encouraged the production and cultivation of the hemp plant for the manufacturing of sails, clothing, and rope. Little did they know, that this particular plant had a relative plant that would soon be recognized as a narcotic.
Hemp and marijuana, in case you didn’t know, are closely related – they come from the same species. As a matter of fact, in today’s time, hemp is legally known and defined as a cannabis plant with 0.3 percent THC or less.
From then on, the production of hemp flourished, and imports were coming in and replacing hemp, too.
It was until the late 19th Century when marijuana was used as a popular ingredient in a whole lot of medicine and pharmaceutical products. Yes, it was openly sold to people in pharmacies and it was purchased publicly.
Then, in 1910, immigrants from Mexico swarmed the US, introducing the recreational use of the plant. Due to this, the drug became tied with these immigrants and fear flooded the country about the newcomers – both the Mexican immigrants and the drug.
The Great Depression
One of the many triggers of how cannabis was outlawed was due to the Great Depression. It was associated with unemployment tied to the fear of Mexican immigrants, escalating and forcing Congress to pass the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, criminalizing it.
Then, in the 1950s, drug-related sentences have been enacted by federal law until Nixon’s time in Congress.
The very first decriminalization of the drug was in 1973 in the state of Oregon. They reduced the penalty to a $100-fine for up to a single ounce. Oregon was then followed by Alaska, Maine, Colorado, and Ohio in decriminalizing the plant.
Several other states followed until 1990, different every year with a particular set of rules and regulations.
In terms of legalization, California was the first state that accepted the legal use of cannabis under the Proposition 215 approval. Then followed 43 more states in legalizing the use of medical marijuana under specific laws and conditions.
Back in 2012, several states accepted and legalized the recreational use of marijuana following the passages of the Initiative 502 and the Amendment 64.
Over the years, some backed down, while some continued. In 2022, the total number of states that legalized medical cannabis to 37 states, 21 of which allow recreational use as well.
By knowing the history of the plant’s legalization, you will be able to find out why they’re doing it and why they’re keeping it int the list of illicit drugs.
Marijuana’s Economical Impact
Did you know that in 2021, states in the country that openly legalized marijuana for personal or recreational consumption was able to generate $3.7 billion in annual tax revenue. Take note, this amount does not include proceeds distributed to smaller municipalities or city revenue.
Marijuana can actually help the economy out if it’s done in the best and most appropriate ways possible.
If legalizing it has been the best for some states, would other states have the same result? Could they yield the same reaction?
10 Reasons Why Marijuana Should Be Illegal
Many non-believers of the plant argue that it should continue to be illegal regardless of what it can do. Nevertheless, it’s still a narcotic, after all. But what are concrete reasons why it should? What do people have against it, anyway?
Here are ten (10) of the common reasons why people want marijuana to still be held illegal:
Reason #1: Increased Use of Teens
Probably the number one reason why marijuana should be kept illicit is because of how our society can take it. Teens could start using it, and, as we all know, cannabis does not just harm the person using it – it can harm the people around the user, too.
For instance, misuse of cannabis can result in multiple road and traffic accidents, people who start early could be addicted, which would require them to attend rehab, etc.
As per the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of marijuana before the age of 25 can have adverse effects on the brain. Effects that include decreased concentration, problem solving, and attention span, as well as impaired short-term memory.
Reason #2: Higher Chances of Road and Traffic Accidents
Another reason to keep marijuana at its current place is because of the possibility of traffic and road accidents. Colorado, one of the states that legalized marijuana, saw a couple of benefits after legalizing it. However, it also saw a 138% rise in traffic deaths.
The same thing happened in Washington. Fatal road crashes doubled after it has been legalized.
While on the road, people need to be cautious and alert. Unfortunately, the effect of cannabis is it relaxes both the body and the mind of the user, making them feel comfortable in any given situation. This does not fit traveling and driving best.
Reason #3: It Will Increase Drug Dependence
Cannabis is addictive – the compounds in it are the reason why they are. This is not a healthy feat. In fact, many heavy marijuana users suffer from withdrawal symptoms if they’re unable to get a hold of the substance regularly.
The dependence on marijuana will definitely increase, and this is something that’s being avoided by a lot of states that legalized it. Research done by the Journal of Drug Issues found that since 2002, 68% of users were found to consume the cannabis on a daily basis.
Reason #4: It Can Cause Alarming Increase in Marijuana-Related Emergencies
Marijuana, in itself, is not harmful. In fact, it’s even argued to have health-inclined results. However, there are other conditions and instances where it can adversely affect the user. For instance, marijuana can be a trigger to people who are asthmatic, so, when this happens, the patient could be hospitalized.
