Why Medical Marijuana Should Be Legalized Nationwide
Marijuana is a plant that has been used for various purposes for thousands of years. However, in the United States, it is still classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This classification is outdated and unjustified, as there is ample evidence that marijuana has many medical benefits and a low risk of addiction. In this essay, I will argue that medical marijuana should be legalized nationwide, as it can help millions of patients suffering from various conditions, boost the economy, and reduce crime and violence.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana
One of the main reasons why medical marijuana should be legalized is that it can provide relief and treatment for many serious and chronic diseases. According to the National Institutes of Health, marijuana can help with nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, chronic pain, muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more[^1^]. Marijuana can also help patients who do not respond well to conventional medications or who experience severe side effects from them. For example, some patients with epilepsy have found that marijuana can reduce or eliminate their seizures when other drugs fail[^2^]. Moreover, marijuana can improve the quality of life of patients by enhancing their mood, appetite, sleep, and overall well-being.
Economic Benefits of Marijuana
Another reason why medical marijuana should be legalized is that it can generate significant economic benefits for the country. Legalizing medical marijuana would create a new industry that would create jobs, tax revenue, and business opportunities. According to a report by New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research firm, legalizing medical marijuana nationwide could create more than 1.1 million jobs by 2025 and generate $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue over the next eight years[^3^]. Legalizing medical marijuana would also save money by reducing law enforcement costs and prison populations associated with marijuana prohibition. According to a study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, legalizing marijuana could save $7.7 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement.
Social Benefits of Marijuana
A final reason why medical marijuana should be legalized is that it can reduce crime and violence related to the illegal drug market. Prohibiting marijuana creates a black market that fuels organized crime, corruption, and violence. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, more than 600,000 people were arrested for marijuana offenses in 2016, accounting for 40% of all drug arrests. Many of these arrests were for simple possession, which disproportionately affects people of color and low-income communities. Legalizing medical marijuana would reduce these arrests and allow law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes. Legalizing medical marijuana would also undermine the power and profits of drug cartels and gangs that control the illegal trade and use violence to protect their interests. According to a study by the Cato Institute, legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington led to a decrease in violent crime rates in those states compared to neighboring states where marijuana remained illegal.
In conclusion, medical marijuana should be legalized nationwide because it has many medical benefits for patients suffering from various conditions, it can generate significant economic benefits for the country, and it can reduce crime and violence related to the illegal drug market. Marijuana is a natural and safe substance that has been used for centuries by different cultures and civilizations. It is time to end the stigma and prohibition of this plant and recognize its potential as a medicine and a source of revenue. Legalizing medical marijuana would be a win-win situation for everyone involved. aa16f39245