Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana: An Argumentative Essay

Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana: An Argumentative Essay

The debate over the legalization of marijuana has revealed strong opinions on both sides and continues to suffer from an ongoing argument. As published studies show, there are both positive and negative effects associated with marijuana use. While some argue that it should remain illegal due to its potential to be a gateway drug and its negative impact on health, others believe that it has important medicinal uses and can help alleviate pain and anxiety.

One important statistic to consider is that 9 out of 10 Americans have tried marijuana in some form, according to a survey done by Kelley Smart. This indicates that marijuana is already prevalent in society, regardless of its legal status. Therefore, legalizing it would provide an opportunity for the government to monitor and regulate its use, making it safer for individuals and reducing the involvement of criminal organizations in the marijuana market.

In addition, there have been numerous stories published about the positive effects of marijuana on medical conditions such as epilepsy. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have shown significant improvement after using medicinal marijuana, as documented in their personal stories. This supports the idea that marijuana can be an effective treatment option for certain health conditions.

On the other hand, opponents argue that legalizing marijuana may lead to an increase in drug use, especially among youths. They cite research that shows a correlation between marijuana use and a decrease in academic performance, as well as an increased likelihood of developing addiction problems later in life. These negative effects cannot be ignored and should be taken into consideration when weighing the pros and cons of legalization.

Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

The Pros

One of the best arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana is its potential medicinal uses. Current research has revealed that marijuana can be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain. Supporters argue that legalizing marijuana would make it easier for patients to access this type of treatment.

Another reason to support the legalization of marijuana is the potential economic benefits. The cannabis industry has seen a rapid growth in recent years, with the legal market reaching billions of dollars. Legalization could create jobs and generate tax revenue that can be used for various purposes, such as education and healthcare.

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The Cons

While there are strong arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana, there are also valid concerns and reasons to oppose it. One of the main concerns is the potential for increased substance abuse. Opponents argue that making marijuana legally available may lead to higher rates of usage, especially among younger individuals.

Another argument against legalization is the negative impact it could have on public health. Some studies have suggested that marijuana use can have negative effects on cognitive function, especially when it comes to memory and learning. Concerns have also been raised about the potential for marijuana to be a gateway drug, leading to the use of more harmful substances.

Lastly, there is disagreement about the long-term effects of marijuana use. While some studies have shown potential benefits, others have cited negative effects such as increased risk of mental health issues and the potential for addiction. The debate surrounding marijuana legalization is ongoing, with differing opinions about its overall impact on individuals and society.

Medicinal usesPotential for substance abuse
Economic benefitsPotential negative impact on public health
Reduced strain on criminal justice systemLong-term effects and addiction concerns

An Argumentative Essay

Another argument for legalizing marijuana is its potential medical benefits. Numerous research studies have shown that marijuana can be used to alleviate symptoms of various medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. By legalizing marijuana, patients can have easier access to this alternative medicine.

Furthermore, legalization can help in changing the negative attitudes towards marijuana and its users. Many people view marijuana users as lazy, unmotivated individuals. However, this stereotype is not supported by research and stories of successful and productive individuals who use marijuana. Legalization can help shift these stereotypes and bring more understanding and acceptance to those who use marijuana responsibly.

On the other hand, there are concerns about the potential negative effects of marijuana use, especially among younger individuals. Some studies have shown a link between heavy marijuana use in adolescence and cognitive impairments later in life. Pediatricians, in particular, worry about the impact of legalization on the development of young brains.

There are also concerns about the potential for marijuana abuse and addiction. While marijuana may not be as addictive as other substances, there are still individuals who develop dependence and struggle to quit. Legalizing marijuana may increase access and availability, potentially leading to more individuals becoming dependent on the drug.

About Half Say They Have Tried Marijuana

While this number may seem high, it’s worth considering that the overall perception of marijuana has shifted significantly in recent years. With the ongoing debate surrounding its legalization, more and more people have become open to trying marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. Many individuals argue that marijuana is a natural alternative to other substances, such as cigarettes or alcohol, and that it can even have potential medicinal benefits.

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Opponents of marijuana legalization, on the other hand, argue that the drug can have negative effects on individuals’ health, especially when used heavily or at a young age. Studies have shown that heavy marijuana use can lead to deficits in cognitive functioning and can increase the risk of mental health issues, particularly among young people.

