Legalization of cannabis has many benefits


Madison Bonner, Reporter

Marijuana and hemp are different plants of the same species, and both have legal issues in this country.

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been illegal for over 80 years in the United States and people now are deciding if its prohibition is worthwhile these days.

Today, nine states have legalized marijuana use for both medical and recreational use while 29 have legalized the drug for medical use solely.

With it being illegal in other states, if an underage person is caught and put on diversion before incarceration, those individuals may turn to drinking or other substances for a buzz or high.

The 38 states that have legalized marijuana use have realized the fact that people will continue to use the drug despite the prohibitions and that prohibiting it can lead to more dangerous things such as excessive drinking and use of other drugs.

Alcohol has been proven to impair people’s judgment and actions just as much as marijuana, and in many cases, alcohol has been proven worse, yet its use is enforced with lesser punishments than marijuana use.

If individuals can turn to other substances that are not marijuana, but are equally, if not more, dangerous, then why is marijuana treated with strict rules in certain states and loosely in others.

It seems to me the issue of legalizing marijuana comes down to having increased numbers of drunk drivers or accepting the use of marijuana under speci c regulations.

Hemp, just like marijuana, has legal issues. People have been taken to court for the production and growing of hemp even though it is not a recreational drug.

Used as an ingredient for making paper, cloth and other everyday necessities, hemp is used all over the world for these things and is a substitute crop that grows fast and inexpensively, however, we cannot grow it.

Hemp, a variety of the cannabis sativa plant, is from the same origins as marijuana, but is grown differently for industrial uses that takes out the cannabis and is legal to buy in stores all over the world.

However, in the United States, it is illegal to grow hemp for purposes other than research. This is due to the two plants looking very similar; people wouldn’t know the difference and could mistakenly take one for the other.

This precaution is good in certain aspects such as not wanting people to abuse hemp as a way to grow marijua- na, but there are alternatives.

If the production of hemp and mari- juana was legal across the country with specific, strict laws and regulations that pertain to every state, the possibility of decreasing drug abuse would be higher and medical use of hemp would be easier.