Legalisation or Prohibition of Cannabis: Benefits and Challenges


Cannabis legalization is probably one of the most commonly discussed vague topics around the globe. The government of each country introduces reasons to support this process and, at the same time, shares concerns to challenge this idea. People believe that the medical worth of this psychoactive drug has to prevail over its criminal aspects. However, its misuse and crime-drug connection create multiple problems in terms of control and administration. The world continues changing due to technological progress, improved international relationships, and enhanced communication means, provoking a belief that cannabis legalization would be more beneficial for society than prohibition. The extent to which individuals agree with this approach varies, depending on many internal and external factors. This essay aims to discuss the current cannabis situation in the UK and the USA and the existing economic, health, and organizational benefits and support the legalization position regardless of addiction and black market worries.

Current Situation in the UK and the USA

Despite a variety of opinions and political regimes, many countries demonstrate the same questionable attitude towards marijuana. In 1961, the representatives of the United Nations adopted the convention on narcotic drugs and prohibited cannabis use as it caused serious harm to users (Hall, 2020). Since that moment, governments have developed their policies and control options to predict the distribution of marijuana. Although the pharmacological effects are not as dangerous as behavioral and psychological outcomes, the use of marijuana may be related to a number of accidents, health problems, and deaths. For example, teenage cannabis use remains the major cause in about 13% of schizophrenia cases (Ellis and Silverstone, 2013). Still, the USA benefits from cannabis production because this industry employs about 250,000 full-time jobs (Krane, 2020). Today, about two-thirds of Americans and most British public support the prohibition repeal (James et al., 2021; Krane, 2020). The American and British minds are united in regulating and taxing the drug instead of neglecting the challenge. If a person needs cannabis for medical or personal purposes, it is possible to get the drug either legally or illegally, avoiding the current ban.

Reason for Cannabis Legalisation

Cannabis legalization is an open-ended question in modern research, and its economic profits attract the attention of new supporters and policy-makers. Proponents of the marijuana law admit that this step could add millions to the local economy and create new jobs and resources to stop racial and social disparities (Krane, 2020). Instead of allowing lawless cartels to control the promotion of cannabis in society, it is high time for the government to employ taxes and bring money directly to state coffers (Krane, 2020). In their research, Ellis and Silverstone (2013) found out that taxation of medical marijuana is a solid argument for its legalization, making the war on drugs illogical. It does not take much time to enlarge the job market and analyze tax revenues to see that marijuana is a profitable product in terms of its demand and supply.

Another significant aspect to show the value of cannabis legalization over prohibition touches upon the medical or healthcare aspect. In medicine, the ban does not stop Americans or British patients from using cannabis with a doctor’s permission (James et al., 2020). Many experts unite the economic and health advantages of marijuana, reduce prohibited measurements, and allow sick people to consider a new treatment method (Ellis and Silverstone, 2013). According to Hall (2020), cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinol substances, can relieve chronic pain, manage muscle spasms, reduce anxiety, and increase sociability. When people are diagnosed with cancer, chemotherapy is offered as a treatment method to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. However, patients usually experience severe cases of nausea, vomiting, and a lack of appetite. In this case, some doctors offer cannabis as an alternative pain reliever to reduce nausea and vomiting. There are also many poorly evidenced opinions about the possibility of marijuana slowing down the growth of cancer cells or predicting inflammation in the body.

Finally, the benefit of cannabis legalization over prohibition is all about improved control and management approaches. Millions of people are afraid of marijuana because it is hard to stop using this drug, and it is easy to become addictive without appropriate knowledge. Legalization should require product testing and expanded research to protect potential users of all ages. Cannabis dependence is a serious health effect that becomes a psychological disorder associated with psychoses, depression, anxiety, and poor education or work outcomes (Hall, 2020). However, even this challenge may be solved because current studies prove that marijuana addictiveness is closely monitored, and about 87% of users can resist addictiveness (Ellis and Silverstone, 2013). Cannabis retailers will follow the market and analyze gender, age, and other demographic factors, which also contribute to cannabis research. Online reports, distant communication, web observations, and fast exchange of information help to control a new or recently prohibited product or service and investigate its implementation.

