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Legalization of Marijuana

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Here we go again, another college kid talking about the legalization of Marijuana. But before you judge too quickly, it’s hard to deny all the good this plant could do. Whether it be the broad range of jobs it could create, the tax profits it would bring to the government, or even the medical miracles surfacing around the nation. Marijuana is safe, safer in fact than most other prescribed medications to treat the same symptoms. This plant is growing vastly in the medical field and replacing many addictive narcotics prescribed by doctors. Medical marijuana is available in several different forms. It can be smoked, vaporized, ingested in a pill form or an edible version can be added to foods such as brownies, cookies and chocolate bars.
While more than 17.6 million Americans are addicted to alcohol according to the NIAAA, only 9% of heavy pot users are at risk of becoming addicted. Unlike alcohol, you can’t overdose on cannabis and early research shows there are very few long-term effects of smoking pot. Studies show that for some users, perhaps as many as 10 per cent, cannabis leads to psychological dependence, but there is little evidence that it carries a risk of true addiction. Unlike for nicotine, alcohol and hard drugs, there is no definite withdrawal syndrome, the sign of true addiction, when use of marijuana has stopped. Also unlike cigarette smokers, most users do not take the drug on a daily basis, and usually abandon it in their twenties or thirties.
Some would say that medical marijuana is not a safe and could even be considered a gateway drug to other abused substances. A recent study group has informed readers the youth of this generation now perceives marijuana use as “normal”, with 90% of teens voicing positive attitudes toward marijuana. Reports would say that this could lead teens down the destructive path of drug abuse in later years. But I believe this is not true and that teens and adults have their own choice on whether they want to take that next step to do more serious drugs. Things like social surroundings, peer pressure, and having these deadly alternative drugs available are the real gateways. There are many successful people who smoke on a regular basis to help with things like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disease. They should have the right to choose and not feel like they are committing a crime for doing so.
Medical marijuana can also be smoked or ingested to elevate your mood and relieve those who specifically suffer from depression or anxiety. It can also cause a desirable “slowing” down of the thought process, which can help to calm down some of the upsetting repetitive thought patterns which invade anxiety sufferers. Medical marijuana can also significantly calm the mood swings exhibited by those with Bipolar Disorder. Cannabis works to balance the mood of sufferers. Lithium, which has traditionally been diagnosed for sufferers, takes several weeks to begin working and also causes damage to the heart, kidneys, and thyroid gland.
Marijuana contains ingredients known as cannabinoids. The body naturally makes its own form of cannabinoids to modulate pain. Because of this, cannabis is starting to pave the way to replace highly addictive narcotics such as Ambien, Oxycontin, Xanax, Klonopin, and so on. Which can save patients from a long road of addiction. I would rather smoke a joint while feeling sick then have to take addictive drugs that could ruin my body from the inside out. I feel like most people would agree. Another well-known effect of marijuana use is the “munchies,” so it has been used to stimulate appetite among HIV/AIDS patients and others who have lost their appetite due to a medical conditions or treatments. Medical marijuana is also frequently used to treat nausea induced by chemotherapy or people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It is also known to cure symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and can ease certain symptoms of MS. It is also known to treat glaucoma, stop seizures, and slow Alzheimer’s disease.
Opposing groups of the legalization of marijuana say that this plant distorts an individual’s perceptions and cause an artificial sense of pleasure or satisfaction that can become addictive. But there are also many psychological benefits of medical marijuana. For example people who suffer from insomnia should consider digesting medical marijuana before bed to insure a good night’s sleep. One cookie or brownie up to an hour before heading to sleep could have you feeling clear-minded and relaxed, help you sleep through the night, and it’s been reported that it triggers your lucid mind to have better dreams. In this case, medical marijuana could take the place of Xanax, which is vastly becoming an abused drug nationwide. Migraines can also be treated with medical marijuana, most of the time it’s better than actual migraine medication. When consumed, it will help to slow the rate of neurotransmitters in the brain. It will also relieve pain and cure symptoms such as sensitivity to light and nausea. Migraine medication is known to have negative side effects such as high blood pressure and the possibility of over-dosing.
Rick Simpson, a medical hero in the medical marijuana culture, is known for inventing hemp-oil medicine that he claims treated his own skin cancer after he was a ‘chemical zombie’ from all the drugs he had taken as a cancer sufferer. After miraculously healing himself and many others with his cannabis oil, Rick tried to take his medicine to Canadian authorities. However, the movement backfired and the authorities tried to prosecute him. Today He is highly supported in the Cannabis industry and now has a documentary ‘Run from the Cure’. Shona Banda had suffered from Crohn’s Disease for almost eight years. Her illness led for to be bedridden and could only walk with a cane. Because Shona was diagnosed as terminally ill, she decided to seek out different options in the medical field. After seeing Rick Simpson’s documentary she decided to take a leap of faith and try it. Shona now lives a normal life and is considered cured from her disease. She has a book ‘Live Free or Die,’ where she expresses how cannabis saved her life.
Another medical miracle story from medical marijuana is Charlotte Figi. She is a six year out girl who suffered from incurable form of epilepsy. By two years old her parents had tried all medications to cure her disease, some even being so dangerous they could have killed the child. Charlotte was having up to fifty seizures a night and her parents were feeling defeated, but after hearing about medical marijuana they decided to give it a try. So they applied for a medical marijuana card in Colorado and were quickly accepted. After one dose of high CBD oil her parents claim her seizures stopped immediately. She is now out of her catatonic state and her parents got to meet the real Charlotte for the first time. Her story is now on CNN documentary so more people can hear about her courageous struggle and medical miracle.
Not only are there countless medical pros of legalizing medical marijuana, but legalizing medical marijuana or even for recreational use could generate billions in additional tax revenue annually. As Washington lawmakers struggle to find ways to balance the national budget, a powerful source of revenue may be burning away right before their eyes. No pun intended. According to a 2010 study from Cato, legalizing marijuana would generate $8.7 billion in federal and state tax revenue annually. Instead the government would rather put the money into the hands of criminals. State and local governments would also save countless dollars of the tax payer’s money by halting the arrested of petty crimes including the consumption of marijuana and possession of marijuana.
Instead law enforcers could passed initiatives legalizing the sale and distribution of marijuana for adults 21 and older under state law, like in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State. And permit adults 21 years of age or older to grow and possess (but not sell) limited amounts of marijuana. Which would significantly lower crime rates nationwide.
The legalization of medical marijuana would bring influx of new jobs to the market. Keeping cannabis relegated to the black market meant that the profits from its sale, as well as those working to earn those profits, stayed off the books. By legalizing this plant goldmine, there would be an accurate picture of how much money there is, and how many jobs could be created. The jobs could vary from edible creators, concentrates processors, glass merchants, courier and delivery of the product, security and regulation reviewers, farmers, retail shop owners, and the list goes on.
There will always be opposing views on any topic someone proposes. But I hope that the undeniable facts and information given in this paper has helped open the eyes of the reader. Marijuana is not just a “gateway drug” it’s saving lives nationwide, even worldwide. So why can’t we as Americans take a leap of faith and explore our medical options more. There are so many good things medical marijuana bring to the table that it outweighs the bad. Including helping to cure the symptoms of deadly diseases, replacing dangerous and addicted narcotics, and of course the government’s favorite- a new taxable item. As long as there is regulation and tax on the product, as there is with alcohol, there should be no reason this plant can’t be put on the market for the people who need it. So let’s take the marijuana revenue out of hands of criminals and put it in the hands of doctors and local business men and women.

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