Professor E. Perez
May 2, 2018
Legalization of Marijuana
Much debate has been conducted regarding the legalization of marijuana, with an unusual amount of contradicting research. There are many perspectives to consider, and they always seem to come down to the personal motives of the debater. Whether it’s being argued from a medical, political, or economical perspective; it continually comes down to whether Federal Government should be our dictators, or we should be responsible for our actions. The legalization of marijuana has recently been a rather controversial issue, although there should be no issue at all. Marijuana should be legalized. Prohibition was once tried with alcohol and it was proven that it does not work in any manner, and it should be soon proven again with marijuana. Marijuana is a relatively safe drug, especially when compared to other illegal drugs and even some legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco. There are many reasons marijuana is illegal and frowned upon today; most of which are irrational or ill-informed, while the rest are underlying reasons and irrelevant to the actual safety of marijuana and its users. The debate to legalize marijuana in the United States of America has been fought over nonstop since the existence of the drug and its effects. Marijuana has been tested and proven to provide a very positive impact on the American society for many reasons. Some of these reasons are for America’s economy, health and even crime. These reasons could very well help America thrive in the future and that is why Marijuana should be legalized in the United States of America.
This naturally found plant known as marijuana is recognized all around the world. This plant is known to be a drug that gives users a “high” and is illegal in almost every location of the world. Some places are very strict when it comes to enforcing that law while others are very lenient. Today more and more people are deciding to side with pro marijuana legalization for America. People that never gave marijuana legalization a thought or were heavily against it are now starting to believe legalization would prove helpful for the United States of America. There are many reasons why many people support marijuana legalization and one of those reasons is the benefit of marijuana being a medicinal drug. Some states in America have already legalized the use of marijuana for medical use only, while many have not. Other countries like Canada have already allowed medical marijuana use. The fact that states and other nations have allowed the use of marijuana for an important aspect like medicine should make the drug legal. Especially since it has caused no problems being used that way. Marijuana as a medicine can relieve pain for its users along with other benefits. It is also beneficial to the everyday person for relief of migraines, OCD’s, ADHD, ADD, and even prevention of Alzheimer’s. There is very much proof that shows the legalization of marijuana would have more of a positive impact on our society than a negative one. this includes the elimination of underground society, which mostly consists of drug dealers and consumers. There is also money involved which is a money spent on trying to prevent the use of drugs and the prosecute drug offenders. Medical reasons should also be accounted for which include the need for medical marijuana for patients to live without pain. There is no factual evidence that proves that marijuana is addictive but simply used as pleasure. People that are anti marijuana legalization will say that it is unhealthy and bad for you. But all these assumptions are made based off opinion on the drug and its bad image people get from it. Also, people against the legalization of marijuana quickly attack the topic of medical use of marijuana and instead state it is unhealthy for the body. Another claim is the fact that people would abuse the drug and cause harm to the body. Marijuana has never been proven to cause any harm to the body and there is not a single recorded death of an overdose on marijuana. But just like everything else you do it must be done in moderation like sweets, food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. The reason why there isn’t that much solid information against legalization is because it is already legal medically and many studies and tests have been done already. With that said there is no need to go back and test things on marijuana that have already been tested.
Another belief that pro marijuana legalization protestors have is the thoughts of economic relief. The topic of economic relief from marijuana legalization has been brought up countless times, and only by the pro side. The reason why the pro supporters bring up the economic relief topic is because it is true. No one expects that America will recover economically by becoming a “pot nation” but it will help to bring America out of the hole it is in a legalizing marijuana would in no way hurt the American economy at all. Regulation of the drug will bring money into the state and ultimately the nation. Right now, medical marijuana in California brings in 14 billion dollars a year and with legalization it is expected to rise by 4 Billion dollars and that’s only California! With the rise of income there will also be cuts on government spending. The prohibition of marijuana has created an underground economy that feeds of violence and greed. This economy seems to offer satisfaction and riches for those who decide on joining it, although it leaves more people dead or in the jail than not. Total drug arrests are now over 1.5 million a year. There are about 400,000 drug offenders in jail and prison now. Over 80% of the increase in the federal prison population from 1985 to 1995 was due to drug convictions. Drug offenders made up 59.6% of all federal prisoners in 1996, which is up from 52.6% in 1990. Drug dealers become the most clearly successful people in these communities. Every single year America spends around 68 Billion dollars on prisoners in jail where 1/6 of the population were incarcerated due to nonviolent drug crimes related with marijuana. That means America could save 11.5 Billion dollars a year on prison spending with your tax money. People that support the cause feel that legalizing marijuana would help bring America out of its economic struggle. The government can regulate the drug in the states by taxing the drug and distributing it for consumption. Marijuana if legalized, would become a product for anyone to purchase to the guidelines that the government or state sets and regulates.
Legalizing marijuana is also believed to reduce the crime rate in America and free up resources. Think about what I said above. About 1/6 of the population in prisons were incarcerated due directly to marijuana charges. You take away the federal law that states marijuana is illegal, and you have less crime. Instead of having many crimes due to drug possession and smuggling people will be able to simply purchase it legally. This would keep more space in prisons for real crimes and prisoners and going back to the economy, it would save the taxpayers money. That is the direct effect of legalization but there’s much more. It would also relieve stress on the police and courts that deal with marijuana cases. Going to the police, if officers won’t have to worry about marijuana possession then it would give more time and focus to cops to enforce other and more serious laws. Marijuana has been nailed with the “gateway drug” label for a long time now. It is true that many people start off using marijuana but what makes it irrelevant is that the other factors aren’t observed. Marijuana is an easily accessed drug thus being more abundant and commonly used first. By legalizing marijuana, it would not change that fact and people that want to go to that next step and use much more serious drugs can, but it will still be illegal, so nothing has really changed. There are marijuana possession arrests every single day in abundance across the nation and without that you relieve the police department. All the suspects of marijuana possession all end up in court and again without it you have freed up the courts where it can trial other suspects. Again, people against marijuana legalization will say court resources will drop due to crime rates rising is false and has no evidence to even support that. There are very clear points that prove legalizing marijuana would only help the United States of America. I say that with complete confidence because of the medical capabilities, economic relief, crime reduction, free resources and the fact that it has been decriminalized in a couple states. All these points are related with each other and directly impact the United States in a positive way. The pro marijuana legalization is backed with many facts that make it the better option while the “nay-sayers” are driven by a false assumption that marijuana is a terrible drug that only causes problems. People need to open their eyes and stop being ignorant about the fact that marijuana being legal would help the United States in dire need of help. Too many people still look down on the drug simply due to its false reputation. Most of the people against it have never once investigated the benefits it holds and may never will. No one is telling you to use marijuana as well, but the choice should be free for anyone to choose. We all seek pleasure in our life every day and everyone has his or her own way to achieve that. For some, that source of pleasure is marijuana and all they want is to gain that pleasure like others do. Never in my life have I heard of a problem caused by marijuana and that is because it has never happened. The push for marijuana use is simply a chain of dominos about to be hit. Ending the prohibition on marijuana would save us money, help prosper the medical field, and eliminate an unsafe underground Community. The legalization of marijuana would have a great and positive impact on today’s society. Voters and Congress alike, must learn of these benefits which the end of marijuana prohibition would bring. The more people that realize this, the further we are on bettering our society.
Arjan Acharya Professor E