Posted On July 4, 2020
Inthe contemporary globe, the consumption of illicit drugs continues tobe rampant in many countries. As the consumption rates continue torise, some have detrimental effects. Due to the high demand ofillegal drugs in many nations, drug trafficking has also increased tocater for the demands. For instance, cartels in the Mexican borderscontrol a majority of illicit drugs with the United States, inparticular through California. The impacts of these drugs have led tothe worldwide debates on whether they should be legalized. Some ofthe drugs, particular marijuana are deemed to have both economic andmedical benefits. As such, legalizing it would provide significantbenefits in various capacities. Legalization in the context of drugscan be described as the adjustment of an act to abolish any consent,illegitimate or administrative, related to the ownership,utilization, or supply of any measured drugs. This paper will look toelucidate on the benefits of marijuana in both economic and medicalperspectives.
Backgroundof marijuana legalization
Thewestern policy of substance proscription is constantly evolving andhas been active for decades. Countries differ on the strictnessaspect. In other words, some states are stricter when implementingthe drug laws as compared to others. The prohibitionist models areresolutely attached in Western Europe. For instance, the Frenchadministration established a body in 1989 known as Helmets to addressdrug legalization. The World Health Organization (WHO) created itsEuropean section with the present actions in the region of drugpolicy. It has concentrated on aberration from the mainstreamproscription to a novel means of drug management [CITATION Nik14 p 34 l 1033 ].
Marijuanautilization in the 20th century has been mostly for its ecstaticimpacts than as medication. Its behavioral and psychological impactshave drawn attention from public officers ever since it appeared inthe southern and southwestern states. By the year 1931, over 29states had banned the utilization of the drug for nonmedical reasons.At the federal level, marijuana was first regulated by the MarijuanaTax Act of 1937. The law mandated that anyone producing, supplying,or consuming the drug for health reasons had to register and then paya tax. This move banned the use of marijuana for nonmedical reasonssince it made it inconvenient and expensive. Later in 1942, it wasextracted from the United States’ Pharmacopoeia since it was deemedto have harmful effects. Apart from that, it was addictive and causedmental deterioration, violent behavior, and psychoses [CITATION Nik14 p 24 l 1033 ].
Inthe later year of the 1960s and early 1970s, a sharp rise in theutilization of marijuana was experienced, particularly among theyoung adults and adolescents. The National Organization for theReform of Marijuana (NORML), a group that backs the legalization ofmarijuana, tried to petition the Bureau of Narcotics and DangerousDrugs to alter how marijuana was perceived. The move wasunsuccessful. According to NORML, marijuana is a therapeutic drug inmany less toxic, serious ailments as well as other traditionalmedicines. Therefore, for over 25 years the marijuana health movementhas been associated with the marijuana legalization drive. Thedispute against the health aspects of marijuana presented the drug asa “Trojan horse”. Moreover, it was just a deceptive mechanismused by marijuana supporters who would exploit it [CITATION Nik14 p 40 l 1033 ].
Legalizationof marijuana is one of the hottest debates in many countries. Thoughit is vastly abused, its impacts are rather misconstrued. Forexample, close to 22 million individuals aged from 12 years and abovehave used marijuana. Most of the users are adolescents and youngadults, who are likely to misuse it. There is an abundance ofliterature dwelling on the economic effects of legalizing marijuana.As per the economic theory, legalization by taxation and regulationis an alternate tool to offering augmented tax income forgovernments. Furthermore, it is a way of establishing a market ofsensible prices. Nonetheless, many countries still proscribe the saleof marijuana hence, driving it to underground markets [CITATION Nik14 p 22 l 1033 ].
Thenotion of developing a world of legalized drugs is an old concept. Inother words, the debate has running for years on its effectiveness.Marijuana enforcement has been existing for over one hundred years.The British Indian Hem drugs established that prohibiting marijuanawas not viable instead, it should be taxed highly. The present globefaces similar issues. Marijuana legalization would have significantbenefits. Furthermore, studies done by reputable scalars andprofessors suggest that marijuana legalization through regulation andtaxation can generate fiscal income for the governments. Nonetheless,both campaign drivers and opponents only strive to comprehend themagnitude of the financial benefits entailed in legalization andinception of new marijuana policies [CITATION Ste12 p 77 l 1033 ].
