Millions of marijuana smokers are out there. Some smoke the herb regularly while others indulge only on occasion. Nonetheless, more than 46% of the U.S. population has tried marijuana at least once and approximately 158 million people around the world use it regularly. Millions of non-smokers are out there who understand the amazing impact that marijuana has made for so many people. They also believe that it’s time to change the laws and legalize the plant that the American Cancer Society says kills certain types of cancer cells and minimizes the nausea and other symptoms of chemotherapy and that many Harvard students believe will enhance their campus experience.

 

Time for Change

Studies show that 57% of the American population supports marijuana legalization (including doctors, scientists, and numerous other authoritative figures) in some form, yet here we are in 2018 and it’s still federally illegal, classified as a Class I narcotic. Marijuana is in the same classification category as drugs like heroin! It’s time for change and that should include legalization of marijuana on a federal level! We aren’t just a bunch of potheads talking. Some of the facts that support our desire to end prohibition and legalize the plant that so many use, enjoy, and benefit from are found below, although the list of reasons is endless.

 

Business is Booming

 

U.S.A. Today reports that states with legal marijuana laws have brought in more than $1.6 billion in tax dollars since 2014. States designate how these tax dollars are distributed, with most putting the money toward homeless programs, school budgets, construction projects, and a variety of other programs. Currently, 20 states authorize marijuana for medicinal use while 10 have legalized the plant for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Imagine the money and great changes the other 30+ states could enjoy by simply legalizing the plant that the people want?

 

It Won’t Kill You

 

Marijuana won’t kill you and if it does, expect to go down in history as the first person to ever die from the herb, and as the most hated person in the world. You see, marijuana usage dates back to 2737 B.C. and in this drastic length of time, not one person has overdosed or died from its use. More than 250,000 people around the world die annually from overdose and other drug-related causes. Methamphetamines, prescription drugs, opioids like heroin, and cocaine/crack cocaine are among the most commonly abused drugs that lead to overdose/death.

 

It is Expensive to Keep Marijuana Illegal

 

If marijuana sales continue at their current rate, more than $3 billion in revenue will benefit the legal states in the next eight years. In this same period, more than $20 billion will be spent to criminalize those found in possession or cultivation of the plant. Imagine if the remaining U.S. states legalized the plant and you can clearly understand the profits are substantial and the money spent adds to the pot. What a relief the federal government and each state would feel in defeices, budget cuts, etc. if only they’d invest the money being spent on marijuana prohibition elsewhere and accept the money that could potentially come through.

 

If You’re Okay With Alcohol & Tobacco…

Both alcohol and tobacco are legal substances that are known toxins to the human body! Yet, both are sold in supermarkets, liquor stores, convenience stores, and elsewhere, giving Uncle Sam his share of the profits and causing addictions and illnesses that further fill the pockets of doctors and other six-figure and better earners. There are thousands of smokers in the U.S. and even more alcohol drinkers. Many of these people suffer lifelong health conditions as result and some people find that alcohol takes over their life and destroys everything they’ve ever known. Marijuana, on the other hand, has a reputation for bringing people from all walks of life together for happiness and good times with the herb. Although marijuana research is still in its infancy in the U.S., international countries have researched the herb for many years already and have outstanding information supporting the benefits of marijuana. It is much safer than alcohol or tobacco, in fact. Reports show that marijuana is 114 times safer than alcohol!

 

Resolves Serious Health Ailments

 

 

Marijuana has been found to help patients dealing with a variety of health ailments and concerns, from mental health issues to major illnesses like cancer. It’s approved to treat dozens of conditions in states that have legalized it for medicinal purposes, though there are dozens of others that it is yet approved to treat. Even Still, any of  the millions of users will attest to the benefits that it’s made in their life in many different areas. People who regularly use marijuana sing the same song of its joys and they all cannot be wrong. Among the ailments states approve marijuana use for medicinal purposes include:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Terminal Illness (HIV, cancer)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy/Seizures
  • Migraines

 

This list is certainly only partial and marijuana can benefit dozens of different common and uncommon health ailments. It’s so beneficial, in fact, that hundreds of people are uprooting from their home states and moving thousands of miles in orde to reside in a marijuana legal state.  

 

Join the Crowd

 

The list of successful, influential marijuana users is long and easily disproves the many stereotypes that potheads and smokers have received over the years. Everyone knows Snoop Dogg, a rapper-turned actor father and community leader, is a weed enthusiast and activist. Snoop has a net worth of $120 million! Willie Nelson is another well-known smoker who’s entertained us with his great country music and pot-supporting antics since the 1970s. Snoop and Willie are marijuana smokers two favorite people, without question. Other not-so-obvious, yet proudly successful marijuana smokers and supporters include:

 

  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta
  • Bill Maher
  • Michael Bloomberg
  • Hugh Hefner (late)
  • Michael Phelps
  • Maya Angelou
  • Martha Stewart
  • Seth MacFarlane
  • Montel Williams
  • Oliver Stone
  • Dr. Oz
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • Bill Gates
  • Morgan Freeman

 

This list is only a handful of the many well-known, highly-successful people who indulge in the herb at least on occasion. Let’s not forget the many smokers who now own successful dispensaries thanks to legalization and of course, those whom are still too shy to come out of the closet (probably because it is illegal and their revelation  could land them without a job or behind bars.)

