Dennie Johnson

Brian Palacios

English 1301

Dennie Johnson

26 November 2018

Legalization of Marijuana

For decades now, the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana has been heating overtime with different parties taking varying sides. There have been parties that are dedicated to fighting against the criminalization of marijuana in their state of residence while others have taken strong positions deeming marijuana as the source of all evils in the society. However, marijuana is not evil, and as well it has not been known to cause any evil related event in the society, and therefore those opposing the legalization of marijuana are just doing it on the basis of shear rumors with no evidence to back their concerns. Even though every good thing is known to be associated with both benefits, there are always some bad aspects of the topic at hand. Regarding the issue of marijuana, numerous benefits result from the use of marijuana than the negative effects that accrue from consumption.

Marijuana is worth legalizing in the basis that it has numerous benefits to the society than harm and therefore the paper will discuss the benefits as well as the uses of marijuana. Marijuana has by now been known to have its application in various fields making significant improvements on the sectors that it is involved in such as in medical and economic fields as well as the social aspect that includes leisure. Due to the various uses and benefits, most of the countries have therefore taken serious measures to ensure that the marijuana legalization campaign has kick-started with others having the laws concerning its use in place.

One of the main reasons as to why the debate regarding marijuana legalization is the medical use of marijuana. Marijuana for decades now have been used in the medical field for various uses, and therefore most countries such as Canada have opted to legalize marijuana for medical reasons. There are various uses to which marijuana have been associated with in the attempt to improve the health of a person, and therefore it is associated with numerous benefits. Marijuana is used in the treatment of Glaucoma (Novack). Glaucoma is an eye condition that inhibits the vision ability of the eye. Marijuana can be used to treat and as well prevent the eye condition from attacking a person. The condition is known to cause an increase in the pressure of the eyeball and therefore damaging the optic nerve with the consequent loss of the eyesight or vision in the person infected by the eye condition. According to the National Eye Institute, marijuana is known to decrease the pressure inside the eye and therefore makes it able to reduce the complications resulting from the condition. Studies conducted in the 1970s have also indicated that cannabis when smoked lowers the intraocular pressure in the individuals with normal pressure as well as those with glaucoma. The lowering effects of the drug may slow the progression of the eye condition and therefore prevent blindness.

Another healthy benefit that is derived from the use of marijuana is that the drug assists in reversing the carcinogenic effects that are instilled in the body by tobacco smoking and therefore plays a significant role in improving the health of the lungs. According to a study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2012, the use of marijuana does not at any instance impair the lung function and can even improve the lung capacity (Pletcher et al.). Increasing the lung capacity implies that the lungs are capable of holding more air and therefore increases the rate of oxygen intake into the body of the person. The researchers who were looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of the young adults for 20 years, and they found that the tobacco users lost lung function over the time, but on the contrary, the users of marijuana depicted an increase in the lung capacity. It might be possible that the increased lung capacity among marijuana users is due to the deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from the therapeutic chemical compounds of the drug. With this fact, we can, therefore, attribute marijuana with positivity as it increases the lung capacity and aiding in the reversion of the carcinogenic effect of tobacco smoking.

Marijuana can be used in the control of epileptic seizures as per the study conducted in the year 2003 (Wade et al.). Robert J. DeLorenzo from the Virginia Common Wealth University did some experiments by providing cannabis extracts and synthetic cannabis to rats. More surprisingly is that the extracts from the cannabis got the seizures out of the rats in about 10 hours. The cannabinoids which are the active ingredients of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the control of seizures through binding to the brain cells that are responsible for the control of excitement as well as the regulation of relaxation. The experiment is, therefore, a great breakthrough in the therapeutic use of marijuana, and this makes more sense when marijuana legalization debate heats up.

Cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical substance that is found in weed helps in preventing cancer from spreading (Velasco et al.). According to research conducted at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco in the year 2007 reported that cannabidiol plays a significant role in preventing the spread of cancer. The cannabidiol stops the spread of cancer by turning off the gene Id-1. The spread of cancer in the body is enhanced by the efforts of the cancer cells making more copies of the Id-1 gene compared to the non-cancerous cells making cancer spread all over the body cells of an infected individual. It is further estimated that the cannabidiols in marijuana would have the possibility of killing and destroying the cancer cells thus may be a crucial treatment in cancer. Marijuana, therefore, can be used in the medical field especially in the cancer department to help get rid of many other treatments that haven’t proved to be effective for a long time giving a breakthrough for more research and experiments that aim to find the treatment of cancer through cannabis compounds.

Marijuana has also found its use in the treatment of mental disorders such as anxiety (Johns). The users of medical marijuana have claimed that the marijuana assists in relieving pain and at the same time suppresses nausea and this are the two main reasons as to why the drug is said to relieve the side effects that result from chemotherapy. Researchers at Harvard Medical School in the year 2010 suggested that some of the drug’s benefits may be from the reduction of anxiety, which improves the mood of the smoker, acting as a sedative in low doses. However, the use of the drug in higher doses may be responsible for increasing anxiety making an individual paranoid, and therefore a person may be advised to be more careful especially when taking marijuana for medical purposes.

