The Marijuana Debate

Ameya Kamath, Writer

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Marijuana: The Pros, Cons, and Everything Between

We’ve been hearing a lot about “pot” in the media lately. Here’s what you need to know.

Pros:

– Tax revenue from marijuana could go to other things. For example, New York is planning to use the money from weed to improve its subway stations (which we all could agree needs some major work). Apparently, “a report released in June by the governor’s health commissioner found that legalizing pot could generate up to $670 million in annual tax revenue for the state.” Eventually, this money could fund education, transportation, ect.

– The U.S has the highest incarceration rates in the world according to the World Justice Project, which also costs a good amount of taxpayer money. In 2017 there were around 1,394,515 arrests for drug possession. 599,282 of those arrests were for marijuana. By making marijuana legal, the burden on our prison could be lifted.

 

Cons:

-Your overall IQ is lowered. In teens, whose brains are still developing, this change is most prominent. Many report experiencing difficulty with sensing time, impaired memory, and difficulty with thinking and problem solving. This is particularly concerning when looking at the widespread use of marijuana, especially among teens. In fact 19% of teen drivers have reported driving under the influence. Legalizing pot could trick young people into thinking that marijuana is healthy, which is not the case. Are all of these health risks worth the revenue that the drug could potentially bring?

 

Compromise?

-Some people suggest a compromise. Some suggest Lowering marijuana’s status in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Currently, marijuana (along with cocaine and heroin) is classified is a Schedule One drug. Hopefully, lowering this rating would alleviate the burden on our prison system. Another compromise is to further educate teens about marijuana, which might limit consumption amongst teens.

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