Legalization of Marijuan

The Effects on Modern Society

Social Impacts

Many of the potential effects on society by the legalization of Marijuana have been argued about for decades now. People have seemed to argue that people would become lazy, more induced in criminal activity, and more irresponsible, but with the correct knowledge about the drug, things could be the exact opposite. The economic state of the US would be greatly boosted and criminal activity has proven to decrease in states that have already legalized medical and recreational marijuana. Marijuana has increasingly become more accepted in the US with a 2001 poll predicting, "73 percent of Americans support making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe." (NORML)
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Medical Usage

Marijuana has been used for medical treatments for nearly 5,000 years and was widely accepted in the US until 1941 and the Marijuana Tax Act. (NORML) Medical Marijuana has been proven to help people with various diseases and conditions including cancer, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, eating disorders, and many other diseases. Smoking Marijuana has also been used to help War Veterans deal with PTSD. (Grant) Medical usage of marijuana is proven to be exceptionally helpful to the health of society.


Even with the Federal Prohibition law, people have not stopped using the drug, it has just gone underground and to the extent of fueling deadly drug cartels. With legalization the marijuana black market would virtually disappear and all the money would transfer to legal vendors authorized by the government. This theory is proven by the alcohol prohibition that the US experienced in the early part of the 20th century. Obviously making marijuana illegal did nothing but drive the industry underground and help fuel huge gangs that controlled the industry. The prohibition created another profitable industry for gangs all around.

The European Approach

While America has taken the well known "Just say No" approach to the usage and acceptance of drug usage, European counties have taken another approach that has proven to be just as, if not more, successful approach to the issue on marijuana. This approach is the "Just say Know" approach, with this Europeans have not legalized drug usage but have simply gone with a "harm reduction" policy. (Ford) This provides education to the public about drugs and also places of rehabilitation for addicts across Western Europe. The approach has proven to be successful as, Drug consumption is generally far lower in Europe than in the U.S. Eighteen percent of Dutch people have smoked marijuana at least once, for example, compared with 33 percent of Americans." (Ford)

Works Cited

Miliard, Mike. "The Time Is Right to Abolish Federal Prohibition of Marijuana." Medical Marijuana. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Legalize Pot Now." The Phoenix (1 June 2009). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "Marijuana Should Be Legalized for Medical Use." Drug Legalization. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Current Controversies. Rpt. from "Working to Reform Marijuana Laws: Medical Use." 2008. 1-3. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.

Ford, Peter. "The European Attitude Toward Marijuana." Marijuana. Ed. Joseph Tardiff. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Contemporary Issues Companion. Rpt. from "Europe Shifts Out of Drug-War Mode." Christian Science Monitor (12 Mar. 2001). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
Grant, John. "Veterans Should Have Access to Medical Marijuana to Treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." Medical Marijuana. Ed. Margaret Haerens and Lynn M. Zott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Marijuana and PTSD: Give the Joy of Life a Chance." 2011. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.

Ingraham, Christopher. "A Majority Favors Marijuana Legalization for First Time, According to Nation’s Most Authoritative Survey." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2015. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
Jones, Buzz. "ALASKA, OREGON AND D.C. JOIN MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION MOVEMENT – WHICH STATES ARE NEXT?" Urban Greenhouse Dispensary. Urban Greenhouse Dispensary, 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
Publius, Gaius. "Full Marijuana Legalization Is Inevitable ... But You Can't Sell "Getting Trashed"" The Smirking Chimp. The Smirking Chimp, 17 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.
Hinds, Paul D. "Marijuana Legalization." Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio. Allen County Libertarian Party of Ohio, 27 Feb. 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2015.