Reasons Why Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized For Recreational Use
The current prohibition on marijuana has cost taxpayers an exorbitant amount of money. Taxes generated by marijuana sales can provide the government with enormous revenue, which can be used for infrastructure, debt relief, and community programs. Moreover, the public’s perception of marijuana use is largely negative, with some people believing that it’s an addiction and should be prohibited. This article explores some of the arguments against legalizing marijuana for recreational use.
Prohibition harms the environment
Regardless of the health benefits of cannabis, the environmental impacts of prohibition are real and substantial. Growing marijuana illegally pollutes water bodies and kills wildlife. In addition to polluting water supplies, it also damages the landscape by fragmenting forest ecosystems. And, despite its controversial nature, marijuana cultivation is a major source of revenue for many states. Thus, marijuana production and exports will increase the carbon footprint of the natural environment.
Although the era of marijuana prohibition was a time of change, a growing legalization movement took off, fuelled by anti-Vietnam War fervor, the return of troubled soldiers, and the hollowing out of rural communities. Increasing interest in marijuana’s medicinal properties bolstered the reform movement. However, despite the positive effects, the marijuana industry faced stiff pushback in the 1980s. The federal government was forced to merge the FBN and the Bureau of Dangerous Drugs (BDD) in order to reduce its illegal trade.
As a result, the cultivation of marijuana has caused many disputes among California landowners. These landowners are liable for the crimes committed by cannabis cultivators, and the federal government has the authority to seize properties that are leased to marijuana-growing operations. In California, marijuana cultivators are behaving as badly as other agricultural practices. A recent case demonstrates this. And, the problem doesn’t end with prohibition.
The anti-marijuana lobby is doing everything it can to prevent adult-use legalization. A recent poll conducted by Cannabis Action Fund found that a majority of the American public supports legalization. And, two states have already enacted marijuana legislation. For example, Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana. And the state of Oregon is scheduled to vote on marijuana legalization initiatives next year. The Obama administration has also agreed to stop federal raids in states where the use of marijuana is legal.
Research on cannabis cultivation and the environment is limited. Most studies were local case studies or geographically restricted to Northern California. However, as the world population grows, similar research is necessary to understand how cannabis consumption impacts the environment. This will help prevent environmental problems from being exported to other jurisdictions and prevent adverse impacts in newly legalized regions. While tobacco industry-related environmental impacts are widely known, there is not enough information to make informed decisions about the effects of cannabis cultivation.
Legalization and medicalization of cannabis have helped to de-stigmatize cannabis use, but they are not enough to completely shift social perceptions. Stigma stems from institutional, cultural, and individual forces that restrict a person’s access to opportunities and thwart his or her personal growth. Increasing access to cannabis will help eliminate some of the stigma surrounding recreational use of the plant. Listed below are some ways legalization and medicalization of cannabis can help to diminish the stigma surrounding cannabis use.
In recent years, scholars have argued that cannabis stigma is not universal; it varies across social contexts. The process of normalization differs in different social settings. It is thus important to understand cannabis as a general social phenomenon that emerges from disparate micro-level processes, which vary from one context to another. Some argue that stigma surrounding cannabis is only related to irresponsible use. Moderate recreational use has become a normal social behavior, but excessive or dependent use remains a problematic practice. Moreover, some argue that a normal marijuana user is one who is self-controllable, has discretion, and is socially and culturally accepted.
The de-stigmatization of marijuana for recreational use requires that it be legalized in all states, not just in the most conservative ones. Many of us have used marijuana for coping with the loss of our mother, but the stigma that surrounds the drug prevents us from showing the hard work we have put into our lives. However, when marijuana becomes legal, it will be a much more acceptable option for us all to enjoy and feel more energized.
Increases use in the population
Studies have found that marijuana use increases in the population after it is legalized for recreational use. Currently, the U.S. government has legalized marijuana for recreational use in eight states and Washington, D.C. Almost two million Americans aged 12 and older report using marijuana at least once a month. That is about seven hundred new users every day. This number is unchanged from the previous years, but it is higher than it was in the mid-2000s.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington State became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. This legalization resulted in a rise in the prevalence of marijuana use among white and Hispanic individuals. But the effects were not the same among individuals aged twelve to 20 years. While these results may reflect the entire effect of marijuana legalization on the population, single-state analyses show a different picture.
The study also used age-period-cohort modeling, which enables researchers to investigate trends over time. They can then dissect the increase in use into independent factors. The cohort effect refers to the increase in risk of marijuana use associated with an individual’s age or birth year. Using these models, researchers were able to examine the effects of marijuana legalization on marijuana use over the past several decades.
While the benefits of marijuana legalization for recreational use are widely perceived as beneficial, there are still many challenges. Research on the effects of legalization are limited by a lack of adequate data. The adoption of a common definition of cannabis use would improve the research process. Researchers should move beyond measures of prevalence to include measures of intensity. In addition, researchers should also develop standardized dosage definitions and collection methods. While these measures will add significant costs to study designs, they must be considered when designing the studies.
Legalization could also lead to lower prices for marijuana. A study by RAND concluded that legalizing marijuana would lead to an 80% decrease in retail prices. However, there are several uncertainties, including how legalization would affect production costs, prices and how the Federal government would react. However, a higher price could prevent increased consumption, which is good for society. But it can also cause social problems and create a higher level of crime.
Creates a black market
It is not uncommon for people to ask: Does legalizing marijuana create a black market? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. However, there is a problem with the process of legalizing marijuana. In states like Illinois, where marijuana is already legal for medical purposes, most of the pot sold in dispensaries is illegal. As a result, there is an ongoing black market.
The government must take measures to control the black market. For example, strict regulation of marijuana sales would encourage the black market, because it would require registration of every purchase. Further, enforcing the one ounce per month limit across all stores in a state would create a high-cost enforcement infrastructure. The result would be a deterioration in tax revenues and the continuation of the illegal market. The best way to keep marijuana prices in check is to legalize it, rather than criminalizing it.
There is no way to know how much of a black market marijuana will create, but it is estimated that a similar situation exists in Washington state and Colorado. The study notes that marijuana crime rates in these states are roughly five times higher than those in legal states. Legalizing marijuana would put these criminals out of business, and the state’s tax revenues could go toward helping communities improve. And even though the black market will not disappear, the amount of profit that these dealers make will continue to increase in the years to come.
In Colorado, the tax structure for marijuana includes a half-cent tax for every milligram of THC. Eating marijuana products has an additional three-cent tax. This “total THC” tax is put on the product before it even reaches the dispensary, and is compounded by a 13 percent tax during sale. In the state where marijuana is legal, the “effective tax rate” is low and will allow the legal market to attract many black market users.
Despite the recent news that marijuana is laced with fentanyl, it remains to be seen whether this is a myth or a real problem. While the fear of fentanyl-laced marijuana may have existed, it was a result of the black market that resulted from prohibition, which created the black market. However, the most effective way to ensure purity of marijuana is through legalization. This fact is hardly new and speaks volumes about the logically bankrupt foundation of marijuana policy.
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