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Government Infringement on Our Bodies

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Submitted By jakjak89
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Government infringement on our bodies
“Colorado pulled in $2 million in taxes related to the sale of recreational marijuana… in January 2014 alone. Combined with taxes on sales from medical marijuana, that number jumps to $3.5 million (Phillips par.2).” Let that sink in for a second, 3.5 million dollars in one month. Think of all the uses that money could be put towards, Education, Prevention, Treatment, the possibilities are endless. That number doesn’t even include the amount of money we would be saving by not criminalizing non violent drug offenders. Federally marijuana is still illegal but states are starting to take the initiative by legalizing on a state level, and it’s clear why. The recreational and medical use of marijuana should be federally legalized and taxed. 48% of all federal inmates are a drug offender that’s 94,600 people. That’s only the federal numbers, if we were to take into account people in prison state by state for drug charges the number is 330,000. Of the federal inmates, only 7.4% are doing time for violent crimes (Alcyone par.1, 5). The mandatory minimum sentence for a first time nonviolent offender caught with 100kg of marijuana is five years, a second time offence is ten years, and the third offence means life in prison (Families against…). We’re talking about nonviolent people going to prison potentially for life, for the possession of marijuana. Aside from the moral aspects of that issue, let’s address how much it costs tax payers to keep these people in prison. The approximate cost per year per inmate is $31,286, that’s over 10 million dollars a year. I don’t know about you but to me, that seems steep. Even with the cost people will say, Marijuana is a gateway drug so the penalty has to be this severs to dissuade people from becoming part of that lifestyle. I’d like to see where these people are getting their facts because I have been unable to find one reliable source that proves that using marijuana leads people to other, more harmful drugs. Even so, with how much money were spending on keeping marijuana illegal it’s got to be doing some good right? Not really, according to Eugene Jarecki in his article “voting out the drug war” in Nation he says, “Over forty years, the “war on drugs” has cost a trillion dollars and accounted for 45 million drug arrests. Yet for all that, America has nothing to show but a legacy of failure. Drugs are cheaper, purer, more available and used by more and younger people today than ever before.” Well, what can you say to that? Marijuana is bad for you, causes cancer an all sorts of other medical problems. Really? In my research I’ve found that more and more people are seeing marijuana as a medicine than anything else. Marijuana’s active ingredients seem to have many medical benefits including, pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation (Rolling Stone). Even if it is bad for you, is that a reason for it to be illegal? Alcohol and tobacco are totally legal and extremely bad for our bodies, 443,000 people per year die from tobacco use, and 88,000 deaths are due to alcohol (CDC). Yet they are legal, why? Oh, probably because they are multibillion dollar corporations that the government makes huge amounts of money off of. It has been said that if marijuana were legalized the crime rate would go up because people who would normally never smoke pot would start then get addicted and would be committing crimes to be able to afford their addiction. In fact, “Most drug related crime is not related to the use of drugs; it’s related to the dangerous underground economy created by the war on drugs (Geers p.235).” Because drugs are illegal there is a highly profitable black market for them, which creates a violent environment. Look at prohibition as in example.

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