State by state, the marijuana laws in this country are changing, but this isn’t the only place reconsidering pot prohibition. Marijuana legalization support is growing around the world. Recently, Uruguay became the latest to “edge toward” a government owned and regulated marijuana industry.
Medical marijuana in Canada is similarly making significant strides towards making this healing herb a legal choice for millions. A recent debate at the Economist suggested legalization should be a global endeavor, with thousands weighing in.
Economist debates put two high profile experts against each other, arguing different sides of an issue. Readers are invited to weigh in and vote for the arguments that are most convincing.
On the side of global legalization was Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. On the other side, founding director of the Centre for Drug Misuse Research Neil McKeganey was against marijuana legalization. With marijuana being a hot button issue no matter how you look at it, both had to bring some convincing arguments to the table.
McKeganey, as most opponents do, focused on the belief that marijuana legalization would increase marijuana usage, and with studies linking consumption to schizophrenia, he argued, this could create a sad state of affairs. For fear of minimizing the issue of adults being able to choose whether or not to consume a plant in their day-to-day life, McKeganey characterized legalization as a form of “extremism.”
With a long list of arguments for the elimination of pot prohibition, Nadelmann hit them all in his opening remarks—from the discriminatory foundations of prohibition (initially crafted to keep Mexican migrants and Black Americans “in their place”), to the fact that prohibition has made marijuana more popular than ever—Nadelmann set up numerous arguments for global marijuana legalization.
“Marijuana prohibition is unique among criminal laws. No other law is enforced so widely and harshly yet deemed unnecessary by such a substantial portion of the populace.”
Marijuana is a plant which can have psychoactive effects when consumed by certain methods, but it also has a laundry list of beneficial health effects—many of which have yet to be explored fully simply due to prohibition and a lack of funding. Even more than its health effects, however, marijuana legalization is an issue of liberty and freedom.
As Nadelmann said in his opening remarks:
“But when all is said and done, the principal, and most principled, argument in favour of ending marijuana prohibition is this: whether or not I or anyone else consumes marijuana should be none of the government’s business—so long as I’m not behind the wheel of a car or otherwise putting others at risk. It’s time to get the government off my property and out of both my pockets and my body when it comes to marijuana. Enough is enough.”
So, who won the debate? While Economist debates are hardly scientific surveys or polls, Nadelmann won with 92% of readers supporting his arguments. Yes, most people support marijuana legalization. If this kind of debate can be recreated in a well-publicized forum, there’s no telling where it could go and the ultimate effect it could have.
6 thoughts on “Debate: Should Marijuana be Legalized Around the World?”
You should have made this article a poll and asked readers to take it viral. The preponderance of evidence suggests that there’s no valid reason for laws against hemp. And, its legalization would put everyone back to work and revitalize the global economy. The banksters don’t want that, for sure.
Growth is a Law. There is NO law made by men… only opinion. I have no right to force you to do anything on my behalf, and neither does anyone have the right to force me to do things on their behalf. Not if you are one, and therefore not if you are many. Democracy is tyranny and we will get rid.
I am against the legalization of marijuana. I feel it would impose undue hardship on the CIA balance sheet and cause the Fed to invent even more faux money to support it.
In addition to putting a dent in the CIA revenues and balance sheet, though admittedly a small one, as heroin and cocaine are far more important revenue sources, the legalization of marijuana would have other devastating economic consequences. It would decimate the growth and profitability of the private prison industry in the USA, as well as throw a lot of state and federal persecutors out of work. Release of prisoners and dismissal of guards would raise unemployment causing the Bureau of Labor Statistics increasing difficulty fabricating their results. Marijuana’s superior fiber potential would threaten the petrochemical industry, and its superior paper qualities the forestry industries. As a biofuel source, legalization would threaten the GMO corn industry and Monsanto, and its superior medicinal qualities, not the least its anti cancer activity, would threaten Big Pharma and the huge cancer industrial complex composed of physician specialists, hospitals, toxic medicine producers, morgues, funeral parlors, cemeteries, and crematoria. It would put a pall on the high end sea side villa industry as many elected officials around the world would lose a major revenue stream from their cut. All and all, legalization is a terrible idea. The global economy is already in bad shape.
Any so-called legalization of cannabis (a plant that should have no restrictions whatsoever) always results in the corrupt US government taxing cultivation to distribution – a wealth extraction scheme that diminishes the benefits. You still have restrictions and continued incarceration – the only change is who gets the money.
Forget legalizing it, just de-criminalize it and start growing hemp to replace cotton and pulp paper. Hemp is the most useful plant on the planet, but no one is growing it on a large scale as a cash crop due to the idiot in the US who banned it (Anslinger) and powerful business interests in textiles and pulp paper.