Nov 27 2012
Although cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana, weed or pot, is widely known as a harmful drug, voters in Colorado and Washington have passed referendums legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Legalizing weed has been a controversial topic in the United States for quite a while. In the short run, the legalization of pot can have many positive implications towards the economy, but in the long run, will harm peoples’ health. This topic interests me because I plan on attending a US college next year and I am frightened by the likelihood that the legalization of pot spreads from Washington and Colorado to the state of my college.
First and foremost, arguments from the CNN and HuffingtonPost articles on the justification of the legalization of marijuana correlate to the natural sciences and human sciences areas of knowledge. In the former, marijuana legalization activists argue that controlled use of marijuana is no more harmful than legal drugs such as cigarettes. A counterclaim is that even if the drug use is controlled, second-hand smoke may harm others, often times children. Aside from the second-hand smoke which is even more harmful to cilia in lungs than first-hand smoke, smoking weed in front of underage people can cause a negative influence. There is a negative psychological influence that comes side by side with the biological harm to one’s body.
Although there are negative effects of the legalization of marijuana on the micro level, there are more positive implications on the macro level. As seen from the HuffingtonPost article, the legalization of pot will decrease the cost for users. From the laws of supply and demand in Economics, an increase in supply due to lower cost in growing pot in a legal environment will push down price. According to Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a non-profit lobbying group working to legalize pot, legalized pot could cost 100 times less than its previous illegal price. This would increase consumption and boost aggregate demand, thereby having a positive impact on the economy. Some would argue that it would be difficult to regulate the consumption of pot. A counterclaim is government tax can be used to push up the price of pot. While making pot less easily affordable, the government may also increase its tax revenue by $500 million, according to WPTV. Using logic and reason, another counterclaim would be if the government struggled to keep pot illegal before it was legalized, how would it manage to regulate the price of pot after it is legalized? Examining the issue from an alternate perspective, research from the American College of Physicians shows that cannabis extract can offer patients a therapeutic option in treating cancers, which in turn would support the legalization of weed.
The extent to which recreational pot should be legalized in Washington and Colorado remains a controversial issue among critics and politicians. As a knower, I believe pot should be kept illegal simply due to the negative health implications such as second-hand smoke. In the short run, pot may be a strong economic stimulus that would appeal to everybody during this tough economic era, but in the long run, people will likely develop lung cancer. My stance against the legalization of pot is strongly influenced by my Chinese cultural background and stringent parents, who reject the use of drugs. The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado grants individuals with more freedom but also more liability.
Fairchild, Caroline. “Legalizing Marijuana In Washington And Colorado Could Decrease Cost For Users.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 07 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/07/legalizing-marijuana-washington-colorado_n_2088375.html>.
“Hemp Hemp Hooray T Shirt Pot Weed Marijuana 420 Tee by Shirtmandude T Shirts – Teenormous.com.” Teenormous. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://teenormous.com/t-shirts/Hemp-Hemp-Hooray-T-Shirt-Pot-Weed-Marijuana-420-Tee-by-Shirtmandude-T-Shirts-1160605>.
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“Marijuana Use Up, Meth Use Down, Says Study of Illegal Drugs.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20103881-10391704.html>.
“New Study: Weed Is Bad News – Page 1.” New Study: Weed Is Bad News – Page 1. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://tnation.t-nation.com/free_online_forum/music_movies_girls_life/new_study_weed_is_bad_news>.
NG, CHRISTINA, ABBY PHILLIPS, and CLAYTON SANDELL. “Colorado, Washington Become First States to Legalize Recreational Marijuana.” ABC News. ABC News Network, 07 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/colorado-washington-states-legalize-recreational-marijuana/story?id=17652774>.
“Smoking and Asthma: Tobacco, Second-Hand Smoke, and More.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/smoking-and-asthma>.
Washington, NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Voters in, and Colorado Passed Ballot Initiatives Tuesday to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use. “Colorado, Washington Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 07 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/07/news/economy/marijuana-legalization-washington-colorado/index.html>.