It is an issue that brings a lot of discussion in which almost everyone has an opinion: Should we legalise marijuana? In 2015 it was estimated that there were over 180 million marijuana users worldwide, however there could be many more users. Some say that by legalizing marijuana it would be easier to control the production and distribution of the substance: “the legal market is easier to regulate than the criminal market”. This leads to the following question: To what extent should recreational use of marijuana be legalized in developed countries?Marijuana is a combination of the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant, which contains THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive drug). The drug is used for both recreational and medicinal purposes and is taken in by smoking, inhaling, eating, or drinking it. The use of Marijuana is on the rise, and it is already the most used legal drug in the United States. Developed country is a title given to countries with a high HDI (Human Development Index, a grading system which looks at GDP, national income, life expectancy, education, ect.). However, the United Nations Statistics Division has said: There is no established convention for the designation of “developed” and “developing” countries or areas in the United Nations system. In addition to that, multiple organisations use different measures and have different list of developed and developing countries. For this research the United Nations Development Programme’s HDI charts will be used as measure, and countries with a very high HDI will be considered as developed countries. The aim of this research question is to find out if the recreational use of marijuana is beneficial for a country, and if so should a country legalise this recreational use. This being a broad topic there are numerous perspectives to explore, this paper will explore the health and economics perspective of the research question, and the field of research is limited to developed countries only. One of the first things that comes to mind when discussing the question of marijuana is: how does it affect one’s health? Not only is the user’s health influenced, but so is the health of the people that are around a user (partner, children, neighbours, etc.). Most people totally regard the use of marijuana as having negative health effects, but marijuana also has positive effects for the user’s health. Using marijuana brings numerous significant health risks both in terms of how the user uses it and the chemicals in the marijuana. When a user smokes marijuana the smoke has similar effects to the smoking of a regular cigarette: according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to develop heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. In addition to that the chemicals (over 300) in marijuana can, according to the NIDA, cause: the overactivity of certain brain cells which results in numerous effects; hallucinations and paranoia; breathing problems; possible harm to a fetus’s brain in pregnant women. In short, the (regular) use of marijuana can lead to multiple health consequences ranging from minor to severe. As previously stated marijuana also has positive effects for the user’s health. According to the NIDA marijuana can be used to treat HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, mental disorders, and more. Medicinal marijuana is becoming more and more popular: according to the Marijuana Policy Project around 2,300,000 Americans use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The reason that marijuana is a popular medicine is due to the fact that marijuana is less addictive and that the chance for a fatal overdose is very small. To sum up, marijuana is being used more and more as an effective medicine. If this paper would be looking into the general use of marijuana then reaching a conclusion based on the health effects would be difficult. However, this paper is looking into the recreational use, and therefore the conclusion is easy to reach: looking from a health perspective it can be concluded that recreational use of marijuana should not be legalized in developed countries.A second thing that comes to mind when considering the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in developed countries is: how will the economy be affected? Just as with the health perspective the legalization of marijuana can both have a positive and negative effect on the (global) economy.According to Ann Lininger, state representative, business attorney, and co-chair of Oregon Legislature Marijuana Legalization Committee, legalizing marijuana will boost the (Oregon) economy by creating jobs and capital. This boost will be caused by the fact that the growing of marijuana can be done on the now empty farmers fields. According to the same article the US marijuana sector can, if all states legalise the drug, grow to at least thirty six billion US dollars. That would make the marijuana sector larger than the organic food business, and create millions of jobs throughout the entire US. In short, legalizing marijuana will lead to a great increase of the (national) economy.The legalization of marijuana also has negative economic consequences. According to Jesse Kline most of the legally sold marijuana is smuggled to countries where the drug is illegal. The Dutch police have estimated that close to 80% of the marijuana goes to foreign buyers. So will legalizing marijuana encourage illegal trade?Despite the fact that the legalization might spark more illegal trade, it will certainly boost the economy making the legalization beneficial for both users and non-users. There is one more thing to take into account: according to a study it is very likely that new users (how many is not certain) will emerge, among these users there will be a large amount of young adults. Is that what society wants, earning money from drug users? The research on the health and economics perspective can be summarized as following:Recreational use of marijuana only brings negative health effects. The user is not using the drug to experience health benefits, he is only using it for pleasure.The use of marijuana, both medicinal and recreational, will boost the (global/national) economy.Based on the findings through deconstructing multiple reliable sources it can now be concluded that: despite all of the economic advantages the recreational use of marijuana should not be legalized in developed countries, because human well-being should be more important than the increase of our economy. In short, legal marijuana will just remain a hallucination. Before carrying out the research I was totally against the marijuana industry as it was harming to body, mind, and environment. Now that I have done research and read interesting articles about marijuana I am less negative as I have learned that marijuana can have a positive effect on people health and can boost the economy. I do think that more research has to be done. A study can be done to see how the legalization effects criminality. What if criminality decreases will police officers and prison guards lose their jobs due to lack of work?
All Research Proposal
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