Marijuana can help many illnesses and disabilities whereas other drugs might not do as good of a job. Yet, it is still fully illegal in twenty-seven states. I think marijuana should be legal for all use for three main reasons. First, marijuana can help people with AIDS, cancer, chronic pains, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, Tourette syndrome, epilepsy, and many other diseases fight them and get relief. Second, marijuana is, hands down, way better and less addicting than alcohol and tobacco. Last, there are many misconceptions about marijuana being very bad for the body and even causing cancer, but these are not true, and it can really help. Marijuana is one of the safest illegal drugs in the world. Compared to alcohol and tobacco and the health risks associated with them marijuana might as well have a halo around its buds. Casual use of marijuana by adults has almost no risk at all and the effects are very mild compared to alcohol. Alcohol, which was rated the number one most dangerous drug by an independent scientific committee in Britain which studied twenty different drugs, was also decided to be 4 times more harmful than marijuana which was ranked number eight. Marijuana is not very addicting either. The Institute of Medicine said in a 1999 study that 32% of tobacco users and 15% of alcohol drinkers became addicted whilst a measly 9% of marijuana smokers actually become addicted. I think marijuana should be legalized because the government could get a lot of money from it. People are always going to be smoking marijuana whether it is legal or not so why not just put a special tax on it and use that money for education? The US uses more law enforcement to stop people from using marijuana than most other criminals when they could be using all of that effort and time to try and catch real criminals. It took thirteen years for the United States to end the prohibition where if it was legal the whole time the US could have saved a ton of money and time, and people like bootleggers and gangsters were going to jail for something that is now perfectly legal. It has now been around 41 years since the government put a ban on marijuana, and it does not make sense to waste the much effort on a substance that is not nearly as harmful as alcohol which lasted only thirteen years. Most people who are against the legalization of marijuana say that it is a gateway drug and leads to much worse drugs. They also say that marijuana kills brain cells and because it is illegal that is a “bad drug”. These are all mostly untrue. There is no evidence that marijuana is really a gateway drug and leads to other drugs at all. Most people who use other drugs besides marijuana usually do not start with it. No clear connection has been made to marijuana and any serious illnesses or cancers that marijuana is rumored to cause. The very heaviest users can experience symptoms of bronchitis such as wheezing and coughing, but moderate smoking possesses little to no risk. A 2012 study found that “smoking a joint a day for seven years was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function” and that there was no evidence that it caused any cancer. Marijuana really is not as bad as most people think of it to be. There is no evidence that it causes cancers and moderate use has almost no adverse health effects. Marijuana can help many people with serious illnesses and disabilities, but it is still illegal despite the fact that it is much safer than alcohol and tobacco which are legal. I think the government should make marijuana legal because there is so much wasted energy and money used to try and stop illegal marijuana users when it could all go towards real issues like fighting hunger and better education. Overall, I think marijuana is not as bad as it is perceived and it can help many people so it should be legal.
Works Cited Boffey, Philip M. "What Science Says About Marijuana." New York Times. 31 Jul. 2014: A.22. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. ProQuest Staff. "At Issue: Marijuana Legalization." ProQuest LLC. 2016: n.pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. "Repeal Prohibition, Again." New York Times. 27 Jul. 2014: SR.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. Perrone, Joseph. "The Junk 'Science' Behind the Marijuana Legalization Movement." Washington Post - Blogs. 21 Oct. 2014: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. "State Marijuana Laws Map." Governing. N.p., 19 June 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.