Are we one step further to being witness to the legalization of marijuana in the United States? It all depends on who you ask.
Both sides of the marijuana legalization debate have passionate views on this trending topic. Let’s take a look at the arguments, both for and against the legalization of marijuana:
Marijuana Legalization Supporters
Those who are fighting for the legalization of marijuana in the United States often argue that:
- Prohibition is not effective at controlling the use of marijuana. It is estimated that, despite being illegal, more than 25 million use marijuana annually.
- A regulated marijuana market would reduce use among teens and young adults, as there would be less incentive for teens to sell it to one another.
- A legal marijuana market would reduce the existence of international criminal gangs operating out the United States.
- The marijuana market could become a diverse and profitable agricultural crop in the United States.
- Marijuana is not a lethal drug, and it is safer to use than alcohol. There have never been any reports of marijuana overdoses.
- Marijuana has many benefits, including a medicinal value.
- Marijuana has mild side effects.
- The trafficking, distribution and sale of marijuana taxes our already-burdened law enforcement and judicial system.
Marijuana Legalization Detractors
Just as there are individuals and organizations across the nation who support the legalization of marijuana, there are a host of people and organizations that warn of its dangers. These detractors state that marijuana use:
- Has been associated with impaired cognition; an impaired immune system; respiratory illnesses; and mental illnesses, including depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and schizophrenia
- Can cause difficulties thinking and concentrating; difficulty solving problems; and distorted perceptions
- Does far more damage to the lungs than regular cigarettes, as it contains anywhere from 50 to 70 percent more carcinogens than tobacco cigarettes
Further, they state that the legalization of marijuana would:
- Cause the price of marijuana to drop, thereby resulting in more users
- Cause an increase in the use of stronger drugs, as it is often considered a “gateway drug”
- Not result in any tax revenue, as any taxes received from the legal sale of marijuana would be offset by skyrocketing social costs
- Burden the criminal justice system due to an increased use of the drug and an increase in drug-related crimes
- Not do much to curb drug violence, as drug cartels would simply lower their price to below that of legal marijuana sales and grow stronger
These are the arguments on either side of the debate that will allow you to consider your position on the subject. If you’re looking to become a DEA agent, you’ll be interested in learning about the DEA’s Official Position on Marijuana.