Positive Effects of Legalization

Another positive effect of legalization is the potential for increased tax revenue. As marijuana becomes a legal product, it can be taxed just like alcohol and cigarettes. This tax revenue can be used to fund important social programs such as education and healthcare.

The legalization of marijuana can also have positive impacts on public health. While marijuana use does have some risks, the legalization and regulation of the drug allows for better control and monitoring. This can help to ensure that the product is safe and of high quality, reducing the risk of individuals being exposed to dangerous substances.

Lastly, the legalization of marijuana can stimulate the economy through job creation and increased tourism. The marijuana industry has the potential to create a significant number of new jobs, benefiting both urban and rural communities. Furthermore, marijuana tourism can attract visitors from around the world, boosting local economies.

In summary, the positive effects of legalizing marijuana are numerous. It can reduce crime, generate tax revenue, improve public health, address racial disparities in drug enforcement, and stimulate economic growth. These benefits should be considered in the ongoing debate about marijuana legalization.

Negative Effects of Legalization

The report also pointed out that the current trend of marijuana legalization has made the drug more accessible to youth. A survey conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that about 1 in 10 youths aged 12 to 17 reported using marijuana in the past month in 2017, which was significantly higher than the reported rates in states where marijuana is illegal.

Furthermore, the legalization of marijuana has also led to an increase in emergency room visits related to the drug’s use. A study published in Pediatrics in 2018 analyzed the number of pediatric emergency department visits for marijuana-related reasons in Colorado before and after the drug was legalized in the state. The study found that the number of visits more than doubled from 2005 to 2015.

Another concern is the increase in marijuana-related traffic accidents. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2018 analyzed the effect of marijuana legalization on motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the United States from 1985 to 2014. The study found that states that legalized marijuana had a 5.2% higher rate of crash fatalities compared to states where marijuana was illegal.


What are the benefits of legalizing marijuana?

Legalizing marijuana can have several benefits. Firstly, it can generate tax revenue for the government, which can be used for various public services and programs. Secondly, it can create job opportunities in the marijuana industry, boosting the economy. Additionally, legalizing marijuana can help regulate its quality and safety, reducing the risk of contaminated or dangerous products. It can also free up law enforcement resources, allowing them to focus on more serious crimes.

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What are the drawbacks of legalizing marijuana?

There are also potential drawbacks to legalizing marijuana. One concern is that it could increase the number of people using marijuana, which may have negative health effects. Another drawback is the potential for increased drug abuse and addiction. Legalizing marijuana could also lead to more stoned driving incidents, similar to alcohol-related accidents. Additionally, it may be difficult to enforce regulations and control the black market, as some people may still prefer purchasing marijuana illegally.

What are the arguments against legalizing marijuana?

There are several arguments against legalizing marijuana. Some people believe that it can be a gateway drug, leading to the use of more dangerous substances. Others argue that marijuana can have negative effects on mental health, especially in young people. There is also concern about the impact on workplace productivity and safety, as marijuana use can impair cognitive function and motor skills. Finally, opponents of marijuana legalization worry that it can have a negative influence on youth and send the wrong message about drug use.

Can legalizing marijuana help with medical conditions?

Yes, legalizing marijuana can have benefits for medical conditions. Marijuana has been found to have therapeutic properties and can help alleviate symptoms of various illnesses, such as chronic pain, nausea, and seizures. It can also be used as an alternative to opioids for pain management, potentially reducing the risk of addiction. Legalizing marijuana can provide patients with safe and regulated access to medicine that can improve their quality of life.

Does legalizing marijuana lead to increased crime rates?

There is no clear consensus on the relationship between marijuana legalization and crime rates. Some studies suggest that legalizing marijuana can lead to a decrease in certain types of crimes, such as drug-related offenses or property crimes. However, other research indicates that marijuana legalization might have no significant impact on crime rates or may even lead to an increase in certain types of crimes. It is important to consider various factors and context when examining the relationship between marijuana legalization and crime.

What are the pros of legalizing marijuana?

Some proponents argue that legalizing marijuana would generate tax revenue, create jobs, and reduce drug-related violence.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.