Marijuana Legalization Pros and Cons – Who Really Wins in the End?

The legalization of marijuana has been a highly controversial topic for quite some time and it seems as though everyone has their reasons as to why it should or shouldn’t be legal.

So, where do you stand on the issue of marijuana legalization?

I mean with a topic like this, it’s totally understandable that people can be on the fence or just flat out confused about their opinions on the issue since there are so many points to consider. Both sides of the issue seem to have very good points to take into account, but which side is really more valid?

While it can be confusing to weigh the marijuana legalization pros and cons after hearing it from people who may be biased, you should be able to make your own decision by objectively looking at the good, as well as the bad.

Why It Should Be Legalized

There are many marijuana legalization pros and cons to consider, but first I’d like to take a look at the positive side of the issue. Legalization can have several benefits not just for marijuana users, but also for the general public and the government, so while so many people are ready to jump and chop marijuana users’ heads off, maybe they should slow their roll and take a look at the good it can do first.

Um, Ever Hear of Freedom?

legalization of marijuanaShouldn’t it be up to the people to decide if they want to use marijuana or not?

Last time I checked, not allowing marijuana to be legal can definitely be seen as a restriction of our personal freedoms. There are so many other harmful substances such as tobacco and alcohol and nobody really has a problem with those, yet the effects those drugs has on people is far worse than marijuana.

If you really read between the lines, you can already see that the American mindset is shifting to the acceptance of marijuana, and that will only continue to grow as the years progress. Folks that smoke pot have nothing on their mind other than NetFlix , cheap buffets, and a few laughs, yet when the clock strikes 2 and everyone’s on the streets trying hailing cabs, have you ever noticed how hectic and “violent” thing become?

How many people die from smoking cigarettes each year, yet the government turns a blind eye to Big Tobacco?

The way I see it, just because something is perfectly legal doesn’t make it any more harmful of a substance that is illegal. It’s all semantics, behind the scene payoffs, and governmental misdirection.

Honestly, this can even be backed even further by the argument that marijuana isn’t nearly as bad for your health as alcohol or tobacco is. In fact, marijuana is actually used to treat some illnesses.

I don’t remember Marlboro Menthols doing any good in the world.

It Could Help End the War on Drugs…Or Could It?

First and foremost, the war on drugs will never end. It makes too much money on both sides.

The war on drugs has been long and harsh and I think that, unfortunately, it’s a pointless battle. The fact of the matter is that people will find and use drugs as long as they want to take them, and there is no shortage of drug dealers around the country. As soon as 100 get arrested, 101 more spring up the next day. It’s simple economics – supply and demand.

Now with that on the table, if marijuana were legalized, not only would it free up police units and save money that could be used on more useful projects, but in addition, it would be a pretty sizable revenue increase if the substance was regulated through the government. I mean we are already starting to see this trickle down now with a few states and if you can read between the lines, you can already see which way this is going.

The war on drugs would not be entirely over with harsher drugs out on the street, but it would prevent police power and taxpayer money from pursuing what is seen as a pointless drug to combat.

Buying from “Good” Drug Dealers

Buying drugs off of the street is incredibly dangerous.

For folks scoring weed on the streets, marijuana easily be laced with harmful materials that could cause illnesses or even death to those that are buying it. Drug dealers are looking to make the most money out of each and every person and they don’t care what happens after you buy.

There ain’t no “lemon policy” folks.

By legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana, it could allow a safer way for people to buy marijuana without worrying about unregulated and dangerous chemicals being in the product.

Why it Should Not Be Legalized

As important as it is to consider the positives, you have to take the cons into careful consideration as well when weighing out marijuana legalization pros and cons. Millions of dollars are spent on drug-free campaigns each year, so it’s important to look into some key points in depth to see how they stack up in the issue of marijuana legalization.

A Question of Morality and Ethics

is smoking marijuana ethical

This is one of the most complicated aspects when debating marijuana legalization pros and cons.

While many people have no issues with it, there are tons of people that think it isn’t moral or ethical or legalize it. The major problem with this is that it’s really up to the individual’s opinion on the matter so there is really no right or wrong answer. It’s more of a matter of looking deep within yourself and making a decision on if you think it’s right. Everyone has their own opinions on the matter, and it seems impossible to actually define it as one or the other.

There’s no doubt that marijuana can potentially be harmful to the people using it. Marijuana can alter your state of mind and it could possibly lead to other health problems such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty learning
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased risk of lung infections (this is where using vaporizers can help)
  • Possible permanent brain damage

Legalization would mean allowing everyone to purposely harm themselves with the drug, which would be unethical.

If you look at it this way, then yes, it’s not ethical/moral, however, the argument then rolls back to alcohol and tobacco being “allowed” in the marketplace in which case the debate is pretty much cancelled out. The point is that anything that can cause harm to you is bad, whether it’s drugs or a paper cut, but my opinion is that the focus should be on the “abuse” and not just the “use”.

Almost everything in excess is bad, whether it’s smoking 100 lbs of marijuana or eating 100 lbs of chili dogs.

The issue is that we have been conditioned to think that “drug-use” is greatly frowned upon in terms of morality as people are purposely doing long term damage to their bodies for a short term effect, but what needs to be looked at more closely is not the drug in itself, but “who” is using it and “how” it is being used.

After all, Tylenol is a drug, right?

Addiction and Gateway Drugs

In the list of marijuana legalization pros and cons, this is likely one of the more concerning negatives. Marijuana may be seen as harmless by some, but it’s been noted that marijuana addiction is a problem as real as alcohol addiction.

In addition, there’s the theory that marijuana is one of the prime gateway drugs in existence. While the drug itself could be harmless, using it could lead to the use of harder drugs like cocaine or heroin.

This is something I can agree with, and while I think it’s a debatable issue in itself, using marijuana could lead people to explore other drugs that could potentially be a lot worse.

Messing Up Innocent Lives

Just like alcohol use, using marijuana can alter perceptions.

This could lead to terrible accidents resulting in injury or death to people that don’t deserve it. One of the main concerns is with automobile accidents. Driving under the influence of marijuana is no better than driving while drunk and if everyone is driving around stoned half the time, this could be a major issue that can cause bad things to happen to good people. If marijuana were legalized, the concern is that there would be a sudden surge of people driving while under the influence of marijuana and, personally, that would be a very big issue for me.

Bottom Line

In looking into the pros and cons of marijuana legalization, there’s really no right or wrong answer.

At the end of the day, it’s all going to boil down to an opinion, however, I believe that regardless of the opinion, the final vote will depend on if the state or country you live in can make revenue.

Either the government is going to allow drug-lords to cash in, or they’re gonna get in on the piece of the action through legislation.

That’s the cold hard truth in my opinion.