Thediscussions on marijuana circle around the counteractive measures onthe illegal drugs economy, particularly price reduction.Consequently, it leads to a heightening of the level of drug use.According to current empirical studies, there was a slight rise inthe use of drugs due to drug decriminalization. In other words, druglegitimization increases the level of usage that have detrimentalimpacts.
Thehistorical background of the drug as medicine illustrates that it hasbeen utilized for both intoxication and medication. The presentargument on the medical purposes of the drug is primarily based onthe medical features in relation to its risks. In other words, do thepositive effects outweigh the negative aspects? Documentationevidencing the utilization of the drug even prior to the 20th centuryare available. The issue typically lies on the whether the drug iseffective in the present world. Do the remedies meet the currentmedical standards and safety? The current generation is more aware ofthe implications of the drug. As such, the community expects thelicensed medications to be reliable, safe, as well as, provenefficacy. In the current prescription, most of them are reliant onthe plant remedies. Most current prescriptions have their rootseither directly or indirectly in plant resources [CITATION Dav121 p 2 l 1033 ].
Oneof its health benefits entails treatment of Glaucoma. The drug can beutilized to treat or prevent the ailment that increases the pressurein the eyeball thus damaging the optic nerve thereby leading tovision loss. According to studies conducted by the National EyeInstitute in the early 1970s, smoking marijuana lowered theintraocular pressure (IOP) in individuals with glaucoma. The effectsof the drug slowed down the progression of the ailment thuspreventing blindness. Marijuana also reverses the carcinogenicimpacts of tobacco and enhances lung health. Scholars investigatedthe risk factors of heart ailments testing 5,115 young adults for 20years. For tobacco smokers, their lung function deteriorated whereasit increased for the marijuana utilizers [CITATION Jen14 p 1 l 1033 ].
Marijuanacan also be utilized medically to manage epileptic seizures. In atest conducted on rats, the drug prevented seizures for close to 10hours. The active ingredients in marijuana i.e. tetrahydrocannabinolcontrol the seizures by binding to the responsible brain cellsregulating and excitability relaxation. Marijuana also contains achemical that prevents cancer from spreading. In a research conductedby California Pacific Medical Center in 2007, the scholarsestablished that cannabidiol prevents cancer from spreading [CITATION Jen14 p 1 l 1033 ].
Eventhough legalization of the drugs tend to have both medical andeconomic benefits, other aspects make it dangerous hence, requirecontrol. For example, the Dutch experiment typifies the dangerssurrounding legalization. The Dutch experimented on the legalizationof the drugs by promoting marijuana extensively. It was establishedthat youths were the major partakers of the drugs which increased therates of crimes. Consequently, drug tourism, as well as publicnuisance issues, increased. Distribution of the drug was limited asonly a few shops were allowed to vend it. Making the drugs legal,therefore, makes them affordable to various groups who can misusethem [CITATION Jen14 p 1 l 1033 ].
Marijuanaalso eases the painful signs of sclerosis. It also limits theprogression of Alzheimer’s ailment. Using the drug is alsobeneficial when it comes to reducing the impacts of dealing withhepatitis C. The treatment of hepatitis C has adverse side effectssuch as nausea, loss of appetite, depression, muscle aches, andfatigue among others that can last several months. These effects canbe reduced by using marijuana. The drug also treats inflammatorybowel ailments. Patients experiencing inflammatory bowels such asulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from the drug.Another beneficial aspect of marijuana is the relieving of arthritisdiscomfort. The drug alleviates inflammation, promotes sleep, andreduces pain assists in avoiding trouble [CITATION Dav121 p 2 l 1033 ].
EconomicBenefits of Marijuana
Thenotions on policies on illicit drugs commonly utilize the marketmetaphor to clarify on its dynamics. Although prices are considerablein this metaphor, empirical studies tend to ignore them. The pricesmake up the most prominent pointer for comprehending the effects of aprogram adjustment like drug legalization. Additionally, the steepwaning in the retail expenses of hard drugs such as heroin andcocaine over the past two decades underscores the importance ofstudying the methods outside public approaches envisioned atlessening the supply of illegal drugs [CITATION Nik14 p 55 l 1033 ].
