There have been many discussions about recreational marijuana because of the campaign for its legalization across the United States. Should this become law, many other countries across the world are sure to follow suit. The wisdom of the decision to legalize it must be from scientific data. This marijuana data that will enable policymakers to have the power to pass control laws about its use. Understanding the pros and cons of legalizing Cannabis for recreational use is a step in the right direction.
Based on research, statistically, it is estimated that recreational marijuana sales with medical marijuana sales could produce revenue of $24 billion by 2025. This figure is based on the revenue from legal Cannabis in 2016, which generated an estimated $7.2 billion. There are sectors that saw the combined growth that generated this revenue for the government’s coffers. Those sectors include food, transportation, real estate, tourism, banking, and more.
Another pro for recreational marijuana is based on research done by the Washington University School of Medicine. Even the CDC shows a decrease in use by kids between ages 11- 17. As quoted in Britannica ProCon.org: A study from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that past-year marijuana use decreased by 17%. Usage is down from 15.8% in 2002 to 13.1% in 2014, among US kids ages 12 to 17. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in Colorado teens between 12 and 17 years old reported a nearly 12% drop in marijuana use just two years after adult use was legalized.
The next notable pro is the decrease in traffic death on recreational Cannabis use legalization. Studies have proven the lesser is true of marijuana compared to alcohol driving deaths. This is because alcohol impairs driving control and reflexes while under the influence. Cannabis stays in the body longer, even after the initial use triggers the psychoactive effects. Drivers are known to function the same as if they had never used the product.
With no solid federal control to balance out the reasons for legalizing recreational marijuana, there will be new issues for societies to be concerned about. The costs for treatment can become the point of contention for medical treatments etc. There could also be regulations for grams that depend on usage.
There is no known medical insurance policy that contains coverage for Cannabis use. It is an unbalanced system that does not consider the merits of having coverage, unlike coverage for people that smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol as social diseases. There are no extra facilities needed for recreational marijuana addiction since people don’t get addicted the same as alcohol and smoking. Those addictions come from underlying mental reasons, as we all know, but still, they can be concerning. Campaigns for responsible use of recreational Cannabis must be the focal part of legalization.
Another con is the black market enterprises. For the legalization of recreational marijuana to be effective, there must be a war against these illegal shops. Remember, a legal dispensary adheres to federal laws and the above protocols. The illicit shops engage in synthetic products that will cause deaths and even long terms of hospitalization should these products be consumed.
The bottom line is there are many pros and cons to recreational Cannabis and its legalization. For policymakers to once and for all, sit down and make the hard decisions since the plant was vilified over decades as bad. Thankfully people are waking up to the real medicine that is medicinal marijuana.
When you think of the many pros of legalizing recreational marijuana, the most obvious one is that it would bring much-needed tax revenue to state and local governments. In Colorado, for example, where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014, tax revenue from cannabis sales totaled nearly $200 million in 2016. That money can fund schools, infrastructure projects, and other vital initiatives.
Another pro of legalizing recreational marijuana is that it would create jobs. The cannabis industry is already creating jobs rapidly, and if recreational marijuana were legalized nationwide, that growth would only accelerate. A study by New Frontier Data estimates that the legal cannabis industry could create nearly 300,000 new jobs by 2020.
Legalizing recreational marijuana would also have positive implications for public health. Cannabis treats various medical conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy. It can also help reduce the use of opioids, which are responsible for thousands of deaths each year.
There are also several social benefits to legalizing recreational marijuana. For example, it would allow people with criminal records related to cannabis possession to have those records expunged. It would also help eliminate the stigma associated with cannabis use.
While there are many pros to legalizing recreational marijuana, there are also a few cons to consider. One potential downside is that legalization could lead to an increase in cannabis use among young people. Another concern is that legalization could lead to increased drug addiction and impaired driving levels.
In conclusion, while there are some potential drawbacks to legalizing recreational marijuana, the pros outweigh them. If policymakers are looking for a way to generate new revenue and create jobs while also improving public health and reducing crime rates, then legalizing recreational marijuana is an option they should undoubtedly consider
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, marijuana arrests now make up over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for possession alone. The majority of people arrested for marijuana are young people – Black and Latino youth are charged at most than white youth, even though they use marijuana at similar Latino’s. Legalizing recreational marijuana would reduce these arrests.
The Colorado Center on Law and Policy estimates that legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado could generate over $60 million in new tax revenue annually. This money could be used to fund important public services like education and healthcare.
While highly unlikely, some people worry that the legalization of recreational marijuana will lead to increased use of other drugs, including harder drugs like cocaine and heroin. There is no evidence that this is the case, but it is something that should be studied further.
Marijuana can have harmful effects on the brain, especially when it is used regularly by young people. Some studies have shown that regular marijuana use can lead to decreased intelligence and problems with learning and memory.