In 1971, President Nixon declared the war on drugs had begun and put drug abuse in the crosshairs of the American government’s priority. In many ways this stance and the D.A.R.E program helped drug bathed communities riddled with addiction get cleaner and back on track. It valued teaching kids to stay away from drugs and to live a healthier life. However, as I got older, I decided in college to experience some of these things for myself and found that in many cases the slander against lower priority drugs was in the best case heavily tilted toward mistruths and sometimes downright lies. In the last few years, with recreational legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado and many other states decriminalizing, it’s started to show the war on drugs is not all it was cracked up to be. Here are some of the benefits of marijuana legalization that have won the support from a vast majority of residents in the United States.
One of the major factors in the drug trade has always been underground trafficking across borders usually handled by mafia, gangs, and other illegitimate sources. With legalization the power is taken from these black market businesses and shifted into a highly transparent setting that leaves the other dark sources without a leg to stand on. If this product is readily available from a commercial source you reduce the chance of a deal gone wrong and have almost no chance of either violence or risk of being robbed.
Marijuana was often toted as a drug used only by losers, the homeless, and those that had failed at their life, but more recent studies have started to show it may have many medical benefits. With no chance of addiction or overdose risk, marijuana has some promising aspects that many people may benefit from. Studies have been done that have shown positive health benefits in the form of seizure control, compounded chemicals that halt cancer from spreading in the body, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, and many others. Far from the plant only smoked by hippies, marijuana offers effects that simply can’t be beat by many over the counter and prescription medications. A grow operation in Colorado is consistently working on strains that do not have the THC component that supplies the buzz, but still retains these amazing health boosting properties. Many people do not realize that the product does not need to be smoked for health benefits. Other forms include pills, edibles, and oils that provide just as much relief as traditional ingestion.
Jail Space and Taxpayer Money
I support the decriminalization of marijuana wholeheartedly and don’t know many people that do not think the same. I have had many good friends locked up over small often idiotic charges involving only a minor, unimportant amount of this drug. Not only did this forever scar their employment options but this was using taxpayer money to house and feed them in jail for absolutely no reason at all. Legalization would not only make up for this money with due taxes but would free up much needed room for other more serious charges and offenders. In the jail near where I live inmates are regularly released ahead of schedule due to the limited capacity and the need for more room. At the very least decriminalizing would eliminate this process and make sure the people that need to be there stay in jail or prison their full term.
One thing that always comes to mind is the way most people automatically group all drugs in to one category, if it’s illegal it’s bad. In this way of thinking many people justify their addictions by saying that what they’re taking is just as illegal as weed so why not do what they want. If legalized people would not have this even playing field way of thinking. With weed taken off the list of things that you can’t do, more light would shine on the real drug issues in the United States. In my state heroin, cocaine, and meth run rampant and gets almost no attention because police still think that seeding out marijuana is just as important and considered a huge deal when making a bust. Some less dangerous brands of drugs like psychedelics and cannabis should never be equaled to opiates, adulterants, and other highly addictive substances.
So where is the law going from here? Many politicians are opening up to the idea of legalization and decriminilization of this substance. With no reported deaths unlike alcohol, cigarettes, and trans fat filled foods the prospect of letting someone smoke marijuana by choice is starting to look better and better. Even though I do not smoke like I used to I’m still highly in favor of these actions. We took Richard Nixon’s plan and gave it a good fourty year shot. In my opinion it’s time to give something else a try.
23 Health Benefits of Marijuana
DrugPolicy.org- Marijuana Legalization &Regulation
For more great drug and alternative health information, check out:
MDMA: Psychotherapy Drug of the Future
How to Get High Without Drugs-Legally and Safely
Guide to Promoting a Healthy Mind Through Aromatherapy