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Marijuana- Legalizing A Sacred Plant

Marijuana- Legalizing A Sacred Plant
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Called as one of the five sacred plants in the Atharva Veda of Hindu mythology, marihuana (now known as marijuana) or cannabis is a passage through which certain people travel beyond the actual dimensions in the pursuit of self-realization and spiritual excellence. Putting aside its entheogenic usage, it has been claimed to be medically beneficial in treating diseases despite the fact its effects are not very obvious in today’s medical science. Again, cannabis has a long standing history of having treated ailments across many ancient civilizations.

Marijuana- Global Availability

Marijuana- Global Availability [Pic: mirror.co.uk]

But in the present day, Cannabis sativa which has delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is said to have adverse effects on the brain and body of the user that can challenge the quality of everyday living in the longer term, both physically and psychologically. With such a hazy picture of the drug in hand, legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes has brought a lot of debate in the United States recently; Uruguay became the first country to legalize the drug.

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Now, the reasons for banning cannabis can be perceived to be the undesired effects it creates with the human body. But that is not just how everything around us works; because nothing is banned or allowed without considering its effect on the economy that we live in. The economy of legalizing cannabis or marijuana or whatever name you give the drug is intricate.

Firstly you must know what is marijuana and cannabis and how are they different from each other. Both are weeds of the same species yet their purposes of usage differ. Marijuana is the weed that is used for recreational purposes with 5-10% of THC content, whereas Cannabis sativa, one of the oldest commonly found crops across the nations, is used for a variety of purpose with much lesser THC content in it. It is even said that fuel extracted from this crop can be a better substitute for the present day oil fuels. Moreover because of its tensile strength it can replace plastics and synthetic fibres, which in turn can produce a lot of jobs, as industrial hemp can be very much used in producing around 25,000 products including paper, clothing, etc. Thus legalizing the farming of industrial hemp would lead to a slumber in the growth of these industries.

Legalizing marijuana-impacts

Legalizing marijuana-impacts [Pic: Join the Coffee Party Movemnt, FB page]

Once the usage of hemp in the United Stated was widespread; even the Declaration of Independence was printed on hemp-based paper. Henry Ford built a car from a fiber material based on hemp. Until then, the use of hemp as marijuana for getting high is uncommon. But once marijuana came into the picture, industrial hemp was also included in the same category as both hailed from the same species. In 1937, when Marihuana Tax Act was proposed, farming of industrial hemp halted completely. Even today many of the companies including Ford Motors import industrial hemp as domestic farming is prohibited. Thus legalization brings good to the economy.

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There are a lot of countries including Britain, Germany, and France that have legalized industrial hemp farming but have strictly kept in control the abuses of marijuana. Nevertheless, there are efforts in the United States to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes as well since it is claimed to be a safe drug to use with some potential risks or a safer drug than some others that are legally in use today. Moreover, crime rate due to marijuana and hence incarceration is high which consumes a lot of resources including money, judicial proceedings, jail space, etc.

Legalizing the drug would save a lot of these costs and will reduce crime rates as marijuana users have to be a lot concerned about the law prohibiting its usage and hence furtively score and use the drug, through which crime rate shoots up. Thus, there are many pluses in legalizing the weed, but the flip side is threatening too.

Marijuana grown at MediJean Medical Marijuana facility, richmond, BC

Marijuana grown at MediJean Medical Marijuana facility, richmond, BC [Pic: Daryl Dyck, The Canadian Press]

Once the usage of drug becomes not restrained by law, heavy pot smokers will be able to get their hands easily on to the drug, which will deteriorate their lives, as too much of smoking pot is not advisable. Thus, there could be a cap in the purchasing power of marijuana, which could solve this problem.

A study by Medical Marijuana Business Daily estimates the market at $46 billion, with 7.6 million frequent pot smokers in the United States. In Colorado, one of the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, the total sale of marijuana summed up to $700 million in 2014 with a tax revenue of $76 million. Even prosecutions due to the possession, cultivation and distribution of the drug have also fallen sharply. Now, usage of marijuana for medical and other purposes is decriminalized in four of the US states Colarado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. There are more states that are at the verge of legalizing marijuana.

A Federal Marijuana Facility at University of Mississippi, Oxford

A Federal Marijuana Facility at University of Mississippi, Oxford [Pic: Lance Murphey, NYT]

Thus, decision making on the legalization of marijuana cannot be based on facts and numbers, as it is a mysterious drug with varying impacts on different people. Moreover, the economy of the drug solely cannot be considered as the factor in legalization. The effect of the drug on human mind and body in the longer term should also be a concern. What makes it difficult is that there is no pattern to the way the drug works on you, as it is your inner drive that further drives the drug in giving the experience you desire for.

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