4 Reasons to Celebrate 4/20
Written by Stacey Khizder
It's only been a little over a year than the Trump administration has been in office, and his cabinet members have already tried cracking down on marijuana use. In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked Congress to give the Department of Justice authorization to prosecute those who use marijuana, even in states where it's legal. While most conservatives brand themselves on the belief that marijuana use is detrimental, however, data shows that legalizing marijuana actually has more pros than cons.
Our current administration and Congress refuse to accept that legalizing marijuana is beneficial for American society. Here are 4 major reasons why you should celebrate 4/20 this year:
1. It's great for recreational use
Isn't America supposed to be the land of the free? I would expect this to also mean that people have the right to put whatever they want into their bodies, such as marijuana. Data shows that marijuana use is safer than alcohol or cigarette use, which are drugs that are more accessible and regulated to Americans. There is no good reason to cease recreational marijuana use, especially since there have been no reported deaths from it. In comparison, alcohol use leads to approximately 88,000 deaths in the U.S. per year, but is easily accessible, and even encouraged.
2. Legalizing it is better for the economy
In 2016, the legal marijuana market generated $7.2 billion for the economy. It is predicted that the United States could see an excess of $24 billion in revenue just from legalizing the marijuana industry. Why not support something that would boost the economy?
3. It would minimize the incarceration rate in the U.S.
The United States has an extremely high incarceration rate, and that is nothing to be proud of. Most of these imprisonments are due to minor drug charges, which include marijuana possession and use. Research shows that marijuana legalization and reduced crime rates have a positive correlation. However, this is a much deeper issue. As a society, it should be a moral obligation to aim for lower incarceration rates. Instead, imprisonment is treated like a business, and a profit comes from mass incarceration.
4. It could revolutionize medicine and healthcare
For many people, marijuana is the treatment and/or aid to their illness. It relieves pain, suffering, treats symptoms and promotes stability without major side effects. Medical marijuana use has been shown to ease symptoms in serious conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and more. With its legalization, marijuana could also become a key component of medical research for the future.