Earlier this year, the governor of Ondo State proposed to legalize marijuana (weed). The agencies for drug law enforcement in the country – NDLEA, NAFDAC and the Federal Government were totally against a move that could have made the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) to increase significantly.

On the other hand, it could have led to the state raising a Pablo Escobar or El Chapo. Many agricultural lands would have been used for growing weed just like Mike Tyson’s range in the United States where the ex-boxing champion is making a fortune for himself.

“If it is legalized, we would start growing marijuana, it has more good than harm”. That was the statement made by my boss at Agro Limited where I work as a supervisor.

On my part, I don’t really think it’s a good move to add to the insanity in town. I therefore argued that we would have more men roaming the streets as a result of the side effects of smoking weed. My boss vehemently argued that insanity is not really caused by weed. In fact, it brought the best out of men like Fela-Kuti, Bob Marley and so on. He focused on the medicinal and economical benefits of marijuana just as the governor has proposed.

I therefore made my research and interviewed some guys on their take on this topic. Here’s what they have to say on this cogent topic in our society:

Weed is not really bad. It has some advantages and when regulated correctly, it is used as drugs.

Dr. Bisi, Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

There are health benefits of weed. It is used in the treatment of arthritis, glaucoma, Alheizmer’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, etc. because it has some active ingredient in it. Marijuana becomes bad when people get addicted to it as a result of the euphoric effect they have which last for a little time. When you look at it critically, even with the health benefits, there are alternatives to the use of drugs made with marijuana.

Marijuana has some side effects which includes feelings of panic and fear (paranoia), hallucinations, decreased ability to perform tasks that require coordination, decreased interest in completing tasks and trouble in concentration. Just like the saying ‘too much of everything is bad’, weed addiction is the main issue as it suppress the body immunity exposing the body to different types of diseases. If not for the addiction of smokers, weed is not really bad.

Dr. Love

The abuse of weed is bad. Apart from that, it is good. Some countries have legalized weed, a country wouldn’t legalize what is bad for it’s citizens so I believe it is not bad.

Those who take weed have a way of life that doesn’t concur with bad governments. They are always truthful and say their mind even if you will feel bad about what they say. People like Fela Kuti, Rastafarians and so on always say their mind. So far, throughout it’s existence, marijuana hasn’t kill any man, so it’s not bad.

Engr. Alunsi

Weed is not bad when you look at what you have to gain in it. It is one of the best plant nature has given to humanity. It’s just that the abuse is seen as a death sentence, so our society see it as illegal due to the threat it poses to the society. Countries like Mexico, Cuba, Colombia etc. have made a lot from weed, it won’t be bad if we take a cue from them and stop relying on oil.

the shrub commonly known as weed
Marijuana, also known as Cannabis sativa

From my findings, weed which is also known as marijuana has its positives and negatives. It was used to treat ailments for over 3,000 years. However, some countries in the world including Nigeria have not deemed marijuana safe. As much as weed has it’s benefits, it’s abuse and addiction lead to serious problems. The more someone uses marijuana, the more he/she is likely to develop a problem.

Aside the problems developed from it’s abuse, weed has been used medically in the treatment of several diseases. Among others, the medical and health benefits of marijuana includes:

  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Treatment of Glaucoma
  • Relieve of Arthritis
  • Help eliminate nightmares
  • Protection of the brain from concussion and trauma
  • Treatment of Inflammatory bowel

Read also: Building a Better Mental Health

Other health benefits includes protection of brain after stroke, reduce severe pain, stimulate appetite, and improve lung health. It decreases anxiety, control epileptic seizures etc.

Apart from it’s medical and health benefits, marijuana also have economical benefits. Here are some of the things we stand to gain if marijuana is legalized:

It would raise a substantial amount for federal and state governments: Just as other legal companies pay taxes, marijuana-based companies would also pay taxes thereby generating income for the government annually.

Create job opportunities: In a society where the rate of unemployment is very high, legalization of marijuana would be a major boon to the labour market.

A lot would be saved in law-enforcement costs: Billions budgeted for law enforcement such as Police, NDLEA, NAFDAC and so on to bring down marijuana planters would be used for other important sector of building the nation.

It will bring foreign investors: As long as marijuana is illegal, investors would not be able to approach farmers. That will decrease the enormous growth potential of the economy.

What we call weed is really not bad when its consumption is regulated and not abused. People just go ahead and term it bad because of the effects it has on the people who end up on the streets. Those persons are typical example of the abuse we have talked extensively about.

When marijuana is consumed indiscriminately, the effects can be very disastrous. With that said, there are more good than harm when it is legalized.

Let’s have your view on this cogent topic in the comment section. Thanks for taking your time to read this piece.