Recreational Marijuana

As more and more states make the switch to legalizing marijuana, the number of happy frequent marijuana consumers is also growing. The controversial debate over whether federal marijuana legalization should happen or not has been drastically altering the political landscape of our country in the past few years.

Apart from the generational divide that separates people who are against the drug and those who believe in its benefits, it’s safe to say that the United States is spending obscene amounts of money to shut down the black market for marijuana.

A recent news article from Vox stated that the amount of people held in jail in the United States is now the highest for any country in the world. This poses the question if pot is really as dangerous to the community as our government has preached for years prior to Colorado’s monumental legalization back in 2012. Six years later, medical dispensaries and recreational pot communities are sparking like wildfire.

No matter what your stance is on using pot, let’s look at the pros and cons of medicinal marijuana and the impact of legalization.

Marijuana Legalization Saves Lives

Both pot supporters and opponents can acknowledge that our criminal justice system has failed. But when does the impact of legalization carry over to overall safety of our country? Large organizations like the Drug Policy Alliance say that legalizing pot has greatly cut off resources that once kept shady criminal groups alive. Today, there’s a sharp decrease in arrests for nonviolent marijuana uses as well which translates to prisons that are much less crowded. This is great news, as it encourages our communities to behave less corrupt and violent for the sake of obtaining and selling the drug.

However, look to mainstream mediaand you’ll see many Hollywood celebrities, reality TV show stars, and social media influencers encouraging marijuana use among young people for its ability to calm their anxiety, stress, and boredom. With that increased acceptance, many drug policy experts fear that the impact of legalization brings incentive for companies to aggressively market the drug and “convert” the masses to see it as an everyday need.

Our country is known for being extremely consumeristic and any potential industry promising billions of dollars in sales will be prioritized. They expect to see widespread advertisements that could potentially look like the classic Bud Light and Smirnoff commercials you see during the Super Bowl that encourage families to consume it during national celebration.

The Market Talks

No matter what the big dogs say on either side, the majority of Americans prefer legalizing recreational marijuana anyway. According to recent surveys, support for marijuana legalization spiked from twelve percent in 1969 to a whopping sixty-four percent in 2017. In fact, the Pew Research Center has recently found that although support is slightly different from one generation to the next, approval for marijuana legalization has increased across the board. At this point, over two-thirds of all millennials in the country back the decision to allow medical marijuana and recreational marijuana exist without legal penalties. This shift on strict drug policies demonstrates that the majority of Americans simply want the opportunity to try and use marijuana. Most admit that the substance is much less harmful than consuming alcohol except when operating machinery or driving a car.  In general, most Americans are sick of the absurd drug and criminal justice policies that have done little to nothing to fix the ongoing drug crises around the country.

New Initiatives In Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana legalization now has thirty states within the country on board. The Drug Policy Alliance is currently working on marijuana legalization campaigns in the states of New Jersey, New Mexico and New York. As these are states with some the highest populations and liberal communities, many say that the decision won’t be met with much opposition.

Aside from reducing harm, legalizing and regulating marijuana in such states will allow one of the country’s nation’s largest crops into legal territory. This will help lead to thousands of jobs as well as economic opportunities instead of promoting black market groups.

Additionally, many patients will have to opportunity to use marijuana as a safe and regulated form of holistic medication for their symptoms. States like Arizona allow patients suffering from chronic anxiety, seizures, migraines, and even caner to gain a prescription to medical marijuana so they can live a little easier. What’s even better is that if a person receives a medical marijuana registry card, they can have a designated caregiver or potentially grow marijuana at their own home. This is only the case if there is no other available dispensary within twenty-five miles from the patient’s home. With the right use, legalizing marijuana is allowing a less invasive and intense medication form to be readily available to thousands of patients who desperately need help.

The Bottom Line

Times are definitely changing, and the past decade has probably been one of the most eventful in terms of laws paving the way for legal drug use and promoting social equality. The impact of marijuana so far has been widely positive, aside from sparking a string of political debates between parties.

If you happen to live in a state that is legalizing medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, it’s important to know what your rights are as a resident. At the same time, you should also know what the boundaries are so you don’t run into any potential problems with local law enforcers. Make sure you also know what the mental and physical effects are for those who use marijuana once in a blue moon, once a week, or even once a day.

Just like any other drug, marijuana can develop into an addiction if you use it the wrong way. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to using the drug that everyone is talking about!





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