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I'm one of those people who loves to advocate for the complete and total legalization of all drugs — and who advocates for treating addiction as the disease it is. When most people hear me on this, they call me crazy. However, as "crazy" as I may be, I do believe that most of us can agree that marijuana legalization is a good idea.
After all, if you look at the pros and cons of marijuana legalization, it definitely seems like one side is a lot more beneficial and reasonable than the other...
Pro: Legal marijuana means medical marijuana can help ease pain in patients.
One of the biggest perks of marijuana legalization is often what causes the discussion between the pros and cons of marijuana legalization in the first place: the medical use of marijuana.
The benefits of medical marijuana are many, and doctors have approved of its use for everything from joint pain to anxiety relief to cancer symptom improval and more. Having this natural medicine could help thousands, and may even prevent peoples' deaths.
Considering that marijuana is a medically beneficial herb, there's little denying that it could do a world of good to the right people.
Con: Some studies suggested that driving under the influence of cannabis could cause accidents.
In terms of the pros and cons of marijuana legalization, this one is one of the most legitimate concerns out there. Drunk and drugged driving can be seriously dangerous.
Most people who have smoked cannabis will claim that driving under the influence is not a big deal; however, certain studies have suggested that cannabis smokers may have slightly delayed reactions, which in turn can mean a higher accident rate.
That being said, being a drunk driver has a much higher correlation to accidents — so it's not a "one and the same" issue.
Pros: Lower crime rates and higher tax revenue, since marijuana will be legal and can now be a standard commercial endeavor rather than a criminal business.
True story: states that had legalized medical marijuana have found lower crime rates and higher tax revenues within a year of the laws being enacted.
The logic behind it is obvious. Legalizing it takes power out of gangs, and also reduces the chance of violence as a result of deals gone wrong. Thus, there are lower crime rates. Tax revenue comes in from taxes enacted of marijuana.
However, there are two sides to this story. The pros and cons of marijuana legalization do have to be taken into account, right?
Less criminal charges could mean fewer kickbacks for corrupt judges and cops who feed nonviolent disadvantaged people into the for-profit prison system. So, they may be a bit upset over the lower crime rate.
Overall, though, this is a perk for society and the tax system in general.
Cons: Some people may be less productive at work if they are under the influence.
There are strains of cannabis that are pretty bad for using during work, and some people just don't know how bad they look when they're smoking them. As a result, this may cause lower productivity levels in certain employees.
However, that can be easily remedied by firing the people who can't function on marijuana. After all, personal accountability is a thing.
Pros: A safer alternative to cigarettes.
When looking at the pros and cons of marijuana legalization, we also have to look at tobacco. Nicotine has no real benefits aside from a mild buzz. Cannabis, however, has many perks associated with it and is less addictive than cigarettes.
Cannabis use also has lower cancer rates associated with it than cigarette use does. Cannabis use also has far lower death rates than alcohol use has. Therefore, it's also a safer drug to choose when compared to the legal alternatives to it.