It is common for most to believe that the desire to legalize marijuana comes from the mouths of drug addicts and recreational users. This claim, however, is not justified. There are several reasons to legalize marijuana that have nothing to do with recreation or getting high. Marijuana can be a viable food source, as well as a source of material and even a food when grown as a crop and used as hemp. Marijuana can also be used successfully in the treatment of many medical conditions such as glaucoma, pain management, and chemotherapy. For these reasons, marijuana should be legalized.
For decades, the plethora of benefits that marijuana could offer the public has been overshadowed by the fact that THC has a psychotropic effect on people. Many do not even know that marijuana, when harvested, can be used as a material called hemp. Hemp is a very versatile crop, according to Jean M. Rawson, author of “Hemp As An Agricultural Commodity (23).” When put through a process known as “juicing”, hemp distributes an oil that can be used as a natural substitute for many of the fructose corn syrups we use in our foods today. This would make them not only safer, but healthier (45). Hemp can also be woven into a fabric which can then be used to make almost anything. In many countries hemp is used to make clothes, shoes, bracelets, blankets, hammocks, and even furniture coverings, according to Ramsey’s book (67). Perhaps most exciting, if further experimentation were allowed, hemp shows promise as being one of the first sufficient biofuels which could mean a significant drop in gas prices and car emissions (98). This could put less strain on the planet and potentially help with the trauma global warming is causing. Unfortunately, because marijuana is illegal in most states, the crop cannot be grown and, therefore, cannot be experimented with which means we may never know if it could be a sufficient biofuel.
Another significant use for marijuana that has nothing to do with getting anybody high concerns that sick, the weak, and the dying. Alexander Ramsey cites in her report, “Medical Marijuana: The Legal and Clinical Facts Regarding Medical Use” that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposed to treat a variety of ailments. It can help ease pain in patient’s suffering from chemotherapy, glaucoma, or tendonitis. Marijuana has also been found to decrease nausea and increase the appetite of individuals going through chemotherapy. There is hope that the canniboids in marijuana can help those suffering from epilepsy, as well. Marijuana has also been proven to be more effective in treating people with depression, anxiety, and insomnia .
As you can see, though many want to legalize marijuana so that they may use it recreationally, there are many other reasons to make it available to the public. Marijuana could one day be a viable source of food. It could also clothe us and be a source of material for many other things. If the research is allowed, it could fuel our cars and grant us transportation. Marijuana can also offer relief to many people who are suffering an unimaginable amount of pain and worry. From cancer patients to people suffering from depression, marijuana can help people live a more comfortable life. For both of these reasons, and many more, marijuana should be legalized.
Ramsey, Alexandra. "Medical Marijuana: The Legal and Clinical Facts Regarding Medical Use." 2013.
Rawson, Jean M. Hemp As An Agricultural Commodity. Collingdale: DIANE Publishing, 2011.