Legalizingmarijuana spurs addicts to seek treatment. Some of them rarelyreceive the treatment without the threat of penalties. The findingsevidence this that over one-third of the drug treatment are due toreferrals from the criminal justice structure. In other words, peopleonly seek treatment if the justice system refers them. Supportingdrug courts, market initiatives, as well as innovations in thecriminal justice, reflect the multifaceted and invaluable function ofthe judicial system in its quest to address utilization of drugs aswell as its consequences [CITATION Nik14 p 45 l 1033 ].
Othermodels suggest that consuming addictive substances reactssubstantially to the prices. Throughout the decades, research hasconcentrated on the price elasticity of demand regarding illegalsubstances like tobacco and alcohol. Most of the research strive tocomprehend the relationship between price and the legalization ofsubstances. The high costs can inhibit widespread use of narcotics.As per several economic assessments, the existing prohibitions onmarijuana have increased the prices, particularly in production bymore than 400%. As a result, the heightened prices lower the rates ofusage. The consumption patterns of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuanaare quite sensitive to the price variations, particularly among theyouths. Intensive independent studies demonstrate that even smallchanges in price impact on the rate of marijuana consumption, similarto the cigarettes where studies imply that a ten percent decline inprices leads to an 8 percent rise in the demand [CITATION Fél15 p 16 l 1033 ].
Asdepicted in Washington and Colorado, marijuana sales lead to buoyanttax incomes. By 2015, the recreational and medical sales withinColorado hit more than $996 million while the state managed tocollect $135 million as revenue from fees and taxes. The revenuescould be much higher in California that has a higher population. Therevenues could exceed $15 billion in sales and $3 billion through taxincome. As per a 2016 research, tax revenues in Massachusetts couldhit overall sales of $50 to $60 million.
Oncethe drug is legalized, the next step would be to build dispensariesand nurseries to favor the medical aspects of the drug. In thatrespect, it would create jobs and enhance economic activities withinthis industry. In states such as Nevada and California where thesystem is already working, federal legalization will quantify thesector even further. According to an Economics and Marijuana PolicyGroup RCG, federal legalization of the drug can support more than41,000 jobs until 2024. In the same period, it would generate morethan $1.7 billion in terms of labor revenues. Likewise, the ICFresearch approximates that over 81,000 extra indirect, induced, anddirect jobs in California due to the legalization of the drug.Projections also indicate that the total amount of labor income willbe over $3.5 billion [CITATION Fél15 p 55 l 1033 ].
Proponentsof the drug suggest legalizing it can lessen the illegaltransportation means that end up killing many people. With a legalbusiness, the drug can limit trafficking which is favorable to thestate. However, some imply legalizing the drug will promote unethicalbehaviors among the citizens, especially teens and young adults.Officials should indulge in stringent measures that curb the illegalconducts. A dominant principle of legalization implies that it woulderadicate concealed drug markets, due to the availability ofnarcotics openly. In other words, it will curb the drug traffickingissues that heighten the level of crime, particularly due to gangformation. Drug trafficking in some regions complements other crimeslike human and organ trafficking. Therefore, making the drugs, legalwould limit such issues. However, there are no indications thatsuggest such outcomes can be obtained. On the contrary, thegovernment would be regulating a fresh market while continuing tocater for the adverse impacts of underground markets whose dealershave no reason to withdraw. As such, these reductions of violentcrimes among other illegal undertakings of the gangs could bebeneficial to the economy. From a business angle, opening up thebusiness will widen the market as the drugs will be much cheaper.Currently, the illegal trafficking makes the drugs quite expensiveonly benefiting a few [CITATION Fél15 p 12 l 1033 ].
Inconclusion, marijuana legalization is a hot topic in many stateswithin the US and other countries. It is evident that the substanceis beneficial regarding medical aspects. It can cure or preventseveral ailments if utilized appropriately. Furthermore, the economicbenefits surrounding legalization of the drug are quite evident. Evenif the facts are yet to be substantiated, states that haveimplemented the system continue to reap benefits. The system willalso reduce the range of criminal activities entailed in drugtrafficking. As such, the federal legalization of marijuana could bebeneficial to the country both economically and medically.
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