Marijuana legalization; pros and cons

Marijuana legalization; pros and cons
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Marijuana is still illegal in more than 20 states. The rest of the U.S. has legalized marijuana in some form for recreational, or for medical purposes. Maine is the most recent state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, marijuana dispensaries in Maine began sales in February of 2018.

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Despite federal prohibitions on the plant, there is a big push to legalize marijuana all across the U.S. This movement has really been in effect since colorado made the decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use in 2012.

The most recent legalization poll was started in Michigan on May 1st, and poll count continued until May 6th. The majority of the votes were for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. 48% percent of the michigan residents were pro marijuana, 36% were against it, and the remaining 16% were undecided.

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Marijuana Legalization Would Help with Racial Problems in America. By looking at the numbers one can clearly see that African Americans and Latino Americans are getting arrested much more than white Americans. Considering that these minority groups make up a much smaller percentage of the population this is glaring problem with the police force. Considering how often the police department is accused of being racist towards people of color this certainly does not help their case.


The enforcement of marijuana prohibition is racist because people of color are disproportionately impacted. Statistics show a significant racial disparity in the enforcement of marijuana laws: even though white and black people use marijuana at roughly the same rate, a black person in the United States is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession on average. In Iowa, the state with the highest inequity, black people are 8.3 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. ] In New York City, 15.8% of marijuana possession cases involving white people result in conviction, compared to 32.3% involving black people and 30% involving Hispanic people.


Marijuana possession convictions can impact people’s ability to get public housing, financial aid for school, loans, and jobs. Over the past ten years, drug sentences for black men have been 9% to 13% longer than those received by white men. Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Criminal Justice and Drug Policy director for the ACLU of California, stated, “Racial disparities in marijuana enforcement are widespread and longstanding.” Legalizing marijuana would help correct the disparity.




Perhaps the oldest and most persistent argument against marijuana use is that it’s a “gateway drug,” meaning although weed itself is benign or not particularly harmful, it ineluctably leads to harder substances like cocaine or heroin.


Traffic accidents and deaths increase when marijuana is legalized. Marijuana-related traffic deaths rose 62% following the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Jim Leal, former Chief of Police of Newark, California, said of legalizing marijuana, “You are commercializing a product that is just going to put more impaired drivers on the road, worsening a problem that we already have. What officers are seeing with THC levels being very high is they are seeing impairment being far worse than they have ever seen in the past.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that fatal crashes involving marijuana doubled after legalization in Washington. Marshall Doney, President and CEO of AAA, said, “Marijuana can affect driver safety by impairing vehicle control and judgment.” The Highway Loss Data Institute found an increased crash risk in legal marijuana states and said collision claims in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington are higher than they would be without legal marijuana.

What the a lot of people in the U.S. don’t realize is that marijuana would do much more good if it were legal because it would eliminate unnecessary problems with enforcement, benefit those who need it and help our economy tremendously. If you look at the states that have legalized marijuana their economy took a big increase, in terms of tax revenue at the end of each year. 

Marijuana would help the U.S. way more than it would hurt it.

PRO/CON of Legalized recreational marijuana