The legalization of marijuana has been and still is a very controversial issue. There is still a question of whether it should be legalized nationwide or not.
In 1996, California became the first state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. Then in 1998 Alaska, Oregon, Washington legalized medical marijuana. In 1999 Maine legalized medical marijuana and in 2000 Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada joined this list. In 2004, Montana and Vermont legalized medical marijuana. Soon enough there were 28 states and Washington DC that legalized medical marijuana.
However, by 2012 Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana. Then in 2014, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. had legalized recreational marijuana. In 2016, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Vermont had legalized recreational marijuana. According to polls about two-thirds of Americans want marijuana to be legalized.
Marijuana should be legalized. Many argue that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and they are right, but marijuana also has its cons. For example, marijuana can lead to the development of marijuana use disorder, described by the National Institute of Health as a disorder characterized by “craving, withdrawal, lack of control, and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities.” However, marijuana has a psychoactive ingredient known as THC, which stimulates the part of your brain that responds to pleasure like food or sex and releases a chemical known as dopamine. The chemical gives you a relaxed feeling. This relaxed feeling makes it so much less dangerous than alcohol.
Alcohol causes a person to lower their inhibitions which leads to poor social judgment, trouble concentrating, loss of coordination, loss of critical judgment, dulled vision, mood swings, passing out, and vomiting. It also makes one do and say things one would normally not do if sober. It causes accidents, especially car accidents, it can cause cancer or hepatitis, it can increase weight, and can lead to addiction.
Marijuana is a plant that allows a person to relax when feeling stressed and/or pressured, while alcohol is a liquid poison that is used to forget about one’s problems, but in the end creates more problems and makes people do things they would later regret.
The legalization of marijuana will hold many benefits. Some of those benefits are that it will boost the economy, decrease teen use, will be regulated for consumer safety, taken out from the black market, decrease crime, free up police resources, create jobs, and it’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco. There are many more reasons but these are the main reasons why marijuana should be legalized nationwide.