There are many popular and important reasons to legalize marijuana. This includes reducing the number of people sent to jail for using cannabis, raising revenues for the government and creating jobs. But there are also some more humorous and less important reasons to legalize marijuana, that are just as legitimate.
Here are five of those arguments:
1. Marijuana Prohibition is Probably Not Constitutional
Marijuana prohibition is probably not constitutional. The argument in favor of the federal government keeping it illegal is that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution says Congress can make laws about regulation between states. But it doesn’t say that Congress can make something illegal in all 50 states. That’s why Congress had to pass a Constitutional Amendment to ban alcohol in the early 20th century. If they had just passed a law to do so, it would’ve been challenged in court. But no one seems to have actually challenged marijuana’s illegal status in court.
2. Marijuana Users are Happier and More Successful
While many anti-cannabis advocates claim marijuana use will be gateway to other drugs and addiction, studies actually show that marijuana users in legal states say they are both happier and tend to be more successful than people who do not. So we’re actually limiting our country’s potential by keeping the drug illegal.
3. People Don’t Care That Marijuana is Illegal
Obviously people who use marijuana don’t care that it’s illegal. But even people who don’t use marijuana don’t care that it’s illegal. A famous study from Australia found that less than 30 percent of people who never tried marijuana said they didn’t try because it was illegal. That was roughly the same amount of people who said they wouldn’t use it because they think their friends or family would judge them. The number one reason people said they didn’t try marijuana is because they didn’t think they would like it. So there’s only a very small part of the population who actively doesn’t use marijuana because it’s illegal.
4. Legalization Makes Weed Cheaper
Anyone who has followed marijuana prices recently know that the cost of legal cannabis is dropping rapidly in the United States. From a purely economic point-of-view, cheap weed is actually good for the economy. It means marijuana users have more money in their pocket and can spend it on other things, and don’t have to save all their hard-earned bucks on cannabis. They can afford to get Doritos AND Taco Bell as well! That’s more money being pumped into the economy, and not just going to buying marijuana.
5. Legalization Makes Marijuana Less Cool
You may have seen studies showing that the amount of teenagers using marijuana is decreasing in states with legal marijuana. And while part of that is less black market marijuana dealers, another reason is making marijuana legal makes it less cool. A psychological term called “costly signaling” says that people engage in stigmatized behaviors because it makes them more desirable to possible mates. Basically, you do naughty things because you think it makes you look like a badass. Legalizing marijuana makes cannabis a less stigmatized behavior. When grandmas start smoking weed to help their joint problems, or middle aged dads do it while watching football, using marijuana doesn’t seem as cool or hip to teenagers as it used to. So making marijuana less stigmatized actually makes teenagers want to use cannabis less, contrary to popular belief.