Legalization of marijuana: pros and cons


Legalization of marijuana: pros and cons

By Ryan Robichaud | Staff Writer


Over the past several years there has been a movement in the United States to legalize the use of
marijuana, with 34 states already having legalized recreational or medical use. With this much of
the country already realizing that marijuana has some positive impact, the question is why
marijuana has not been legalized federally.

Marijuana usage has become extremely popular in recent years, with the most recent gallup poll
taken in 2019 showing that 12% of Americans are active users.

Legalization has been trending in a positive direction for many years ever since Washington and
Colorado became the first states to start allowing recreational use in 2012. Cities in Georgia such
as Atlanata, Savannah and Macon have already decriminalized the possession of under one
ounce of marijuana, but many Georgia residents are very adamant about marijuana being
legalized for recreational use for all of Georgia. Milledgeville has not seemed to be one of these
cities in Georgia that has been making a move toward decriminalizing the drug.

With that being said, there are both pros and cons to legalizing Marijuana.

One of the biggest positives to legalizing marijuana is the money that states will be able to make
off of the sales. California, as of 2018, had the highest amount of marijuana sales, adding up to
an impressive $2.75 billion dollars. The state also has a 15% tax on all recreational and medical
marijuana sales, which is huge for the state. If other states that have not yet legalized marijuana
decided to, then they would also be able to bring in money from taxing the sales on medical and
recreational cannabis.

Students at GC have said that they think there are many positives to marijuana use.
“Smoking really helps me with my anxiety, and that is why I do it so often.” an anonymous GC
student said. “It also allows me to sleep, because I have a hard time falling asleep from time to

Legalizing marijuana could also be a great way to get rid of the black market and unregulated
sale of the drug. If marijuana was legal everywhere then people would not have to rely on
finding it and not really knowing if it is safe.


If marijuana was legal it would allow for the police to use their time for more important
problems. It costs the United States billions of dollars each year to arrest people for possession of
marijuana charges and holding some of those offenders in jail.

“I think it would allow us to spend our time on things that could be more useful.” An anonymous
officer said. “I don’t necessarily agree with the legalization, but I think that there are bigger
problems out there and the justice system spends way too much money each year on possession
of marijuana offenses.”

A disadvantage that is often argued in the case to not legalize marijuana is that it will increase
the use by teenagers. States that have already legalized the use of marijuana for adults have seen
a large jump in the amount of teenage users. This is a major problem because of how the
marijuana can have a harmful effect on the still developing brain of a teenager.

Another problem that has been associated with the legalization of marijuana is the amount of
traffic deaths that have been caused by people under the influence of marijuana. The drug can
have a similar effect on people as the way that alcohol does. It can numb the senses which makes
the driver of a vehicle impaired. States such as Colorado that have legalized marijuana have had
a rise to 62% more deaths related to drivers having been high then before marijuana was legal.
Laziness has been a con that marijuana has been attributed to.

“One bad thing about smoking marijuana is that it makes me lazy sometimes.” an anonymous
GC student said. “I find that it makes me lazy with my school work especially.”

Although those who smoke marijuana see certain negative effects from the use, the fear of an
exponential rise in marijuana use is at the forefront of law enforcement.

“I think that there could be some negative impacts that legalizing Marijuana could have if our
state decided to legalize it.” An anonymous police officer said. “I think you would see a lot more
people smoking in general and more people driving high which scares me.”

Overall, there are both positives and negatives to legalizing Marijuana which has made it
difficult for states to decide if they are ready to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Over
the next decade, it would be astonishing to see marijuana not legalized on the Federal level with
the way that it is trending currently.