Advertisement
Before moving on to understand what are the different pros and cons of legalizing weed, it is important to know what weed is and why weed is illegal. Weed or marijuana is the blossom of the Cannabis plant which is dried and consumed for recreational and medical purposes. In some places, consumption of marijuana is also considered spiritually enhancing. The blossom of the cannabis plant which is also used to make animal food, medicine, and for rope making, has psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds that can elate the mind. Before the 20th century, weed or marijuana was not regulated but with linkage to violence and crime due to research studies, arguments against marijuana grew and it was declared illegal.

There are many pros and cons of legalizing marijuana but slowly the cons stated against legalizing weed are being questioned. Almost thirteen states in the US allow use of marijuana for medical purposes. Weed legalization in California, one of those states that can benefit largely revenue wise if the crop is legalized, has been debated for a while now. While the preposition was rejected by voters when the referendum was put up for vote in 2010, backers are suggesting another campaign in 2012. If this preposition is passed then it would allow citizens above the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It may also include a clause that would allow citizens to grow plants in a plot of size five feet by five feet. Now let us take a look at the many pros and cons of legalizing weed that are generally debated during such a debate.

Pros of Legalizing Weed

Of the many pros and cons that are put forward by both sides, one of the most stated pros of legalizing cannabis is the revenue that this crop creates and the money that would be saved on enforcement. But this is just one of the advantages of legalizing marijuana. Let us take a look at the benefits of making this blossom legal.
  • Many people often state the fact that using weed is only as harmful as using tobacco or consumption of alcohol, which are both legal. If you look at both these cases then marijuana should also be made legal.
  • According to studies and proven results, there are many medical uses of marijuana including benefits in patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, and AIDS.
  • Like mentioned earlier, a large amount of money spent on preventing illegal trade in marijuana could be saved if it is legalized and regulated. Estimates show that this figure could be somewhere around USD 8 billion. Also legalizing weed would result in a decrease in illegal activities surrounding trade in this drug.
  • More than 700,000 arrests in weed related cases are for possession and legalization would mean easing the pressure on the criminal justice system. This would mean that more serious cases could be tried and lead to convictions.
  • One of the pros that is oft stated is that legalizing it would ensure that the freedom of choice is not intruded upon.
  • In California, a movement to legalize could create a revenue that according to estimates, could surpass USD 14 billion. This is just the revenue from sales. Legalizing weed would result in a new source of revenue that could also ease the economic problems the country is facing.
Cons of Legalizing Weed

The case against legalization of weed has been building for several years now and despite many people questioning the harmful effects of weed and launching campaigns for legalization, there are many social and law enforcement reasons that has led to such strong protests against legalizing weed.
  • One of the harmful effects of weed is that if used for a long period of time, it can have a severe effect on a person's health and their general well-being.
  • Several studies have shown that users who started off using marijuana moved on to using harder and more harmful drugs like heroin and cocaine. Children between the ages of 12 to 17 who use weed are eighty five times more likely to use cocaine.
  • Several opponents of the process of legalization of marijuana also state that many of the people involved in the buying and selling of weed are likely to be involved in other criminal activities. Also it is not a good idea for it to come across to the world in general that law enforcement agencies in the country are supportive of drug use.
  • To a large extent smoking of marijuana is considered an immoral, socially debilitating activity that needs to be kept under control. This is one of the main reasons that is taken into consideration by lawmakers.
  • Marijuana's effect on the brain is also often quoted with prolonged use causing hallucinations, psychotic behavior, paranoia, impairment of motor ability, increase in mood swings, etc.
There are many pros and cons but due to the sheer strength of arguments that both sides put forward it is difficult to reach a conclusion and the debate remains a continuous one. Despite the revenue that legalizing weed can generate, the process of weed legalization in California and other states remains largely questionable.