Essay Sample on Marijuana Use: Are the Legal Consequences Justified?

Published: 2023-08-14
Essay Sample on Marijuana Use: Are the Legal Consequences Justified?
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Drug Marijuana legalization
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 741 words
7 min read


Marijuana (Cannabis) refers to a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, which gets used for recreational or medical purposes. Marijuana use is illegal, according to the United States federal law. However, from the studies, above 128 million individuals have been found to have used marijuana in their lifetime (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). Approximately 600,000 individuals from America have gotten arrested for possession per year (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). Marijuana legalization support shifted from 12% in the year 1969 to 66% currently (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). Legalizing marijuana has accompanied advantages and some disadvantages as well. Legalizing it is thought to boost the economy sector, job creation, decrease race disparities, and reduce street crime. Some of the underlying disadvantages of legalizing marijuana include; creating a steep cost for the taxpayers and society, increases teens' usage of the harmful drug, and increases traffic deaths and accidents, among others (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). The study will thus get focused on addressing both the advantages and disadvantages of legalizing marijuana in the sates.

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Advantages of Legalizing Marijuana

The first advantage of legalizing marijuana is that it will aid boost the economy. It gets expected if legalized to boost the US GDP to 24 billion dollars as of 2025 (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). Marijuana can generate 2.13 to 2.40 dollars for every 1.00 dollars spent (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). In 2016, the legalized marijuana industry contributed 7.2 billion dollars towards the economy (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). A lot of money was also said to have gotten paid to federal taxes (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). For instance, in Nevada State, where marijuana gets legalized, 7.5 billion dollars contributed to the economy and 1.7 billion dollars in the labor income sector (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). In California, 5 billion dollars got generated annually due to marijuana legalization (Hollingsworth et al., 2019).

Legalizing marijuana decreases teen’s usage of it. According to research conducted at the University of Washington, the young people's criminal cases of marijuana use decreased with legalizing its use. For instance, concerning the results obtained from RAND in 2018, legalizing marijuana use in Washington in 2012 reduced the figure to 7.3% from 9.8% in 2014-2016 (Hollingsworth et al., 2019).

Another advantage is that it aids in combatting race disparities. In the United States, blacks get arrested more for marijuana cases than whites despite their equal use of it. For instance, in Lowa state, the rate of arresting the blacks due to marijuana is 8.3 times higher than for the whites (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). In the US, it is 3.73 times higher, and 32.3% of the blacks are in New York City and get convicted for marijuana cases compared to 15.8% of the whites (Hollingsworth et al., 2019). When the instances of criminalizing the blacks go down, the blacks can get to secure themselves better housing, jobs, and even loans, which contributes to equality between the whites and the blacks. Blacks can thus secure jobs in the states decreasing unemployment cases.


Legalizing marijuana results in more traffic deaths and accidents. In Colorado, for instance, where marijuana got legalized, deaths resulting from traffic increased by 62% (Wang et al., 2019). It may be due to the effects that marijuana has of causing impairment on drivers. Teen’s usage of it rose by its legalization in Colorado and Alaska. From 2015 to 2016, 16.21% and 18.86% of teens got reported to be marijuana addicts in Colorado and Alaska, respectively (Wang et al., 2019). Also, legalizing marijuana affects not only the individual using it but society at large. Society suffers in that they have to pay more money to the government for medical care, rehabilitation of the addicts, and emergency room visits.


From the above discussion, it can get seen clearly that the advantages of legalizing marijuana do more good than harm to individuals. Legalizing it boosts the economy, reduces unemployment cases, and help fight racial discrimination in the states. However, despite also having various effects on the society and individuals themselves, legalizing it will do more good than harm. Thus, in my view, marijuana should be legalized in all states.


Hollingsworth, A., Wing, C., & Bradford, A. (2019). Unintended Consequences of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Laws On Adult and Youth Drug Use. Available at SSRN.

Wang, G. S., Hoyte, C., Roosevelt, G., & Heard, K. (2019). The continued impact of marijuana legalization on unintentional pediatric exposures in Colorado. Clinical Pediatrics, 58(1), 114-116.

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