Legalizing Marijuana - Pro | Teen Ink

Legalizing Marijuana - Pro

March 11, 2011
By sayevan BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
sayevan BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Marijuana is a substance that is both good and bad. It’s a substance that has the power to be both beneficial to mankind and harmful to it. However, despite the many cons of legalizing marijuana, the pros of legalizing marijuana still manage to far outweigh the cons.

The most common argument against marijuana is that it’s physically unhealthy for the human body, especially when taken in large doses, but isn’t any substance harmful to the human body when taken in large amounts? If one ingests an excessive amount of what is considered unhealthy food, then is that not bad for them? Take ordinary water, for instance. About two-thirds of the human body is composed of water and it’s quite obviously essential for human life. Despite this, drinking an excessive amount of water in a short amount of time can lead to death. Back in 2007, a woman was competing in a radio station’s on-air water drinking contest; she consumed about six liters of water in three hours, vomited, went home with a headache, and ended up dying due to water overdose.
The same case lies with the use of marijuana, but it’s just as harmful, if not less, to the human body as tobacco and alcohol are. Tobacco is the second major cause of death in the world and its active ingredient is nicotine, which is highly addictive. Alcohol, on the other hand, causes many health problems mainly regarding the liver and kills about 100,000 people every year. Although marijuana has the same risks as smoking cigarettes does, it can also be medicinally used to help treat a variety of illnesses, such as asthma, AIDS, cancer, and other illnesses, so it’s not all bad. Really, the only thing separating alcohol and tobacco from marijuana is the fact that it’s illegal.
Regardless of these reasons, why should the government have any say in what you should or shouldn’t consume? Whether or not you choose to use marijuana is your personal decision and nobody should be allowed to intrude on that. Don’t get me wrong, though. Even though I don’t think the government should have a say in this, I do firmly believe that people should be educated about this before taking it so that they know what they’re getting into.
Marijuana can also be seen as a very common gateway or stepping stone for teens and adolescents to start with. One of the main reasons for this is because of how easy it is to get a hold of. This clearly shows that the illegalization of marijuana isn’t very effective in the first place.

Putting that aside, marijuana has an economical effect on the United States, as well. It is estimated that the US government spends about $10 billion a year in an attempt to keep marijuana off the streets; at the same time, California makes $14 billion a year off of the production of medicinal marijuana. Clearly, these numbers show that the US government would make a fortune off of marijuana if it was legalized, and surely it would help with our economy right now. The incarceration of marijuana is very expensive, and the money spent keeping it off the streets could simply be used more productively by helping raise awareness, treatment, and prevention of its use, which would be much more productive.

Building off of the money issue, legalizing marijuana would also raise the production of hemp, an industrial “cousin” of marijuana that can be used for paper, fiber, fuel, and food. As of now, hemp farming has basically been illegal ever since the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed because it’s considered marijuana. Hemp has numerous environmental advantages compared to other natural resources. It’s renewable every year, its cellulose can be used as fuel, and the USDA has determined that hemp produces MUCH more paper than trees do acre by acre.

Legalizing marijuana clearly has many more pros than cons, and it’s definitely worth the effort. Hemp is a great alternative natural resource and our government would greatly benefit from the legalization of marijuana. The health risks are just as bad, if not better, as the health risks of alcohol and tobacco. Those drugs are legal, though, so why shouldn’t marijuana be?

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This article has 8 comments.

rayray93 said...
on Oct. 13 2014 at 9:44 am
i disagree with you aderes18. there are already addicts in the worlds millions of them and its not cannibus there addicted to its meth cocaine and heroine. and saying they are going to go to parties and act like idiots cause they're smoking pot is rediculous everyone acts different and dont individuals who go to parties and drink alcohol act like idiots? from my experiences they have and the people who i have seen smoking cannibus just wanna chill and hang and have a good time i dont see them going out and wrecking their vehicals constantly cause they're to dumb to recognize i see people who are drunk doing such things.

jlsd said...
on Jul. 15 2014 at 3:28 pm
Could you tell me where you cited your information about California's fortune over 14 billion from medicinal marijuana

shadow99 said...
on Nov. 7 2013 at 4:22 pm
                                 Hey sayevan Im doing an essay on the legalization as well and i was wondering where you got all of your information??

sayevan said...
on Apr. 18 2011 at 1:32 am

Well, first of all, marijuana isn't physically addictive. I've never tried it myself, so I wouldn't know how addictive it is, but there certainly isn't a substance in marijuana that makes weed physically addicting (like nicotine in cigarettes). I never really looked into modified marijuana, either, but I'm sure that if it was addicting enough, it could simply be banned.

Of course marijuana would be easier to get a hold of if it was legal. I mentioned that the government should also educate people about marijuana instead of putting the money towards keeping it off of the streets, which would probably be a huge factor in this if it WAS made legal.

The government making a lot of money off of marijuana would greatly help pay off our national debt. I realize that you're Canadian, so you probably don't really follow what happens in the US, but uh...we're basically broke. Our government actually almost got shut down about a week ago because Obama is spending too much money and we have a huge debt.

