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The legality of cannabis sativa, popularly referred to as marijuana, is a controversial issue in the United States (Burnham, 2011). This has led to the rise of proponents and opponents of the issue. These groups of people are like a two-sided coin.  Proponents of marijuana legalization ground their reasons on the benefits associated to the use of marijuana. On the other hand, the opponents to the issue strongly believe that marijuana has detrimental effects ranging from physical to mental health (Gerber, 2004). Convincing any of these parties to join the other appears is a difficult task. In light of this, this paper attempts to persuade the opponents to support the legalization of cannabis sativa. Additionally, the paper not only tries to persuade but also attempts to refute the claims made against legalization of marijuana.

Gerber (2004) points out that marijuana is not as harmful as tobacco or alcohol when used in proper control. Research studies and medical experiments point out that the deadliness of cannabis is contradictory and inconclusive. According to Klein (2009), many health professionals also affirm that marijuana is not extremely harmful as exaggerated by the opponents of this issue if used under regulation. This implies that it is only through abuse that the problems of marijuana manifest themselves. However, the abuse of nearly all harmful substances come with consequences, therefore, the argument that marijuana has harmful effects is flawed (Klein, 2009). Essentially, the abuses of caffeine, cigarettes or even pizza have health problems (Gerber, 2004). The harmful effects of marijuana are preventable through controlled usage but not listing it as contraband since this will deprive of the country its benefits.

For quite some time, opponents of cannabis sativa legalization claimed that the action would increase theft and other illegal activities (Gerber, 2004). Their argument is developed from the fact that marijuana addicts would use all means including stealing to meet their addictive demands. However, this argument has weaknesses; in fact, related crimes such as theft will reduce (Gerber, 2004). In addition, legalization of cannabis sativa will reduce its price. Klein (2009) asserts that almost all contraband drugs are priced highly because their production, transportation, and sales have heavy risks. Some research indicates that when individuals develop drug addictions, they by some means, develop means of getting money to satisfy their demands (Burnham, 2011). Theft is one of the means usually used to facilitate illegal acquisition of marijuana (Burnham, 2011). Only those who are rich and can afford cannabis sativa will not engage in robbery. With the majority of the youths not being able to afford the drug, they will resolve to take part in robbery to generate money. However, legalization will significantly reduce the risks associated to cannabis sativa, which in turn reduces the price (Klein, 2009). With lower prices, youths and other poor addicts who would have gotten involved in robbery would be able to acquire the drugs. As a result, the addicts’ demands would be met, and crimes reduced.

Klein (2009) points out that cannabis sativa are not only a recreational drug but have various commercial and industrial uses. Approximately twenty five thousand products can be manufactured from cannabis sativa. The plant has various alternative uses such as construction and thermal insulation materials, geotextiles, dynamite, composites for autos, paper and insect repellent (Burnham, 2011). This uses were identified as far back as in 1930s by popular mechanics that referred to cannabis sativa as “new billion dollar crop” because of the diverse products that are manufactured from it. The legalization claims are refutable in that the country cannot forego the benefits associated to cannabis at the expense of legalizing it. Cannabis sativa plays a significant role in growth and development (Klein, 2009). It is irrational to restrict the diverse use of the product because of one objectionable use. It is much more beneficial to look for ways of mitigating the objectionable use rather than getting rid of it.

According to opponents, marijuana seizures frequently trap the youth in a defective system that transforms them into lifetime criminals (Klein, 2009). This view has some traces of truth in it. Many teenagers employed to sell drugs across towns intend to earn money legally end up being busted. This youths or teenagers might hate living in poverty or needs to save money for college education (Klein, 2009). This further justifies their reason for making some decent cash. Additionally, it implies that some youths get involved in the trade of contraband product unwillingly. However, illegalizing marijuana will not explicitly get rid of these problems. Essentially, teenagers attempting to satisfy their demand will be unemployed because of illegalization (Burnham, 2011). Subjecting the teenagers to prison systems because of indulgence in trading of marijuana generates lifelong criminals. The youths get crueler because they have to defend themselves constantly from the crowd (Klein, 2009). When these youths finish their jail term, their college and job expectations would have been shattered because school disruption and felony record. As a result, they resort to resume the usual crimes like robbery leading to lifetime criminals. Making marijuana legal will create job opportunities and make the youths earn money legitimately and prevent them from the flawed prison system (Burnham, 2011).

Burnham (2011) affirms that the war against drugs, especially marijuana is an expensive failure. Illegalizing marijuana will consume police and court resources, hence, hampering with conviction of serious criminals (Gerber, 2004). Some of the resources whose consumption will rise include the Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA), Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) and border security. Additionally, costs relating to police officers, public defenders, judges, prosecutors, court reporters and prison guards will also rise due to the increased number of lawbreakers (Klein, 2009). This rebuts the claim that illegalization will reduce government expenses. Making marijuana legal would enable the criminal justice system to concentrate on extremely influential national matters such as terrorism, rape and murder. Moreover, it will reduce the backlog of cases leading to a reduction in wait time for other legitimate court cases.

The claim that the use of marijuana causes road accidents and other dangers by opponents is defective (Burnham, 2011). The claim cannot be justified. The traffic police have affirmed that driving under the influence of marijuana appears extremely difficult to notice. Unless there are traces of smell as in the case of alcohol, the use of marijuana cannot be justified (Burnham, 2011). This implies that illegalization will not have a substantial reduction in the number of road accidents. Addict drivers would use marijuana outside the car proceed driving while “high.” Illegalization will only make them get scared of being caught and does not stop them from using marijuana. On the other hand, legalizing marijuana and implementing severe penalties upon breaking traffic laws can substantially reduce road accidents (Gerber, 2004).

In conclusion, the advantages of making marijuana legal outweigh the advantages of making it illegal. The harmful effects associated to marijuana can be prevented by other methods, including guiding and counseling marijuana addicts instead of illegalization. Making marijuana legal will create job opportunities and make the youths earn money legitimately and prevent them from the flawed prison system. Illegalizing marijuana would enable the criminal justice system to concentrate on extremely influential national matters such as terrorism, rape and murder. The harmful effects of marijuana are preventable through controlled usage but not listing it as contraband since this will deprive of the country its benefits.

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