Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

Matthew Dombroski, Staff Reporter

Legalization of Recreational Marijuana 

With the new decade starting, there have been some new laws that have been created in the state of Illinois. One of those laws is the legalization of recreational use of marijuana. 

In 2020 more and more states have been legalizing the use of recreational marijuana. Twelve states as of now have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. These states legalized it due to the fact that it can help its states economy. 

The Colorado Department of Revenue, combined its four year sales of marijuana since they’ve legalized it in 2014 has now reached $7.6 billion. With this statistic it is easy to see why Illinois is jumping on board. An increase in revenue seems like a given.  it shows that Illinois is bound to receive an increase in revenue from its recent legalization. 

With all of the money Illinois expects to make from dispensaries, the state can hopefully put the the money towards safer roads, better schools and possibly even lower taxes. This will benefit the citizens of Illinois drastically. 

Many people believe marijuana to be a harmful gateway drug but actually marijuana can benefit one’s health. It can benefit one’s mental and physical health. That is why some states have legalized it medically. 

The benefits it has on mental health is that it helps treat anxiety and depression. In fact consumer interest in using cannabis has increased tremendously throughout recent years.

Many doctors have yet to prescribe marijuana as a treatment but many people are using it to self-medicate for certain mental health conditions. 

There are still laws and restrictions regarding buying and consuming cannabis. The legal amount an Illinois resident can possess is 30 grams. With regard to driving the the legal limit is five nanograms per millimeter.  

If a police officer suspects a person might be under the influence of marijuana while driving they may do a roadside sobriety test, which includes standing on one leg. Then they can call a drug expert to give extensive tests like lab tests of blood, saliva, or urine. 

On the contrary many believe that marijuana is a harmful drug. There are some facts that prove this. Inhaling any smoke like tobacco or marijuana can damage lung tissue. Also studies have shown that frequent users of cannabis can result in a memory loss. 

Overall there are many potential benefits to the recent legalization of recreational marijuana but there will always be some downsides to this new law.