Should the U.S. legalize marijuana? | The Tylt
Mexico recently legalized medical marijuana and our neighbors up north have begun the process of recreational marijuana legalization. That leaves the U.S. as the lone hold out in North America. Proponents of marijuana legalization say the plant is entirely safe, has legitimate health benefits, and is really fun to use recreationally. Prohibitionists say marijuana legalization will harm society, and is not as harmless as proponents suggest. What do you think? 🌲
Should the U.S. legalize marijuana?
Here's how public opinion on marijuana has changed over the years.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly testified under oath about his opposition to marijuana and marijuana legalization. Studies have shown it's bad for the developing brain, makes rats lazy, and has the potential to make mental illnesses worse. Marijuana is also the leading cause of substance dependence after alcohol. It's not harmless. People do abuse marijuana.
It's true, current drug policy isn't working. But that calls for a new policy, not to throw everything out. The goal should always be to reduce drug use in society, not encourage it.
Reducing marijuana use is essential to improving the nation’s health, education, and productivity. New policies can greatly improve current performance of prevention strategies which, far from failing, has protected millions of people from the many adverse effects of marijuana use.
All of these things make it impossible for some people to support marijuana because it comes down to a matter of morals. If you believe marijuana is bad for people, then you cannot allow it to be legal.
“I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store … Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.”
The war on drugs is obviously not working. Washington, Colorado and California have made recreational marijuana legal and more states are inching towards full on legalization. Instead of committing scarce resources to stopping people smoking a relatively harmless drug, the government should get with the times and legalize marijuana.
There's no good reason to keep marijuana illegal. It's a relatively harmless drug, especially when compared to alcohol. Prohibition is doing more damage to American communities than marijuana ever will. After Colorado's marijuana legalization, none of the nightmare scenarios people warned about came true. Colorado got some more tax revenue and Coloradans got to smoke their weed in peace. It's a win-win situation.
"The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents," the Cato authors conclude.