There has been a lot of heated debate post the legalization of recreational marijuana consumption in nine states in the United States. Americans seem conflicted on whether this is a good thing from a broad societal point of view. In this post, we want to break it down and have constructive discussion.
In general, the legalization of marijuana is a victory for advocates of freedom of choice. Marijuana, much like alcohol and cigarettes, is an addictive substance but consumed by millions. However, the decisions people make in life are their own decisions and should be respected, as long as they don’t cause perceivable harm to others.
In that sense, the law was a much awaited and required one. Under the American context, most people had been consuming marijuana responsibly, and accidents related to its consumption were negligible. Additionally, it was a bit hypocritic to restrict marijuana consumption when equally addictive and potentially even more dangerous substances such as alcohol and nicotine were legal.
And of course, the monetary benefit cannot be ignored. Before the law was enacted, the black market dealing in marijuana sales was a cause for concern. Post legalization, however, the black market has eroded and the government has realized significant tax revenues. This has resulted in an important additional tax stream.
Nevertheless, we have to present an unbiased opinion here. There are cons associated with this. If you wanted to increase the risk of contracting lung cancer, you may have just got your wish. As such, lung cancer has been on the rise due to cigarettes, and now you have marijuana smoking to add fuel to the fire.
Basically, any law has a double-sided effect. There are always consequences to any ruling. And it is the same with legalization of marijuana. The only way we can limit the cons is by restraining control.