The argument about hemp is simply to support the legalization of marijuana. Hemp is a form of marijuana, and therefore legalizing it would be beneficial. If I remember correctly, the production of hemp was pretty much banned in the US since marijuana was banned.

Alcohol is also an addictive drug, but the government doesn't regulate our consumption of it whatsoever. The only thing that prevents people from consuming it is age limit. This brings me to my point about how tobacco and alcohol are legal while marijuana isn't. It just doesn't make sense, and I never said that tobacco and alcohol should be illegal. I said the only thing separating marijuana from these two drugs is that marijuana is illegal while tobacco and alcohol aren't.

sayevan said...
on Apr. 18 2011 at 1:03 am
Aderes, marijuana isn't physically addictive. My point about overdosing on water was just a point to show that even the most harmless things can kill if taken in large amounts, with the same going for marijuana.

massacre said...
on Apr. 9 2011 at 1:44 pm
massacre, Lakewood, Washington
0 articles 0 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hate is a word for somebody you love but no longer believe in."

I respectfully disagree with you, Aderes18. We see addicts everywhere anyways, even with the illegalization of marijuana. And water wasn't the only point that this person was trying to get across. He gave reasonable facts and great reasons, and he was right to say that everything is letal in great quanities. He used water as an example, but the same goes for other things, like tabbacco, alchohl, or even things like McDonald's. That's all that I wanted to point out.


But great article, dude! Really persuasive and informative. :)

Aderes47 GOLD said...
on Apr. 2 2011 at 7:37 pm
Aderes47 GOLD, Cambridge, Massachusetts
11 articles 0 photos 897 comments

Favorite Quote:
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
Henry Drummond

I diasgree with this article. 1st of all. water is not addictive like weed. 2nd of all, people don't smoke water at parties and get high and do stupid things. 3rd of all, if we legalize pot, everyone would be smoking it and you would see all these addicts everywhere. 


It's atill a good article though. It was written well.

Just don't agree with what you are saying. 

on Mar. 25 2011 at 6:15 pm
IsobelFree DIAMOND, Hamilton, Other
71 articles 20 photos 296 comments

Favorite Quote:
"As long as there is open road, the familiar has the most formidable competitor." - Anonymous

Good article, but I respectfully disagree.

To start, you argued that any substance is harmful in large doses, so why is marijuana any different? Well, the main difference is that normal things we ingest, like water as you said, are not addictive. Marijuana is only really harmful when taken in large doses. Some people say that marijuana is not as addictive as drugs such as cocaine and LSD, but this fact just isn't true anymore. People are genetically modifying marijuana to make it stronger, more addictive, and if it were readily available and legal, many would get addicted to this amped-up version of the drug.

You stated that marijuana has health benefits. I am not denying this; it is definitely true. However, then you asked why the government should have a say in what we do and do not consume? That is a ridiculous statement, as well as a non sequitur. Of course the government needs to regulate what we consume. Forgive my slippery slope argument, but if our government didn't regulate what we consumed, we'd have drug addicts left, right, and centre. While I suppose it is a personal decision whether or not to use marijuana, I don't believe in using any drug, and if the government allowed marijuana then that would be an invitation for tons of people to get addicted, and the government would basically be saying that it was okay.

You say, "Marijuana can also be seen as a very common gateway or stepping stone for teens and adolescents to start with. One of the main reasons for this is because of how easy it is to get a hold of. This clearly shows the illegalization of marijuana isn't very effective in the first place." Well, wouldn't it be easier to get ahold of if it was legal? If it's a common gateway drug now, it'd be even worse if it was legally available: we'd have tons of people buying it and getting addicted. Now I know you say it's a personal choice whether or not to do marijuana. But if we had a good chunk of the population doing drugs, that wouldn't be a "personal choice" anymore: that would affect how we lived our lives. It would affect schools, offices, businesses, and crime rates, etc. 

Moving on to your argument about money. The government might make a lot of money off legalizing marijuana, but for what? So a bunch of people can get high? Your numbers don't "clearly" support your argument anyway. 

I don't quite understand your hemp argument. It doesn't quite relate to the rest of your article. And I don't think that hemp is totally illegal - my friend ate a hemp granola bar a couple days ago, and she's not one to buy off the black market. Maybe it's illegal in the US, though. (I'm Canadian.)

I agree with what you say about the health risks of alcohol and tobacco - I don't think they should be legal - but if you think they shouldn't be legal (and you also said the health risks are the same), why are you saying marijuana should be legal? Either you want dangerous drugs to be legal, or you don't. If you brought back your argument from earlier about how marijuana has health benefits, your argument might hold here. But as it is, your argument is contradictory and does not convince me.

You say "our government would greatly benefit from the legalization of marijuana." But what about the people? Who's to say the government would use the money in a way that benefited us? Maybe it might help us in the short term. But in the long run, our society might be affected in a negative way by legalizing such a dangerous drug.