The legality of marijuana has been a subject of contention in the United States for a long period. The consumption and procession of marijuana are deemed illegal in the United States. Different people have presented their arguments for the legalization of marijuana while a large number are also against its legalization. The common point of argument from both sides is that the legalization of marijuana will transform the United States; however, what matters is in what capacity the transformations will be measured so as to deem the legalization of marijuana beneficial (Chepesiuk 26). The United States drug policy places stringent measures against those found consuming or in the procession of marijuana. From a social perspective with gender consideration, I can argue that the legalization of marijuana will be beneficial to the United States.
Gender divisions in marijuana legalization
Gender roles define the behavior and attitudes that a given society expects from its male or female members. Gender roles are quite distinctive in nature and this draws a boundary between the males and females of a given society; they are based on a collection of social and behavioral norms that are defined within a particular culture or society that are viewed to be appropriate concerning a particular gender group. Gender roles vary according to cultural orientations, religious principles and values, and the overall setup of the society. Different cultures inflict diverse expectations towards the men and women in that cultural background of a given society. These elements are dynamic and are there subject to change in relation to time and the ideologies of individuals towards gender roles; for instance the women’s trousers. The subject of the legalization of marijuana is subjective to the gender roles in the United States in terms of differentiating the legality and illegality of marijuana (Zuckerman 61).
The subject of marijuana legalization has been greatly influenced by gender divisions. A survey on the American population depicted that despite almost all the households having a similar perspective towards political issues, the legalization of marijuana was different, with the majority of the males supporting the legality of marijuana as contrary to the females in the majority of households (Zuckerman 81). Apart from the legalization debate, reports indicate that the consumption of marijuana in the US is predominant among males and the distribution of consumption greatly varies according to age and gender roles in the United States. Both men and women view the consumption of marijuana from a different perspective and so are their views on the legalization of marijuana. The majority of women are of the opinion that marijuana should be illegalized on grounds that it always has an effect on the way men handle their family responsibilities. The majority of the men were of the opinion that marijuana should be legalized since they viewed it like any other source of recreation which could be compared to alcohol, tobacco, and other legal psychoactive drugs (Zuckerman 81).
From a personal point of view, marijuana should be legalized, just like any other legal recreational drug. Apart from the recreational benefits of marijuana, there are other unaccounted benefits that are associated with marijuana and the benefits that are missed due to marijuana prohibition. The legalization of marijuana in the United States is subject to various impediments which include intensive lobbying by various organizations against the legality of the drug. In the US marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug and this significantly contributes to its illegality.
In his TV show, Zach argues that the perception of the states towards marijuana smokers depicts a worrying trend, which is mostly based on false assumptions on the effects that are associated with marijuana assumption; the state always declares that the wives and children of marijuana smokers are in danger resulting to the majority of the children being posted to foster homes (California Green Rush: Marijuana TV Show). The false information concerning marijuana is always spread around by the various drug controlling authorities without considering the benefits of marijuana. What the federal state fails to understand is that marijuana smokers always care for and support their families and are directed towards ensuring a better future for their children. The state then goes ahead to arrest a marijuana smoker on grounds concerning his choice of recreation. If marijuana is to be illegal, then all the other psychoactive drugs should also be made illegal (Rosenthal 81)
Benefits of marijuana legalization
There are several benefits of marijuana ranging from medicinal purposes to recreational purposes. Rosenthal et al. (60) infer the benefits of marijuana in terms of its medicinal value. Marijuana prohibition in the United States has caused Americans to pay a horrible price in terms of pain and suffering for those who are seriously ill and would have otherwise been given some medication from illegal marijuana. The drug policies in the united states assure Americans that marijuana has no medicinal uses, the fact of the matter is that as long as marijuana remains illegal, the majority of the united states citizens are being denied a vital medicine that could otherwise offer medical solutions to several critical illnesses and other common ailments (Rosenthal & Kubby 60). Of all the outstanding reasons that are aimed at the legalization of marijuana, the medical applications of the drugs outweigh all other arguments supporting the legalization of the drug. Research has revealed that some of the infections that marijuana cures include epilepsy, chronic pain, and insomnia; just to mention a few (Rosenthal & Kubby 50). The medicinal value of marijuana cannot be ignored for the sake of its illegality and the perceptions that are always associated with marijuana consumption. It makes no sense for the state to make a drug with medicinal value illegal at the same time making drugs without any medicinal content legal such as alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana is not any more harmful compared to alcohol and tobacco. At least for the sake of medicinal purposes, marijuana should be legalized.
Another projected benefit towards the legalization of marijuana is possibly due to the fact the criminal justice system would be free of the large number of culprits that have been caught in the procession or consumption of marijuana. People who use marijuana as a recreational drug in the United States are many; and the stringent drug policies especially towards the use and possession of marijuana, it implies that many marijuana smokers are facing the wrath of the law which ultimately leads to congestion in the prison cells and a strain in the criminal justice system. The police efforts and court resources could shift towards the solution of more serious crimes compared to the consumption and procession of marijuana. War against crime in the United States is just an expensive project that always fails, especially war against marijuana. The legalization of marijuana will facilitate the reduction of street justice that is always associated with drugs. Presently, drug disputes in the streets are solved the primitive way; everyone to carry their own cross which in turn usually results in cyclic street violence. The legalization of marijuana will therefore to eliminate such street violence scenes that are presently a common occurrence.
The legalization of marijuana presents an opportunity for business and a source of income for the federal government. The majority of drug money that is related to marijuana always ends up in the hands of illegal drug traffickers. The alcohol and the cigarette industry always serve as a large source of tax to the government and therefore, in the same capacity marijuana should not be an exception. This can only be achieved through the legalization of the drug which will facilitate the sprawl of legit marijuana business and a source of income for the involved participants. It is illogical for the government to promote other recreational drugs that are more harmful than marijuana and at the same time make marijuana which is least dangerous illegal.
Simpson states that Marijuana should be made legal (2010); the benefits of marijuana legalization far outweigh the negative impacts. It comes to a double advantage that marijuana can serve the double functions of both medicinal and recreational purposes compared to other recreational drugs that are legal. Marijuana has no health risks compared to alcohol and tobacco, therefore it makes no sense for the United States government to illegalize a less harmful drug and legalize more harmful drugs. There has never been a reported death associated with marijuana. Marijuana should therefore be legalized in order to life better for the majority of Americans.
California Green Rush: Marijuana TV Show. Dir. Zach Behrens. 2010. Television.
Chepesiuk, Ron. The war on drugs: an international encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 1999. print.
Cured: A Cannabis story. Dir. Rick Simpson. Perf. David Triplett. 2010. Film
Rosenthal, Ed and Steve Kubby. Why marijuana should be legal. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2003. print.
Zuckerman, Alan. The social logic of politics: personal networks as contexts for political behavior. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2005. print