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Legalizing Marijuana: Pros and Cons - Research Paper Example

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Legalizing Marijuana: Pros and Cons Almost halfway through 2012, the United States continues to find itself on the front lines of advancement and change. Concepts and principles that were rejected decades and centuries ago are now being reconsidered for our ever-changing society…
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Legalizing Marijuana: Pros and Cons
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Download file to see previous pages The greatest argument in favor for the legalization of marijuana is the medical benefits that it offers. Research has revealed that marijuana can help ease the pain associated with cancer, chemotherapy, and multiple sclerosis (Campbell, 2012). Unlike commonly prescribed painkillers, marijuana lessens the pain without the side effects of other medications, such as nausea or dizziness. Marijuana is also capable of calming an individual as they prepare for intense medical procedures, like those related to cancer. Scientists are continuing to research the drug to determine what other medical uses exist. Because of its medicinal properties, a few states, including California, have already made marijuana available on a medical level. As these states condone the legalization of the drug for medical benefits, other states look to do the same, but also expanding its legality to encompass more than just medical purposes. Yet another favorable advantage that would come with legalizing marijuana is the tax revenue that it could generate. The government collects a significantly large amount of money by taxing alcohol and cigarettes. Since marijuana would be in the same league as these pleasures, the government would be able to collect tax revenue. It has been estimated that if marijuana became a legal product to sell and distribute, the government could collect approximately a hundred billion dollars annually (Easton, 2009). Given the current state of the United States economy, this revenue would be nothing short of a blessing. While this wonderful fact is enough for many people to approve of legalizing marijuana, opponents feel that the argument is still not sufficient. A third appealing benefit to legalizing marijuana would be a significant decrease in drug-related crime. If marijuana were legalized and more easily - and legally - obtainable, there would be no need for the drug dealers who supply marijuana. Drug dealers are among those that would oppose the legalization of marijuana because it would mean they would have more affordable competition. They make their money based on the fact that marijuana is illegal; legalization would not only lower prices, but bring forth competition, eliminating most, if not all, of their business. Instead of an individual having to hunt down a dealer and go through the seedy and often dangerous process of buying marijuana, they could simply go into a store and purchase some. Furthermore, buyers would no longer have to rely on desperate measures, like thievery or murder, to get their marijuana. Those that oppose the legalization of marijuana also have their convincing arguments as to why the drug should remain illegal. First and foremost, it is believed that the effects and prevalence of marijuana would be no different than alcohol. Even if marijuana is essentially considered harmless in small doses, there are worries that people under the influence of marijuana can be as reckless and dangerous as those under the influence of alcohol. Marijuana impairs users, which can be potentially lethal if a stoned individual got behind the wheel of a car. As such, by legalizing marijuana, the number of dangerous people on the road would increase substantially. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that people are simply irresponsible when it comes to their judgement when they are under the influence of a substance. There is nothing to suggest that someone who has been smoking ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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