People often have contrary views on multiple aspects of life, and the current pandemic has generated more controversies. The spread of COVID-19 has affected numerous people and raised various questions, one of them being the decriminalization of marijuana. While cannabis is mostly restricted in the US, it has also been used for sacred, recreational, and medical purposes in considerable parts of the world (Petti and Chatlos 81). Decriminalizing marijuana is a complex matter that concerns politics, commercial factors, and social justice.
Although many people think that marijuana should remain banned, others believe that it can profit the nation. As the pandemic has diminished traditional revenue sources, some individuals propose legalizing the drug to allow businesses to shift away from risky cash-only operations (DeBonis; Petti and Chatlos 89). Federal decriminalization of marijuana can tax it and potentially expunge the sentences of previously convicted users, buyers, and sellers (DeBonis). The majority of people trafficking cannabis and spending a long time in prison for doing so are minority group men (Friedrichs and Weis 135). Marijuana legalization can support minority communities targeted in the War on Drugs and ease charges for nonviolent drug offenses (DeBonis). Friedrichs and Weis suggest that the medical use of cannabis has more benefits than concerns, and decriminalizing the drug can reduce prison populations, lessen the stigma of drug use, encourage treatment, and prioritize health and safety (83). Nevertheless, legalizing marijuana appears to be an argument between Republicans and Democrats rather than a matter of health and justice (DeBonis). Legally allowing the use of marijuana presents substantial advantages, but people in power seem to pursue their own goals on this subject.
To summarize, decriminalizing marijuana can benefit people who use, buy, and sell it and society in general. Commercially, cannabis legalization can promote the transparency of business operations and cash flow, especially for those experiencing hardships due to the pandemic. Allowing drug usage can reduce nonviolent drug charges and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in overpopulated prisons. While politicians have varying views on marijuana, decriminalizing a drug with positive medical opportunities can also reduce stigma and promote social justice.
DeBonis, Mike. “Democratic Divide Puts Congressional Action on Marijuana in Doubt.” The Washington Post, Web.
Friedrichs, David O., and Valeria Vegh Weis. “COVID-19 and the US Health Care Industry: Towards a “Critical Health Criminology” within State Crime Studies.” State Crime Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, 2021, pp. 126-146.
Petti, Theodore A., and John C. Chatlos. “Implications of Cannabis Legalization: A National and International Perspective.” Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 11, no. 2, 2021, pp. 80-94.