Drug Legalization: Are we making the right choice in legalizing marijuana in the state of Maryland?

Image source: www.nytimes.com

Image source: www.nytimes.com

Isaiah Breedlove, Writer

This is a pressing matter, that hasn’t been discussed very much recently among students and adults in the state of Maryland, soon in the month of June, marijuana will be passed as legalized in our state economy. So today, we will be taking a look at the pros and cons of marijuana and its effect on the economy, as well as people and children of Maryland.

From what we can see a pro of legalizing marijuana is, is that it helps boost the economy. The marijuana industry in the United States could exceed up to $24 billion in revenue by 2025, and $41 spent on the marijuana industry between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity is generated by tourism, banking, food, real estate. construction, and transportation; a few industries that benefit from the legalization of marijuana.

A con we can see that is brought by the legalization of marijuana is traffic accidents and deaths increase. Marijuana-related traffic deaths grew 62% following the legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado. Jim Leo, Former Chief of Police of Newark, California said about legalizing marijuana, “You are commercializing a product that’s just going to put more impaired drivers on the road, worsening a problem that we already have for what offices are seeing. With THC levels being very high, they are seeing impairment, far worse than they have ever seen in the past.” We see that it hasn’t been very good in a sense when it is legalized in other states, so why not say it might happen to us.

Another pro of the legalization of marijuana, is it is freezing out black markets, and taking money away from drug cartels, organized crime and street gangs. Data from the US Border Patrol shows that marijuana seizures have decreased by millions of pounds, and they are at their lowest levels in over a decade indicating that legal domestic production is decreasing demand for marijuana smuggled in from Mexico. Mexican cannabis, a farmer told NPR, “…as the US continues to legalize pot. They’ll run it into the ground.” according to the ACLU, legalization in Colorado and Washington has cost Mexican drug cartels an estimated $2.7 billion in profits.

Lastly, a con, we see that marijuana is addictive and dependence on the drug will increase with legalization. Heavy users who stop using marijuana, may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, such as insomnia, depression, anxiety, nausea, chills, and stomach pain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, as many as 4 million Americans meet the diagnostic criteria for marijuana-use disorders such as abuse, dependence, or addiction. Dr. Drew Pinsky, a board-certified internist, and addiction medicine specialist, said, “I’ve been treating cannabis addiction for 20 years. When people are addicted to cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol, the drug that they will have the most difficult time giving up, will always be cannabis.”

Now Raiders, it’s your decision to be pro-legalization or anti-legalization, so I ask you this question; What do you think is the better choice for the state of Maryland to do?