The Legalization of Marijuana

By Caroline Fallon

Staff Reporter

On November of 2012, ABC News reported that Colorado and Washington were the first two states to pass the law that marijuana could be used recreationally.

Since then, six more states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. During this past election Calif., Maine, Mass. and Nev. were the newest states added to the list.

In almost half of the country, marijuana has already been legalized for medical use. The reasoning behind medical marijuana is that it has therapeutic effects and helps patients deal with nausea, pain and appetite simulation.

According to The National Conference of State Legislators, the first state to legalize was Calif. back in 1996, and since then 27 more states have followed.

“You would never deny a patient medication that would help them, so there’s no reason to deny somebody marijuana for medical treatment. I definitely think medical marijuana should be legalized in all states,” said junior Cara Desrosiers. “As far as recreational marijuana, I think it will bring in a lot of money and create a safer way to use marijuana. If you buy it off the street, it could be laced with who knows what. If it’s legalized, it will become safer to buy because you can ensure that it will be pure.”

The legalization of marijuana has been able to help the economy. According to the Huffington Post, the government would save an estimated 13.7 billion on prohibition enforcement costs and tax revenue by legalizing it.

It is also noted that the business itself is extremely lucrative and can bring in about $6.7 billion in sales in just the year of 2016.

“I think it is a good idea to legalize it because people are going to do it anyway so a lot of problems will be avoided. However, I also think that if they legalize it in one place they need to legalize it everywhere so that it is the same laws across the nation and one would not get confused between states,” said junior Gregory Caldera.

With legalization of marijuana there are some negative effects as well. Since Colorado first legalized recreational marijuana, they have had incidents including an increase in emergency room calls due to marijuana-related exposure cases and number of calls to poison control centers, according to CNN.

There have also been more marijuana-related traffic deaths, school suspensions, pet poisonings and lab explosions than the state has ever had before.

Although marijuana is now legalized in multiple states, there are still laws that surround it to try to make it as safe as possible.

According to Business Insider, every state has its own laws involving the drug which dictates how much you can have on you, how old you can be to purchase it and how many plants you’re allowed to grow in your own home.

“I think that the legalization of marijuana is a good idea and should be an established law nationwide. This will significantly cut down the amount of people sneaking around in order to obtain some. It will also lower the number of people in jail for possessing small amounts, effectively ruining their reputations,” said junior Rosalita Cormier.

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