Recreational use of marijuana in The DMV! (DC,Maryland and Virginia)
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Why Should We Legalize?
The criminalization of marijuana use disproportionately harms young people and people of color, sponsors massive levels of violence and corruption, and fails to curb youth access.
Legalizing and regulating marijuana will bring one of the nation's largest cash crops under the rule of law. This will create jobs and economic opportunities in the formal economy instead of the illicit market.
Scarce law enforcement resources will be better used to ensure public safety while reducing corrections and court costs. State and local governments would acquire significant new sources of tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales.
Promote consumer safety
Marijuana product testing is becoming a standard requirement for legalized marijuana markets. This means consumers are better informed about the marijuana they use.
No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose.
You may think having a large amount of THC in your system will kill you, but you are wrong. Ever since marijuana has been known to mankind, not one single account of death from overdose has been recorded. On the other hand, in 2010, 38,329 people died from drug overdoses. Sixty percent of those were related to prescription drugs. In that same year, 25,692 people died from alcohol-related causes.
Around 40% of Americans have already admitted to using marijuana.
Most polls regarding Americans and their pot use hover around the 40% mark for having tried marijuana at least once. This is compared to the 16% of Americans who have tried cocaine, which is obviously a significantly lower percentage. Marijuana is becoming more and more ubiquitous every year despite being less addictive than coffee. There’s a reason people are feeling safer and safer trying the drug, which brings us to our next point...
Marijuana is much safer than already legalized drugs.
Image = The Lancet via WikiCommons
If you are completely fine with alcohol and cigarettes, then there shouldn’t be a reason you aren’t accepting of marijuana as well. As you can see from a 2010 study published in the Lancet and reported on by the Economist, a team of drug experts in the U.K. assessed the combined harms to others and to the user of marijuana as less than the harms posed by alcohol or tobacco use. The negative stigma of pot use has certainly made it seem like it’s worse, and since using the drug is still illegal, the fact that only people who are willing to break the law will smoke has inevitably made it associated with a “pothead” culture. These are just the preconceived notions we’ve been brought up in though. A world where instead of drinking cheap beer, a hopeful political candidate can roll a joint to seem like the “people’s choice” doesn’t have to seem crazy. This scenario would actually be the healthier choice.
Marijuana has a very low risk of abuse.
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is not as addicting as one may think. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, recently wrote in his essay, “Why I Changed My Mind About Weed,” that we have been “systematically misled” on marijuana. He reports that marijuana leads to dependence in around 9-10 percent of adult users. Cocaine hooks about 20 percent of its users, and heroin gets 25 percent of its users addicted. The worst culprit is tobacco, with 30 percent of its users becoming addicted.
Cannabis can be a safe and useful sleep aid.
In a blog entry on SFGate, writer David Downs explores the best strains of marijuana to help with insomnia. Downs found a quote from researcher I Feinberg, from “Clinical Pharmacology Therapy” in 1976, that says, “The effect on sleep of THC administration closely resembles those induced by lithium.” Also, the National Cancer Institute announced in a study that patients who ingested a cannabis plant extract spray reported more restful sleep.
Marijuana is used to alleviate a lot of medical ailments.
Medical marijuana is important to a lot of people. According to a Discovery Health article, marijuana has been extremely successful in relieving nausea, which is extremely good news for cancer patients suffering from nausea as a side effect of chemotherapy. The drug also helps with people who have loss of appetite due to diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Furthermore, it helps relax muscle tension and spasms and chronic pain.
So many extremely successful people smoke marijuana.
Maya Angelou, Martha Stewart, Morgan Freeman, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg, and even Rush Limbaugh are all high-functioning marijuana users. Stewart, who is 72 years old, gave an interview with Bravo’s Andy Cohen over the summer of 2013 where she talked about “sloppy joints” and flat out said, “Of course I know how to roll a joint.“ And this isn’t just an argument about how the “cool kids” do it and therefore so should you. There are big-time business people, such as Richard Branson, who couldn’t have accomplished as much as they have if they were being debilitated by a killer drug. Sure, there is a difference between the marijuana use of a “pothead” and Oprah Winfrey, but we shouldn’t continue punishing the moderate users.
It’s simply not a gateway drug.
One of the biggest and most widespread arguments from marijuana detractors is that smoking marijuana will lead to using other drugs. As Scientific American points out, the studies that show people who use marijuana first before trying other drugs is correlation and not causation. People who go on to use harder drugs also tend to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol before trying the other substances plus with with our current stigma on pot only people who are predisposed to being a “outlaw drug user” are going to smoke pot. On top of all of this, as mentioned above, nearly half the country has already tried pot which is more than how many Americans know who Jennifer Lawrence is and much much more than the percentage of Americans who are left-handed.