Reasons Against Cannabis Legalisation

The USA and the UK have enough reasons to support cannabis use officially, but unpredictability and dependability prevent one-sided decision-making. Many politicians, medical workers, and ordinary people do not receive enough guarantees that this drug is safe for human health and well-being. Young adults prefer cannabis the same way they use alcohol to deal with their low moods and anxiety (Hall, 2020). With time, this habit becomes a regular one, and some people are not able to cope with their emotions and mental problems independently. Until marijuana remains restricted and the current sanctions limit drug dealers and promoters, minimizing drug harm is possible (Ellis and Silverstone, 2013). People do not get direct legalized access to cannabis, and they subconsciously accept this usage as something wrong. Drug addiction is a serious mental health disorder that requires time-consuming treatment and unforeseen expenses.

In addition to misunderstanding the outcomes of cannabis use, the existence of black markets can be another challenge for legalization. Ellis and Silverstone (2013) use decriminalization of drug markets as effective pro-drug evidence and argument. In some American states, the cannabis market may be supplied under the law, while most UK markets face restrictions and strict control (Krane, 2020). As soon as legalization is supported and approved at an official level, many black markets will experience severe losses and provoke trade relationships and supply processes. The demand for legalized marijuana will be hard to control, while the number of suppliers is impossible to predict under new conditions. Black markets may be an advantage for the country’s economy because they create new employment opportunities. However, at this moment, black markets become a shortage for legalization supporters because of their stabilized positions, achievements, and business relationships.

A Common Attitude Towards Cannabis

Taking into consideration the evaluation of the existing pros and cons of legalization and prohibition of cannabis in the examples of the USA and the UK, people get a chance to formulate their opinions about this drug. Current evidence is enough to prove that marihuana legalization is a step that both countries might need in the nearest future. Many patients have already used cannabis as a pharmacological treatment method and observed positive changes in managing serious diseases. Companies continue offering new workplaces for unemployed people in the cannabis market and stabilizing the economy. Every person is free to decide and think about the topic relying on individual experiences or observations. Sometimes, people who have serious health problems or incurable diseases need to use marijuana as the only option for treatment or pain relief. However, marijuana changes people’s thoughts and behaviors in a variety of unpredictable ways. It is hard to understand and control people who use this drug regularly. Thus, society needs more education, counseling, and support in using legalized cannabis. Today, people are not ready for legalization to make sure it brings more benefits than prohibition.


Millions of people have already tried cannabis for various purposes, including medical treatment, personal interest, or easy availability. Despite it being an illegal drug, marijuana is characterized by certain positive factors like economic profits, medical worth, and additional employment. People are eager to forget that cannabis provokes dependence and serious mental health complications in order to support its legalization in different countries. They believe that this drug is less harmful than alcohol or smoking, and new policies are created to advance control and management. Modern society is not ready to legalize cannabis and avoid all related challenges and obstacles. Black markets exist, allowing citizens to find the drug and pay their price. People need more information and counseling about this drug to clarify all its benefits and shortages. Researchers represent evidence to legalize cannabis, which can no longer be neglected or postponed.

Reference List

Ellis, T. and Silverstone, D. (2013) ‘Legalise drugs?’, in Ellis, T. and Savage, S. (eds.) Debates in criminal justice: key themes and issues. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 149-184.

Hall, W. (2020) ‘The costs and benefits of cannabis control policies’, Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 22(3), pp. 281-287. Web.

James, E., et al. (2021) ‘Online survey into developing a model for a legal cannabis market in the United Kingdom’, Drug Science, Policy and Law, 7, pp. 1-10. Web.

Krane, K. (2020) Cannabis legalizaiton is key to economic recovery, much like ending alcohol prohibition helped us out of the great depression. Web.

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