Apart from asthma, other respiratory tract infections could also trigger due to the inhalation of marijuana.
It’s not that marijuana is a dangerous substance, but the key in understanding it would be how marijuana could affect people with certain conditions. Due to its legalization, people could end up in the Emergency Room due to anxiety attacks or other known reactions from the substance without expecting it at all.
Reason #5: It Can Possibly Harm the Brain in the Long Run
A lot of people are caught up with how healthy it is and how it can have positive effects on a person’s life without considering the negativities that come with it. Harvard and Northwestern researchers found that marijuana smokers and users who consume it recreationally had shape, volume, and density abnormalities in their brains.
Northwestern Memorial Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Hans Breiter said that people who consume cannabis had mental effects, regardless of use.
A lot of people think a little marijuana shouldn’t cause a problem if someone is doing O.K. with work or school. Our data directly says this is not so. here is good evidence that taking cannabis leads to acute adverse mental effects in a high proportion of regular users.
Reason #6: It Can Hurt Businesses’ Productivity
Most marijuana consumers aren’t business owners, and that is why they find it difficult to consider workplace accidents and incidents caused by this substance.
There has been a multitude of workplace incidents in Colorado where employees that were involved have been found to be under the influence of marijuana. Want to know the data? It saw an increase from 6% to a staggering 20% after the legalization in the state.
The National Safety Council or the NSC said that there have been 55% more industrial accidents after employees have been found to be positive for marijuana. In addition, it was seen to have 85% more injuries. Absenteeism rates also skyrocketed, 75% higher than those who tested negative.
Reason #7: Major Health Organizations Don’t Like The Idea of Legalizing Marijuana
Have you ever thought about the people who are pushing the legalization of cannabis? Have you seen major health organizations doing so? Some of you could name a few of them, but, if you look at it in a much larger perspective, the majority of public health associations actually oppose the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.
The American Academy of Pediatrics said that legalizing it would be challenging especially in educating the public about the adverse effects and risks of the drug, which is true. People would be eagerly blinded about what it can do.
Moreover, the American Society of Addiction Medicine or the ASAM says, “we do not support the legalization of marijuana and recommends that jurisdictions that have not acted to legalize marijuana be most cautious and not adopt a policy of legalization until more can be learned.”
Reason #8: It Can Promote Increased Public Marijuana Use
As a chained effect, legalizing it will cause it to be a “regular” substance compared to being rare, in most cases. In the place of a fruit, the more frequently available it becomes, the less satisfying it’s going to be.
People will start seeing it as a daily need compared to being medication. In that larger sense, as a person, you would more likely start wanting to try something else in order to get and experience that high again like the first time.
Reason #9: Marijuana Smoke is Not As Healthy As You Think
Smoke is smoke – and it is a detrimental factor to the lungs and the overall respiratory system of an individual. As we mentioned above, marijuana, in itself, is something that is not a negatively impacting substance, but how it can affect the lives of people is up for discussion.
There is no scientific evidence supporting that cannabis smoke is safe and is not a degrading factor for health. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that marijuana smoke can do damage to lung tissues, which can scar them, harming blood vessels.
Reason #10: It Remains Illegal Under Most Federal Laws
Last, but most definitely not least is that the majority of the world sees it as an illegal substance. Many states and nations worldwide don’t even flinch when asked about the legalization of cannabis – they would straight up tell you no, it shouldn’t be.
What do you think is the reason why they’re still banning it? Is it because they don’t want economies to flourish? Or is it due to the fact that they have cultural nuisances related to it? Both aren’t correct, in fact, the right answer is because these nations know that legalizing marijuana will have multiple chained effects to the society, the nation, and the economy that would be far worse than having it illegal.
Do you have more questions up your sleeve? Don’t worry, we got you! We tried finding the most commonly and frequently asked questions about it, so, here you go!
What Will Happen if Marijuana is Legalized?
The legalization of marijuana will have a series of results, that is a mix of good and bad. We can’t say that it will have adverse effects entirely, and it’s also far-fetched to say that it’ll be good. Many advocates are saying that it will be effective in reducing crime rate, raising governmental tax revenue, as well as improve public health, all of which are speculation.
Why Won’t the FDA Approve Marijuana?
The reason why they don’t approve it is because they don’t see it as a product that is safe and secure in treating diseases and/or conditions.
Is Marijuana FDA-Approved For Anxiety?
No, it is not. Right now, there are no FDA-approved cannabinoid medications for treating psychiatric diseases and symptoms.
In case you were asking, why marijuana should be illegal, and you’re one of the advocates of legalizing it, try considering everything around you – not just how it will affect YOU or PEOPLE YOU KNOW. Legalizing marijuana will cause a big shift in our daily lives, so, it should deeply be considered.