 

Escape the Realities of Life

 

This is one occasion when it is okay to give into the peer pressure and inhale the good shit and exhale the bullshit! Marijuana alleviates your stress and takes you to a world of magic and mystery, creativity and sensibility. It is a wonderful state of bliss in which anyone can thrive and enjoy, whether home alone or in a crowd of friends. Many people eport that using marijuana helps them blossom into a social butterfly and a wonderwall of creativity. If the silly Reefer Madness movie if this is still your idea of marijuana users and what it is like when a person gets high, it is time to roll one up and experience its joys firsthand so you can break this tragic myth once and for all. You might just find that you like marijuana as much as the next person when you finally relax and indulge.

 

A Decrease in Crime Rates

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By Tesseract2 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia

If you think that marijuana users are hardcore criminals with a hidden agenda, think again. The truth is those potheads that so many come down hard on actually improve things around town. The University of Texas at Dallas researchers show that states that have legalized marijuana have not faced increased crime rates, but instead just the opposite. In the first year of legalization in Colorado in 2014, violent crime rates decreased by 6.9%. But, that’s not all. Property crime dropped by 11.4% in the same time period. Colorado isn’t the lone state to report decreased crime rates. Washington state is another that reports reduction in crime since legalizing marijuana.

 

Reduced Opioid Drug Use

 

There is undoubtedly an opioid drug crisis across the United States. President Trump has called for reforms that could include death penalty consequences for those convicted of crimes related to production, manufacturer, or sell of opioids. While that is one way to reduce the drug problem, states like Colorado prove that there is a much easier way and that is with the legalization of marijuana. In the first two years of marijuana legalization, opioid-related deaths decreased by 6% in the state. More than 180,000 people have died from opioid dose since 1999 in the United States.  Colorado alone has reduced that number by more than 10,000 lives saved.

 

More Research

 

Strict marijuana laws still prevent researchers in the U.S. from thoroughly investigating the plant and its potential benefits, risks, and other information that can change the way the world looks at it forever. Perhaps even discoveries of health benefits could save the lives of people dying from cancer, HIV, and substantiate the lives of people living with debilitating conditions or mental illness. Scientists across the world are investigating marijuana with researchers in Israel leading the way in their findings. The results are interesting enough that U.S. researchers should dig into them much deeper to learn exactly how marijuana can benefit people in various aspects, thus ensuring legalization occurs sooner.  Although more research is being conducted, legalizing the plant would provide more opportunity for more researchers who currently face federal guidelines that prohibit proper research.

 

Land of the Free

 

America is supposed to be the land of the free but as long as marijuana is decriminalized in any way, this statement is simply untrue. Marijuana grows naturally in good soil, producing its flowers for the enjoyment of mankind. There aren’t added substances, harmful chemicals, or other additives that cause users to go mad or insane.  Instead, marijuana contains amazing, all-natural compounds like , THCA, THC and CBD that improve and benefit their life (and possibly make them head to the fridge for a midnight snack -or two.) How can a plant that grows naturally in the wild be banned, taxed, or regulated in any way? How can the government toss people behind bars for a plant that has been graciously given to us? It doesn’t seem like such a land of the free from this perspective, does it?

 

Create New Jobs

 

Colorado cheated more than 18,000 new jobs as the result of the 2014 marijuana legalization. This led to a $2.8 billion economic growth for the state and lowering the unemployment rate. In fact, Colorado now has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. When marijuana is legalized, the need for growers, dispensary workers, and many other positions open and fill a void that helps many families put food on the table and keep the lights on. When marijuana is legal in all of the states across the U.S., the job rate can climb substantially and help families as well as the state. When the country is in desperate need of growth and a helping hand it seems counterproductive to continue making marijuana an illegal substance.

 

It’s Time to Legalize

 

 

We live in a world where it’s cool to be socially accepting of other people, their views, and their choices in life. We live in a world where we speak up about the causes we strongly support or oppose and those potheads that so many have shunned for so long simply will not back down. The world is now getting a glimpse of how great this plant truly is, not that smokers have not known for so long that it is very special. It’s time that we include marijuana in that acceptance category and understand that it simply isn’t right to criminalize a plant (or its users) that has so many amazing benefits to its user.  Legalize it! Marijuana does the world good.