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The Pros And Cons Of Legalizing Medical Marijuana

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Legalizing medical marijuana is a controversial topic that most individuals tend to shy away from, but with the passages of laws in 23 states, the conversation is becoming inevitable (ProCon.org, 2015). While proponents of medical marijuana argue that it is a safe and effective treatment for various health symptoms, opponents argue it is dangerous, addictive, and a gate way to harder drug use. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the issue, the policies surrounding the issue, the pro/con of legalizing medical marijuana, and to provide recommendations. Overview of Issue The term medical marijuana refers to the use of the whole unprocessed marijuana plant to treat a symptom or disease. Researchers believe the use of medical…show more content…
Supporters of medical marijuana believe that prohibition has modest effects on trafficking and causes additional problems such as high costs on government. Prohibition involves high enforcement costs and prevents taxation on marijuana production and sale. If marijuana was legal, enforcement costs would be reduced and governments could impose taxes on the production and sale of marijuana (Egan & Miron, 2006). Tax revenue would increase and government expenditure would decrease. According to over 300 economists, the government could save $13.7 billion annually on prohibition enforcement costs by legalizing marijuana (Bradford,…show more content…
Of these conducted studies, over 60% found positive results with patients (ProCon.org, 2015). ALS patients reported aided sleep, muscle relaxation, reduction in anxiety and depression, and appetite stimulation (Kaufman et all., 2014). In a double-blind study, patients with cancer reported a statistically significant reduction in pain (Johnson et al., 2010). Studies researching the effect of marijuana on patients with HIV/AIDS found that marijuana significantly reduced neuropathic pain (Ellis et al., 2009) and increased food intake (Haney et al., 2007). Additional studies have found positive results with additional illness such as bipolar disorder, multiple Sclerosis, nausea, pain, and Parkinson’s disease (ProCon.org, 2015). A 2007 study estimated that marijuana-related charges cost the U.S. prisons $1 billion annually (Bradford, 2012). Decriminalizing marijuana can reduce the US prison population. According the US Department of Justice, approximately 31% of all prison admissions involve a drug category. Of this percentage, it is estimated that approximately 4% or more are directly related to marijuana. Not only will the decimalization of marijuana have the potential to save taxpayers money, but it will also increase police officers presence on the street to detect and deter other crimes (Austin,
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