Cannabis is a drug obtained from the cannabis plant that is considered to be a psychoactive drug, and until recently cannabis was only considered to have recreational use. However, cannabis, also known as weed or marijuana, has been found to have various benefits, especially of a medical nature, thus aiding in removing some of the stigma associated with it. Cannabis was illegal in a number of states in the United States of America, but that too is changing as the benefits of medical marijuana are being highlighted.
Benefits of marijuana including medical purposes
Before listing the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana, first its benefits in terms of medical purposes must be noted. Marijuana is known to cure all kinds of chronic pain including those associated with certain illnesses. Cannabis is even being researched further as it has been shown to kill cancer cells, and this use can be tapped further for tremendous benefits. The lung function is also said to improve after smoking pot, and it has been found to improve mood as well. Glaucoma and spasms have also been treated with marijuana. In the case of seizures, medical marijuana use has been found to reduce their intensity or to control them altogether; a reduction in overall symptoms has also been noted.
Economic benefits of legalizing marijuana
Legalizing marijuana means that it would be legally allowed for adults who are 21 years of age and older.
Contrary to the belief that legalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in the rates of unemployment and homelessness or a greater number of youth using marijuana or becoming addicted to it, marijuana legalization would in fact actually help the economy. States such as California, Colorado, and Washington have legalized the use of recreational as well as medicinal marijuana, and these measures have caused a drastic improvement in their economy even as other states are still contemplating the issue.
Legalizing cannabis production would give rise to a lot of employment opportunities, even for individuals who grow the crop over several acres and cultivate it. There is the cost of cultivation involved as well as the cost involved in legalizing cannabis, such as law enforcement and various social services, but still the net profit is comparatively higher. The steady rise in income for the state upon legalizing marijuana shows that apart from helping the economy, surplus funds can be used for various other sectors, such as education, rehabilitation facilities, better health care, and scholarships for deserving students, to name a few.
Legalizing thus seems to be beneficial, but there are a few things that need to be kept in mind which include:
- The laws must be clear, thoroughly researched, and spelled out for all citizens.
- The enforcement of the law must also be done strictly in order to curb illegal growing or use of cannabis.
- The laws must be very clear and stable so as to keep law enforcement officers from getting confused or having to keep updating themselves on ever-changing laws, rules, and regulations.
Dr. Alexander G. Salerno