Pro-Arguments for Legalizing Cannabis Based on the Potential Impact on Economy, Industry and Medicine

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Marijuana, or cannabis, has been used to open many doors in the past and the present (Morgan & Zimmer,1998) & (Keller, 2013). In an attempt to scare the masses, propaganda was created and placed in urinals, on flyers, and ads saying the Marijuana, or cannabis, would cause problems in social lives or even cause death and disease; this allowed the media to create their own products and have less worry about marijuana use in industry or medical use (Rutherford, 2000). Marijuana was plastered as the ‘gateway’ drug that would lead to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin (Price, 2015). Today, researchers have learned that each of these claims were in fact false, even to the extent of improving life and longevity. (Keller, 2013) In many states, cannabis has been made legal and shows great promise. Legalization of cannabis is beneficial for industry, boosts the economy, and has many positive implications in the medical industry.

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With the world’s population growing exponentially, industries strive to produce large quantities of products creating a need for cheap, efficient, and abundant resources. Hemp based- composite, or hemp lime, is a lightweight composite produced to create a binder that is renewable, has low carbon and pollutant emissions, low net waste, increased energy efficiency, and improved air quality. (Arizzi, Brümmer, Martin-Sanchez, Cultrone, & Viles, 2015) These characteristics also make way for many other hemp-based composites for insulation, wall/roof panels, and masonry (Arizzi, Brümmer, Martin-Sanchez, Cultrone, & Viles, 2015). With research on hemp lime, many scientists have begun to research other uses, such as those used for energy consumption in the building industry. In one study scientists then created a composite made from hemp hurds and vegetables for binding. This composite showed great promise due to the lower production cost, renewability, low processing temperatures, and recyclability. The hemp/vegetable composite was found to be successful and environmentally friendly (Sassoni, Motori, Montecchi, & Canti, 2015). Canada conducted a study to create a cellulose based biofuel. With this new found cellulose production, Canada should be able to easily produce a cheap biofuel alternative, like cannabis, to help cut back on the fossil fuel use and decrease the price of gas (Keller, 2013). “When compared to other plant species of active interest in biofuel production, hemp derives 100% more cellulose than species under active investigation” (Keller, 2013, p. 560). With increasing demand for hemp in the industries, revenue from cannabis can potentially boost the economy.

With the economy fluctuating, citizens have less money to spend on items that are wanted. Washington state has had legalized recreational use of marijuana since 2012. In 2015 a new law stated that cannabis was to be taxed at a rate of 37% atop the 7% sales rate which helps to bring in a large amount of revenue for the state (Jensen & Roussell, 2016). After legalization of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado, both states brought in a large amount of revenue from taxes. Colorado brought in 5 million dollars at the end of the first week. Later, Washington state raked in an astounding 11 million dollars in one week. Colorado continues to bring in roughly 1 billion dollars in cannabis sales annually (Flynn, 2016). With the use of regulated cannabis, less users revert to the black market due to the safety guaranteed by regulated cannabis (Jensen and Roussell, 2016). With fewer users reverting to the black market for cannabis, the government or supporting party gains the money and taxes thus helping the economy blossom and grow as shown in Colorado and Washington state. Success of economic growth through cannabis revenue is due to the wide spread implications of Cannabis used in the medical industry. (Keeler, 2013)

The most important reason for legalizing cannabis is the widespread abilities cannabis has been found to offer in the medical industry ranging from mental health to cancer. The two main products of cannabis are THC and cannabidiol which engage the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in, “analgesia, cognition, memory, locomotive activity, appetite, vomiting, and the immune system” (Cook, Lloyd-Jones, Ogden, & Bonomo, 2015, p. 677). Medical benefits paired with regulated cannabis creates a potential rate of roughly 37% increase in those who seek treatment for mental health. With medical licensure, the government can easily and quickly gain revenue due to the demand (Shanahan and Ritter, 2014). Studies have shown cannabis to be effective for chronic pain and greatly reducing spasticity, sleep quality, and spasms in those with fibromyalgia (Cook, Lloyd-Jones, Ogden, & Bonomo, 2015). During the 1990’s, cannabis was thought to impair the immune system by the common people. In fact, researchers found that cannabis reported lower rates of ‘transformation’ in the cells that would be cause for immune system impairment. (Morgan & Zimmer, 1998). One of the largest myths about cannabis, cannabis ‘kills’, has been dispelled; Cannabis is not toxic in any dosage. (Cook, Lloyd-Jones, Ogden, & Bonomo, 2015). These are but only a few of many ways that cannabis improves the medical industry.

An improved and efficient industry, boosted economy, and medical implications are but a few benefits of cannabis legalization. Cannabis can be grown for the stalk fiber, called hemp, to be used in industry. Benefits include components with low energy consumption, biofuel, and cheap due to the renewability. Legalization of cannabis also is shown to boost revenue through taxation, medical licensure, and revenue due to safety of mind for recreational users. The Medical benefits are far reaching from mental illness to cancer. With a toxicity of zero, there is no worry about overdose while providing the relief needed for chronic pain. Cannabis is the ‘super-plant’ of the future. With the benefits far exceeding any negative implications, legalization of cannabis seems only natural and the next step to the future of medical and material industry.

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