Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

JUS-250 Crit. Issues in Criminal Justice

August 5, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

The legalization of marijuana has been a widespread debate with many valid arguments on both sides. Some have stated that it should be available for those seeking relief from various medical issues or that if legalized, marijuana could be regulated by the government for safety reasons. Though marijuana is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the government, 15 states in the United States have enacted laws that legalized the medical use of marijuana ( In these states the individual is allowed a certain amount in ounces or plants, however, there is a government approved form in a pill called Marinol available by prescription used to treat nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Even the fact that there have been no reported deaths directly related to the use of marijuana is a strong point on the pro-legalization side. However, I believe that the legalization of marijuana would lead to more problems in a society that is already full with other issues and debates concerning our health and safety.
      Marijuana, also known as cannabis, ganja, weed and pot, or buhda refers to the dried herbal form of the cannabis plant. The high that many people experience upon ingesting or smoking the plant is induced by the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Due to its effects marijuana poses health benefits for people with cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, it is widely accepted that smoking “weed” does not pose significant health risks when done in moderation, and is often compared to smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol.
      The number of cannabis related arrests in the United States has for many years far exceeded the combined number of arrests for all violent crimes (murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and assault). Of the 872,721 marijuana related arrests in the United States...