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Th legalization of recreational drugs is a hot-button topic in America. As a country, we are mostly a God-fearing, conservative nation. The common American wants to believe that illicit drugs are only being used by the derelicts and criminal element of society, however recreational drug use among the general public is higher than ever. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, recreational drug use in the United States has risen to the highest that it has been in 10 years. The use of these drugs rose 8%, and the use of marijuana specifically rose 9% just last year. Despite more lax guidelines for drug enforcement officials when pursuing criminals and stiffer penalties for people who use illegal drugs, the casual use of illegal drugs like weed is on the rise. There is only one solution to this problem, make marijuana legal for recreational use.
Reason 1: Medical Uses
Yes I know, marijuana is already legal for medicinal usage. However, in every state except California, it is fairly difficult to find a prescription for medicinal marijuana unless you are 80 years old with glaucoma or arthritis, or you have some rare debilitating disease that causes you chronic pain. Sure, the eighty year olds deserve to get high; they have lived long lives and their last few years should be fun. Plus, what could be funnier for everyone than a room full of giggling grandmas? But, should a person really have to develop cancer to smoke weed? Alcohol was prohibited in the twenties and thirties, it is the biggest contributing factor in automobile accidents and deaths in the U.S., yet it is still legal today. Pot, which soothes nausea and sharp pains, and causes people to sit in rooms by themselves and stare at light fixtures while laughing at nothing is somehow outlawed. Marijuana has been proven to fight cancer cells, increase appetite, and reduce nausea. It should be available to the public.
Reason 2: Pot Is Patriotic
Hemp, another descendant of the Cannabis sativa plant (both hemp and marijuana have the same physical build and THC – the compound in the drug that gets you high in marijuana – but weed has more THC) and a close cousin of marijuana supported the United States campaign for freedom against the British. In 1619, farmers were ordered to grow hemp to support the war against the British. A draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp, rope and clothes for the soldiers were made of hemp, and the original American flag that was sewn by Betsy Ross was made of hemp too.
Reason 3: It Is Good for the Economy and the Environment
Whereas, tobacco plants ruin the soil and are difficult to grow, cannabis plants (both marijuana and hemp) actually improve the soil quality. Cannabis can be used to clear impurities from soil with high phosphorus content and even some radioactivity. Hemp is being used to clean the Chernobyl site with “mop crops” (large areas of implanted vegetation whose purpose is to clean out the impurities in the soil). And, the plants of both cannabis strains are edible. Hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids, including the 9 essential ones adult bodies cannot produce. And, the seeds of hemp plants can be used for fuel. In fact, they are currently being used in Canada, Spain, China, Japan, Korea, France, North Africa, Ireland, Iran, and Peru as a fuel source according to Hemp Industries Association. Legalization of both hemp and marijuana could possibly create excesses of hundreds of thousands of jobs in agriculture, production, and retail for the average American.
Reason 4: Marijuana is Good for You
Smoking cigarettes will eventually kill you. Smokers will assuredly die of emphysema, throat cancer, lung cancer, or some combination of the three. The smoke from those tiny packaged killers is so potent that living with or constantly being around a smoker for a lifetime will give a non-smoker the same fate that they have earned through years of smoking. Each cigarette contains hundreds of known carcinogens which produce cancer cells, but marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids which have both been found to fight cancer cells. Plus, the amount of inhalation performed by habitual weed smokers also strengthens the lungs. A study of students at the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Alabama proved that smokers have greater lung capacity and external blowing force than non-smokers. In some ways, smoking marijuana regularly is actually good for you.
These are just a few of the reasons that marijuana should be legalized nationwide, but there are so many other uses for the drug. Marijuana should be legalized on the state and federal in the near future.