In recent years, many jurisdictions around the world have started to legalise or decriminalise marijuana.
After years of activism, scientific research, and social acceptance, policymakers have decided to apply common sense and tap into civil liberties by allowing the public to consume cannabis.
The stereotypes of marijuana consumption have been debunked in recent years. It has become socially acceptable, like drinking a glass of wine after a meal or unwinding on a Friday night with a beer. Not everyone is gorging on a lifetime supply of Cheetos a la Cheech and Chong. Over the years, plenty of medical research has supported just how beneficial marijuana can be for your health. Or, at the very least, the scientific community has dispelled the notion that we become characters in Reefer Madness.
Unfortunately, there are still plenty of places worldwide that continue to install and maintain antiquated laws that punish marijuana users. The reasoning behind these campaigns is shoddy, ranging from “please think of the children!” to marijuana being a gateway drug to heroin. But the official research typically rejects this so-called reason and logic from our esteemed representatives who feel compelled to tell you how to live your life out of some feigned benevolence.
Here are nine commonly stated reasons why marijuana should be legal:
Reason #1: Freedom of Choice
One of the most common reasons why marijuana should be legal is the freedom of choice. Why should what you put in your body be the business of anybody but yourself?
For the last century, the government has regularly told consumers what they can and cannot eat, drink, or use. Unless you are imposing your will on somebody else, smoking marijuana is a personal choice that does not require the intervention of the state.
For countries where weed is legal, citizens have the freedom to visit the marijuana dispensaries near them. This is the beauty of the freedom of choice as it does not violate the non-aggression principle (NAP).
Reason #2: The Failure of Prohibition
Prohibition has been a failure. Whether it is alcohol or drugs, bans and restrictions have rarely succeeded. Prohibition has done more harm than good in the grand scheme of things. Everything from locking up young people for a joint in their sock to shutting down businesses for satisfying customer demand, the government has proven that its bans never succeed.
Reason #3: Lack of Regulation in Illegal Markets
While black markets can have a positive effect on freedom, there is a lack of regulation – both free market and government. For a long time, everyone relied on some shady dealer in a back alleyway who may have cultivated a plant in his basement, which could have been developed with a myriad of pesticides and chemicals.
That said, if marijuana is legalised, you have the power of the invisible hand to rein in shoddy products and advance the reputable items.
Reason #4: Destroy Fewer Lives
Millions of people have been slapped with fines and imprisonment. People have lost their jobs. Small businesses have been shut down. The list goes on as to how much and how many lives have been destroyed through marijuana criminalisation.
Reason #5: Economic Stimulus
If marijuana is fully legalised and decriminalised, you could have a massive wave of economic stimulus. At a time when the economy is paralysed due to the coronavirus pandemic, legalising marijuana and other benign drugs could lead to a tidal wave of growth. Startups, job creation, and perhaps even new industries could pop up in the aftermath of drug legalisation.
Reason #6: Better Allocation of Police Resources
As “Defund the Police” sweeps North America and Europe, police budgets are inevitably going to be diminished. Therefore, cops will need to be smarter about how they allocate their resources. Suffice it to say, would officers spend their money and time better on arresting a couple of kids smoking joints or finding pedophiles, burglars, and murderers?
Reason #7: Reduces Jamming of the Justice System
Court systems all over the world are notorious for being slow and bureaucratic. You can anticipate waiting months for your case to be heard before a judge.
This is problematic for many of the victimless crimes that take place, including marijuana consumption and distribution. By ditching these archaic laws, the criminal system would have fewer of these cases that take away time from serious cases.
Reason #8: Legalization is Environmentally Friendly
Studies have found that drug prohibition is terrible for the environment. Why? Researchers have discovered that illicit marijuana growers frequently utilise pesticides, divert waterways, and create hazardous waste.
When marijuana is legalised, cannabis businesses are mandated to comply with zoning and environmental laws. City and state/provincial authorities closely monitor these companies.
Reason #9: Eliminate Red Tape in Healthcare
Medical marijuana has indeed been ubiquitous for years. Unfortunately, there is still an abundance of red tape that has made it difficult for doctors and other medical care providers to prescribe marijuana. This can diminish the efficacy of any treatment plans put together by health care providers. The last thing any doctor needs is more red tape.