1. It’s less dangerous than cigarettes
Not to mention, it smells better, too. But in all seriousness, cigarettes are bad for you. Not only can they damage your lungs, but they’re also addictive. So why are they legal again?
2. It’s great for your mental health
In addition to easing stress, cannabis decreases anxiety and helps you relax. That’s why pot smokers, for the most part, are happy people. In this day and age, staying grounded is necessary. A little weed is all you need to help you find inner peace and tranquility.
3. Reduces diabetes and obesity
Believe it or not, people who smoke weed are at less risk for diabetes and obesitythan those who don’t partake. In fact, several studies can prove that adults who toke have much smaller waist sizes, better-regulated insulin levels, and higher levels of HDL, aka that good cholesterol, than non-tokers.
4. It’s the ultimate cramp killer
A painful period may not seem like a serious issue. But it is, and it can make it pretty damn hard to roll out of bed in the morning. Not when you consume the ganja, though, which is a godsend for women dysmenorrhea. Not only does it alleviate cramps, but also headaches and breast tenderness. Why should it feel like a volcano when we could vape from the Volcano instead? So please, give us ladies a break already, would ya?
5. It beats shoving 11 prescriptions down your throat for chronic pain
Sure, most doctors will tell you that a particular pill will take your pain away. But what they don’t tell you is that you’ll also need another pill to treat the symptoms of the other pill. Before you know it, you’re on more medications than you know what to do with, which is all the more reason to use cannabis instead. According to a recent study, cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain, and it doesn’t cause all sorts of harmful side effects.
6. Fights cancer cells
There are over 100 peer-reviewed studies that can confirm that cannabis kills cancer cells in more ways than one, from halting metastasis to triggering cell suicide.
7. Could keep HIV from turning into AIDS
Did you know that over 1.1 million Americans have HIV and don’t even know it? A major cause for concern indeed. But as it turns out, THC, the psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, can stop HIV from progressing into AIDS.
8. Keeping it illegal isn’t stopping anyone
The FDA might think that keeping the herb illegal will stop folks from sparking up. But in reality, it’s not. According to a new survey, more Americans are admitting to trying cannabis than ever before, 45% to be exact. That’s almost 112 million people, to put it another way.
9. Improves your sex life
Just ask the millions of potheads out there having great sex. If that’s not enough evidence, then there’s also a study that reveals that weed makes for an excellent aphrodisiac.
10. Money, money, money
During the first half of 2017, legal weed sales in Colorado reached over $750 million, earning the states $116 million in tax revenue and licensing fees. When it comes to the ganja, people are willing to pay up.
Study: Legal marijuana could generate more than $132 billion in federal tax revenue and 1 million jobs
New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm focused on the cannabis industry, forecasts that if legalized on the federal level, the marijuana industry could create an entirely new tax revenue stream for the government, generating millions of dollars in sales tax and payroll deductions.
“When there are budget deficits and the like, everybody wants to know where is there an additional revenue stream, and one of the most logical places is to go after cannabis and cannabis taxes,” said Beau Whitney, a senior economist at New Frontier Data.
The analysis shows that if marijuana were fully legal in all 50 states, it would create at least a combined $131.8 billion in in federal tax revenue between 2017 and 2025. That is based on an estimated 15 percent retail sales tax, payroll tax deductions and business tax revenue.
The federal government would reap $51.7 billion in sales tax from a legal marijuana market between 2017 and 2025, entirely new revenue for a business that remains illegal -- and unable to be taxed -- federally.
The business tax rate for the study was calculated at 35 percent. The corporate tax rate was lowered to 21 percent in a sweeping tax bill President Trump signed last month.
“If cannabis businesses were legalized tomorrow and taxed as normal businesses with a standard 35 percent tax rate, cannabis businesses would infuse the U.S. economy with an additional $12.6 billion this year,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, the CEO of New Frontier.
The study also calculates that there would be 782,000 additional jobs nationwide if cannabis were legalized today, a number that would increase to 1.1 million by 2025. That includes workers at all ends of the marijuana supply chain, from farmers to transporters to sellers.
The study estimates that about 25 percent of the marijuana market will continue to be illicit, and will shrink if the legal marketplace is not overly taxed or expensive.
“Consumers want to do things legally in general, but they don’t want to do it at too much of a price,” Whitney said. “If they go to 7-11 to pick up cannabis, they’re willing to pay 10 to 15 percent on top of what they get on the street. Once they get above that, it slows the transition and makes the consumer think twice about making that legal purchase.”
Marijuana is legal for adult recreational use in eight states. California, the world’s largest market, started its recreational sales on Jan. 1. Twenty-nine states allow the use of medical marijuana. In the three states where adult use has been legal for the longest period of time – Colorado, Washington and Oregon – there had been a combined total of $1.3 billion in tax receipts, according to the stud
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