Marijuana is an extremely popular drug widespread on the streets and mainly used for recreational purposes. Marijuana is produced by the hemp plant cannabis sativa, with its main active chemical constituent being THC (Tetra-Hydro-Cannabinol). This drug is mostly used for the purposes of heightening an individual’s perception, relaxation of the mind and influencing mood while some people use it for medicinal purposes. (The National Institute on Drug Abuse  2010). Debates have been raging on for years on whether to render the drug legal or not. Only a few states have declared the drug legal within their borders e.g. California in the United States of America. Many people are of the opinion that the drug should be legalized however there are still some who think that this raises health concerns.

There are also other unfavorable effects that can result from consumption of marijuana. There are numerous pros as there are cons to making marijuana legal. Proponents mainly argue that legalizing marijuana will result in an increment of revenue whereas their counterparts object this citing increased case of addiction and adverse health effects that legalizing the drug can have. Majority of the protagonists in this debate are either regular users or individuals who have experimented with this drug while the antagonists are mostly people who have never used marijuana which begs the question should we trust the opinion of those who have already used and know the effects or those who argue their facts by book?
This treatise aims at examining the pros and cons of declaring marijuana a legal drug. It will highlight some of the reasons that are argued by proponents as viable enough to warrant it been legalized as well as those by the detractors against legalizing marijuana.
Majority of the people use this drug for recreational purposes with some using it for its medicinal value. The use of marijuana for medicinal reasons is illegal in the United States with only about 35 states legislatures passing laws in favor of it legalization for medicinal purposes (Ruschmann 2003). Those people that suffer from vomiting and nausea result to smoking marijuana as a way of in taking THC as they cannot swallow or hold down pills.  Marijuana also stimulates appetites of people suffering from Aids as well as moderating glaucoma. Smoke marijuana is evidently said to cause a reduction in spasms in muscles as a result injuries to the spine as well as multiple sclerosis. Marijuana when smoked as physicians report helps ease migraines, seizures, chronic pain, depression and cases of insomnia (Merino 2011) Marijuana as also reported by physicians from the American Association for Cancer Research helps in reduction of the rate at which cancerous tumors can grow. A study conducted by the Scripps Institute dating back to 2006 reported that the active ingredient present in marijuana, THC aids in slowing down Alzheimer’s progression. The drug was also proposed as the suitable substitute to Ritalin, the drug currently prescribed for ADD and ADHD patients by a study conducted by the University of Southern California. Apart from these studies, other evidences propose marijuana usage in controlled amounts can aid with PMS (Merino 2011).
Another pro in favor of legalizing the drug, is the probability of increased generation of revenue. According to Stephen Easton, an Economist, the industry that would arise from legalization of the drug would generate estimated revenue of up to 100 billion dollars from a market of 36 billion dollars of illegal marijuana. Legalizing of the drug would also lead to creation of job opportunities in the supply chains that would sprout in many regions if the drug was made legal.
Legalizing the drug can also be a huge advantage to the government. The government could save a lot of money that they use to enforce laws prohibiting marijuana use up to a tune of 13.7 billion dollars. The cost incurred in prohibiting the drug would be radically cut down, and revenues of up to an estimated 6 billion dollars generated from the imposed tax on the drug (Miron 2005). The availability of high quality marijuana will also be a plus to its legalization as the cost of the drug will reduce. The fact that marijuana is illegal leaves the market flooded with cheap low quality marijuana which is likely to cause more harm and health related issues than quality marijuana.
The possibility of a drastic increase in consumption of marijuana rises with its legalization. Marijuana can be a highly addictive drug and therefore it is likely to be abused. Legalization will instigate marketing by numerous corporations which according to studies would increase the consumption rate by up to three times. The ease of access and widespread acceptance of the drug socially would also contribute highly to its increased consumption. For example, a radical increment in the percentage of users was evident after the legalization of marijuana by the Dutch (Yacoubian 2007).
Legalization of marijuana could also lead to the increase in consumption of other hard drugs for example, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Studies indicate that a marijuana user would be more likely to experiment with these hard drugs than a non user. Therefore keeping marijuana illegal helps curb the probable use of the fore mentioned drugs.
As much as it suffices to say that marijuana is medically beneficial, prolonged consumption of the drug can lead to several health complications. Some of the various adverse effects that marijuana usage can bring about are a reduction in testosterone levels as well as sperm count in men. Marijuana can also cause a chemical imbalance in the brain’s regulatory system consequently affecting memory and learning ability. Anger increment, anxiety, violent outbursts and irritability are also some the side effects of abusing marijuana (Caulkins 2012) Abusing also significantly increases the risk of developing cancers for example, prostrate, cervical and Glioma.
In conclusion, the debate regarding the legalization of marijuana is contentious one with several advantages as well as disadvantages. Legalizing the drug will result to increased generated revenue as well as medically being valuable to patients of migraines and other specific ailments that could be alleviated by the use of marijuana. On the other hand, as detractors argue, there will be increased availability of the drug henceforth an increment in the number of users, associated health risks and vices accredited to marijuana use. Legalization of marijuana is solely dependent on the advantages out weighing the disadvantages.


Committee. “Legalization of Marijuana: Potential Impact on Youth.” Pediatrics 113.6 (2004): 1825-1826. Print.

Caulkins, Jonathan P.. Marijuana legalization: what everyone needs to know. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Print.

Merino, Noël. Medical marijuana. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Print. uana.html

Miron, Jeffrey A.. The budgetary implications of marijuana prohibition. Washington, D.C.: Marijuana Policy Project, 2005. Print.

Ruschmann, Paul. Legalizing Marijuana. New York: Infobase Pub., 2003. Print.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2010, 11). Retrieved 03, 14,2013 from National Institutes of

Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Yacoubian, G. S. Assessing the Relationship between Marijuana Availability and Marijuana Use: A Legal and Sociological Comparison between the United States and the Netherlands. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education (2007).

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