Legalization of marijuana has been a topic of vigorous debate over the last few years. The debate is centered on whether marijuana as a drug is safe for the public to consume. While there have been groups like the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy that have been reaching out to politicians. Perhaps it would be prudent to take a different approach other than the ones being used by the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy to have a better understanding of things.
Marijuana for Recreational Use
There are millions of people across the country and hundreds of millions around the world who smoke marijuana for recreational purposes. These individuals are not just “slackers” as some organizations would have you believe, the same people who drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes may also smoke marijuana. The primary difference between these is that tobacco and alcohol is classified as legal while marijuana is not. We have millions of people breaking the law each and every day they smoke marijuana much like people would drink alcohol during the days of prohibition which had very limited success. When the government prohibited the consumption of alcohol it didn’t stop people from drinking, it forced them to become criminals by going to a “speakeasy” for a drink.
Instead of having criminals earn millions of dollars the government could legalize marijuana and earn taxes from it, these taxes could pay for a variety of government programs. Aside from the taxes, there would be legitimate jobs created for the growth of marijuana, this would boost the economy and force the criminals out of the marijuana industry.
Marijuana for Medical Use
On the other side of the debate is the use of marijuana for medical purposes. There are people who have serious health issues that conventional pharmacology cannot adequately treat. Take an individual who has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. This chemotherapy may kill the cancer cells inside the patient’s body but it will also destroy healthy cells and decimate the individuals’ appetite. When the patient stops eating they lose weight, become weaker which reduces the effectiveness of the chemotherapy.
When that same individual goes through chemotherapy but the treatment is augmented with the use of marijuana their appetite will improve. This boost in appetite will make the patient eat more so they can maintain their strength. Another benefit aside from the improved appetite is the pain relief the patient will experience. While there are legal avenues for an individual to get access to marijuana it is complex and time consuming, this delayed treatment means the cancer patient is going to suffer needlessly.
Marijuana has the ability to treat a host of different chronic conditions that are not a serious as cancer but the first step is legalizing marijuana which can be done if there is sufficient political will. People are going to use marijuana whether it is legal or not, so with that sentiment in mind it would be highly advantageous to move the conversation forward and have marijuana legalized.