Legalizing Marijuana

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By: Sathiyan Sivakumaran

As issue upon issue adds up to be discussed by the presidential candidates, one of the topics of conversation that stands out most is the legalization of marijuana. This happens to be a popular movement among the younger generation in America, and the research behind the effects and benefits of marijuana have continued to pile up. As presidential candidate Jeb Bush was not scared to admit, even he had smoked a joint. Why is this moving into the spotlight of conversation?

Already in the US, multiple states have legalized marijuana for sale, including Washington and Colorado. This is relevant as it becomes another source of revenue for the government, in these cases state and local. Taxation of marijuana creates revenue that would otherwise be nonexistent in a state that does not allow the sale of weed. This is one of the most appealing prospects of the legalization of marijuana on a national level. In addition to this, there are the mounting studies of marijuana’s medicinal properties. It’s become clear that it noticeably alleviates the symptoms of physically debilitating and chronic illnesses. Finally, legalizing marijuana answers a huge problem that has been growing in America over the years. The prisons are overpopulated. With many of these prisons overflowing with inmates who have committed nonviolent crimes, including illegal sale, possession, and use of marijuana, the prison system is awaiting an innovation. There has to be a way to solve the overpopulation of prisons, and it seems that the legalization of weed could be a path.

In many of the debates and campaigns by presidential candidates, the legalization of marijuana has been discussed. With this discussion, the facts are seemingly pointing more and more at the solution being legalizing marijuana at a national level. The detrimental effects of weed are seemingly low in comparison to the legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco, yet it is still considered illegal by a large number of states. Also, there seem to be clear benefits of marijuana usage among ill patients that have been suggested by research studies. When the good outweighs the bad as significantly as it does in this argument, how much longer will it take for the nation to make the change and legalize marijuana?

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