The use of cannabis helps in easing the pain that is caused by multiple sclerosis (Rice & Cameron). According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that weed may help relieve the painful symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Jody Corey-Bloom, a researcher, studied 30 patients infected with multiple sclerosis who had painful contractions in their muscles. When subjected to other treatments, the patients showed no response, but after smoking weed for some days, the patients were in less pain. The THC compound that is found in marijuana binds with the receptors in the nerves and muscles to relieve the pain, and therefore marijuana is an effective painkiller. Other studies suggest that the THC chemical in weed may also help in the control of muscle spasm. Besides relieving pain in patients with multiple sclerosis, cannabis is known to alleviate the pain and therefore relieves the discomfort that is caused by Arthritis infections (Hill). Weed reduces the inflammation and therefore alleviates the pain, and this increases comfort among patients with arthritis; thus it promotes sleep among the patients. According to the researchers from the rheumatology units at various hospitals, they provided their patients with Sativex a cannabis product which is a pain relieving medicine. After a period of two weeks, the patients under the use of Sativex had a significant reduction in pain as well as improved sleep quality compared to the patients who were provided with placebos.

Another health benefit that is derived from the use of marijuana is that it helps in keeping the user’s body skinny and as well as helping in the metabolism of the user (Welsh & Loria). According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine in April of the year 2017, suggested that weed smokers are more skinner than the average person and besides being skinny they have a healthier metabolism and a better reaction to sugars. Another benefit is that weed smokers are known to have an increased urge to eat, and therefore it implies that marijuana promotes the appetite among its users. With increased appetite, the users still maintain their thin body despite the increased calorie intake into their system. The effect of marijuana in controlling the sugars in the body is effective and therefore prevents such diseases such as diabetes due to improved and healthier metabolism.

Apart from the health and medical benefits that accrue from the use of marijuana, there are significant benefits in the economic aspects that result from marijuana legalization (Hajizadeh). In the event that marijuana is legalized, most of the farmers will shift to weed farming as the commodity will be in higher demands. With the high numbers of marijuana farms, it implies that large numbers of the unemployed people will be absorbed to work in these fields providing employment to thousands of people in the region. The government will benefit in large widths in that they will impose taxes to the sale of the product, and with a large population in use of the marijuana products, the government will collect a lot of taxes from its citizens. With the high taxes, the government will be able to fund the developmental projects in the various states improving the lives of the people in the region. With large numbers of people employed in the marijuana farms, it implies that crime rates will reduce and at the same time the purchasing ability of the people will rise reducing the poverty levels in a country.

With the legalization of marijuana, a large number will use the commodity freely, and this implies that the rate of incarceration that previously resulted from possession and use of the commodity will be over. The behind is that most of the people in prisons are caught with petty crimes such as being in possession of weed especially in the countries that have decriminalized pot. With a large number of farmers and a vast market of the cannabis products especially for medical and leisure use, the government will have increased revenue as a lot of money will be injected into the country’s economy as the black market will no longer be working which denies the government billions of money (Kirsch). With such a large amount of money injected into the economy, we expect that the country’s gross domestic product will rise and therefore the overall effect of an improved economy.

In my opinion, I would support the legalization of marijuana as numerous benefits arise from the use of the drug. The benefits arise from the medical use, leisure, health and as well to the overall economy. Billions of money are deprived of the government due to the presence of the laws and policies that prohibit the use of the drug compelling thousands of people to indulge in the black market. Despite the continued presence of the laws prohibiting the use of marijuana, the drug is widely used, and there is no sense of making it illegal while a large percent of the population use it. Legalizing marijuana will create more job opportunities, and this will have an effect of reducing the crime rates and as well as the rate of incarceration. Marijuana is widely used due to its various benefits, and therefore it is worth legalizing the drug.

Work Cited

Hajizadeh, Mohammad. “Legalizing and regulating marijuana in Canada: review of potential economic, social, and health impacts.” International journal of health policy and management 5.8 (2016): 453.

Hill, Kevin P. “Medical marijuana for treatment of chronic pain and other medical and psychiatric problems: a clinical review.” Jama 313.24 (2015): 2474-2483.

Johns, Andrew. “Psychiatric effects of cannabis.” The British Journal of Psychiatry 178.2 (2001): 116-122.

Kirsch, Jacob. “Taxation and Welfare in the Cannabis Industry: Evidence from Colorado Edibles 2014-2016.” (2018).

Novack, Gary D. “Cannabinoids for treatment of glaucoma.” Current opinion in ophthalmology 27.2 (2016): 146-150.

Pletcher, Mark J., et al. “Association between marijuana exposure and pulmonary function over 20 years.” Jama 307.2 (2012): 173-181.

Rice, Jessica, and Michelle Cameron. “Cannabinoids for Treatment of MS Symptoms: State of the Evidence.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports 18.8 (2017): 50.

Velasco, Guillermo, et al. “The use of cannabinoids as anticancer agents.” Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry 64 (2016): 259-266.

Wade, Derick T., et al. “A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms.” Clinical rehabilitation 17.1 (2003): 21-29.

Welsh, Jennifer, and Kevin Loria. “23 Health Benefits Of Marijuana.” Business Insider 20 (2014).