Should marijuana be legalized? YES

Casey Nguyen, In-Depth Editor

How did we end up in a society of such inequality? We live in a society where the two most damaging drugs, alcohol and tobacco, are legal. Whereas marijuana is still not accepted today, despite not having a single death ever recorded.

Facts about marijuana are constantly exaggerated, stating that its main components will surely lead to negative health and possibly death. One may think if there is a large amount of THC from marijuana in the body system, it will cause immediate death. However, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, it is reported that there have been no deaths recorded regarding marijuana overdose. Thus, concluding that marijuana use does not directly cause death.

On the other hand, in 2010, 38,329 people died from drug overdoses. Sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs. In that same year, 25,692 people died from alcohol-related causes, including deaths caused by driving under the influence.

There are over half a million deaths annually from both alcohol and tobacco substances. They also lead to countless illnesses and injuries that affect society in health-care costs, lost productivity and law-enforcement expenses.

If alcohol and cigarettes are legalized, then there should not be a reason why marijuana should not also be accepted. Unlike cigarettes, it does not lead to or cause lung cancer.
In addition to this, marijuana prohibition hurts the youth and the minorities. It has been a prime factor in fueling racism, where African-Americans are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana violations.This contributes to the cycle of distrust between minority communities and the police. Legalization won’t fix bad racist cops, but it will provide them far less opportunity to act on their racism.

In regard to children, nothing’s ever going to stop a determined kid from finding a joint. Just like how kids today aren’t completely stopped from accessing alcohol and tobacco. But with those drugs, somewhere along the line, a corrupt adult had to be involved. Now, kids sell weed to other kids. If legalized, far fewer minors would be using marijuana.

Legalized marijuana also replaces toxic and addictive pharmaceuticals. Marijuana cures and prevents Alzheimer and Glaucoma, helps relieve stress, anxiety, depression, slows down tumor growth, and helps relieve pain for chemo/radiation therapy patients as well.

Medical marijuana is important to a lot of people. It has been proved to be extremely successful in relieving nausea. It helps relax muscle tension, spasms and chronic pain.
In a 2010 study reported by the Economist, a team of drug experts in the U.K. assessed the harm of drugs and alcohol. They found that using marijuana was less harmful compared to the harm posed by alcohol or tobacco use. The negative stigma of pot use has certainly made it seem like it’s worse, and since using the drug is still illegal, the fact that only people who are willing to break the law will smoke has inevitably made it associated with a “pothead” culture.
Legalization also does not invent marijuana; it just recognizes that it is a popular commodity that should be taxed and regulated like all other commodities. The market for marijuana is never going to go away; we can only determine who controls most of it—tax paying, job-creating, law-abiding businesses, or murderous, police-corrupting, criminal cartels.
It is unconstitutional to ban marijuana. According to the first amendment in the U.S. Constitution, everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness. The United States government is taking away the pursuit of happiness for Americans by preventing the happiness of those who retain emotions of joy and fulfillment from using marijuana.