Chances are high you probably know of at least one person who has smoked marijuana - maybe it’s yourself? However, what you may not know about are the ramifications that marijuana prohibition has on your life. The legalization debate has been a hot topic over the last few years, especially with Colorado and Washington enacting measures to legalize the sale and purchase of marijuana. Now whether you agree or disagree with legalization, it’s great we’re finally having more public debates on the subject, as for most of the last century, attempts to discuss the marijuana issue have been stalled and ignored.
Over the last decade there’s been increasing support for both decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Proponents of legalization derive from a diverse demographic: from doctors, teachers and politicians to students. This article will outline the crucial arguments in favour of decriminalization.
10 Learning From Colorado and Washington
9 Drug Addiction is a Health Issue, Not a Criminal One
There’s no doubt that marijuana can be addictive, and indeed, I’m sure many people are addicted to marijuana. However, everyone in society is addicted to one thing or another: alcohol, tobacco, shopping, work, food, Facebook, or their phone. The key factor in understanding addiction is that it’s often not a person’s choice. For example, many tobacco addicts are desperate to give up smoking but find the psychological barriers overwhelming. Furthermore, it’s been proven that addictive proclivities are largely determined by arbitrary factors, in particular a person’s upbringing.
8 Marijuana is Medicine
7 Failure of the War on Drugs
6 Marijuana is Not a Gateway Drug
5 The Government Can’t Protect People From Themselves
4 Prohibition Creates and Maintains a Black Market
3 No One Has Died From Marijuana
2 Marijuana is Far Less Damaging Than Caffeine, Tobacco and Alcohol
1 Majority of People Support Legalization
Overwhelmingly, the majority of people in the US, Canada and the UK support either decriminalization or legalization. In a 2013 Gallup poll, 58% of Americans voted in favour of legalization, whilst in the UK a MORI poll concluded that 53% support legalization. In Canada, a poll conducted by EKOS concluded that 68% of Canadians support decriminalization. Political reform is only achieved when the overwhelming majority of people demand it, and with the ever increasing support for legalization, it’s safe to say the day may not be far off when marijuana can be used legally.
Sources: huffingtonpost.com, mpp.org, alternet.org, who.int, ncadd.org, webmd.com, entrepreneur.com
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