Free Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

In: Social Issues

Submitted By moshelly28
Words 1048
Pages 5
There is always a great debate, for many years, on if marijuana should be legalized for all purposes, to include medical and recreational. The question should lie as to what is the actual harm that comes from making the drug legal. Why not legalize the drug and place a tax, just like the tax occurred on tobacco. In the 1890’s, marijuana/hemp was replacing the cotton plantations and it was a major cash crop in the southern states. The product was being placed in some prescriptions; it was even listed on the United States Pharmacopeia from 1850 until 1942. During this time, using marijuana for recreational use was not illegal. In the 1950s it was an accessory of the beat generation; in the 1960s it was used by college students and "hippies" and became a symbol of rebellion against authority. It was being used by musicians and the people in show business. During this time clubs were opening in most major cities and these were tolerated by the community because the patrons did not disrupt after using the drug. The government has tried to use criminal penalties to prevent marijuana use for over 75 years and still to this day marijuana is now used by over 25 million people annually. Now that Colorado and Washington have legalized use and possession of marijuana and 20 states have legalized its medical uses, many people, including virtually everyone who has studied the matter, hope that other states will also legalize and ultimately force the federal government to repeal its strict criminalization of marijuana. Starting around the year of 1972, some states were reclassifying the laws to write that if someone had in their possession an amount less than 1 oz., it is not considered a crime. About half a million men and women are currently incarcerated in jails and prisons for drug violation. Nearly 30,000 of them are in prison for nothing more serious than marijuana possession. American prisons inevitably damage and scar their inmates, making many of them antisocial and unemployable. Some of those now imprisoned for marijuana offenses would be there for other offenses were marijuana legalized, but tens of thousands would not be. Marijuana prosecutions severely damage thousands of young lives every year and are cruel, unnecessary and probably likely to cause criminal behavior. The costs to state and federal governments of investigating, arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning persons for marijuana offenses are enormous. There are arguments that we could not only save enforcement costs by eliminating prohibition, we could also raise $6 billion or so annually by taxing the sale of marijuana. The total amount of money that could be saved is over 13.7 billion. (Huffington Post) Marijuana distribution will be more efficient and the drug far less costly when producing and distribution it is no longer a black market operation. The current drug dealers that do not file taxes on that income would now have to file taxes every year. The failure of marijuana prohibition is due in part to the plant’s ease of cultivation. It can be grown virtually anywhere, indoors and out, requiring little horticultural expertise or significant financial investment. In the same respect it resembles alcohol, which was widely homemade during its prohibition and was produced almost anywhere at very little expense. Both marijuana and alcohol, it is impossible to eliminate the drug’s source and efforts to interdict the smuggling of the drug have only marginal effects on price and consumption.
Because marijuana is so easy to produce, the price of legalized marijuana to the consumer could not be maintained at anywhere near its current leave by imposing high taxes. High taxes would create another black market and defeat many of the objectives of legalization. The price of legalized marijuana would have to be a fraction of its present black market price. When marijuana is regulated the consumer will feel more comfortable, morally, in buying and consuming the drug. It is almost certain that legalizing both the use and the distribution of marijuana would substantially increase consumption. Even if marijuana use were to triple under a legalized regime, which no one predicts, this would be a small price to pay for the benefits of legalization. Not only would the drug be safer and let potent, its increase use would likely reduce the consumption of alcohol, a far more harmful drug. Though the physical and psychological effects of alcohol and marijuana are quite different, there is substantial evidence that drinkers who take up marijuana drink less alcohol. It also seems likely that the consciousness alteration obtained with cheaper and lawful marijuana would reduce the appetite for other illegal, dangerous drugs. Increased consumption of legalized marijuana could prove to be a benefit of legalization, not a cost. Millions of marijuana users and anti-prohibitionists are increasing the pressure to legalize both medical and non-medical uses of the drug. Marijuana prohibition cannot remotely withstand a cost-benefit analysis. Many of the costs of prohibition can only be eliminated by legalization at the federal level. If anti-drug treaties are construed as prohibiting federal legalization, they should be amended to eliminate provisions that produce. The federal government is not constrained by the treaties from decriminalizing marijuana, which it should quickly do. Decriminalization is a step toward legalization rater than the ultimate objective.
We have to remember that marijuana is overall harmless in a sense. Tobacco and alcohol could be more dangerous as tobacco causes cancer and alcohol can cause drunk driving accidents. Another pro for legalizing marijuana it would stop the unnecessary fines for possession. If the law makers would do their homework, they should of reviewed the past when marijuana was once legal, there was not a high crime rate, communities did not have problems with the clubs that allowed smoking of the drug inside.
The fact is that we're not getting rid of this drug any time soon so it would be smart to know what damage might be created by its use. The idea that marijuana will soon be eliminated from American and the rest of the world is a ridiculous fantasy, so why not just go ahead and legalize it and collect on the tax money. By saving $13.7 billion a year it might bring this country back together.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Legalization of Marijuana Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in the United States. Despite the harsh laws against marijuana use, approximately twenty five million Americans have used the drug in the past year and more than fourteen million continue to use marijuana on a regular basis (norml.org). In turn, not only is the criminal justice system over-flooded with marijuana cases, but law enforcement is focusing valuable time on finding marijuana “criminals”. With the legalization of marijuana, the United States judicial system would be able to handle more important cases in a timely manner and law enforcement officers would be able to spend more time on more important crimes. However, the judicial system is not the only one standing to benefit from the legalization of marijuana. The United States stands to greatly benefit economically on the legalization of marijuana as well. The legalization of Marijuana would benefit our society in many ways. Being aware of all of this, I was curious to know why so many people oppose legalization of the drug. However, it was important for me to gather knowledge from credible sources. I did not want to learn the benefits of marijuana from a “stoner” blogging from his parent’s basement, nor did I want to learn about the negatives of the drug from an extremely right wing conservative who will stand against it- just to be against it. First, I went straight to George Mason University’s online library in the......

Words: 1634 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Legalization of Marijuana Michelle Shepard Soc 120 July 16, 2012 Danielle Camacho There is no denying that the drug problem in our country today has reached an epidemic proportion. The problem has gotten so out of hand that many options are being considered to control and or solve it. Trying to end the drug war may not seen to be the best answer in the beginning, but those so-called wars on drugs have not been very successful at stopping the drug wars. I feel that there should be some different options. The legalization of marijuana is an option which hasn’t received much of a chance, but should be given one. Given that marijuana has known important medical uses, such as the alleviation of nausea, and the treatment of glaucoma, can the government justify banning it just because some individuals use it for recreational purposes? Is it even the business of the government to regulate the private lives of its citizens? I really don’t condone the use of any kind of drug use, but a drug such as marijuana should be legalized to a certain extent, because marijuana helps people with some medical conditions they may have. In order for one to solve the ongoing issue of the legalization of marijuana one must take a look at the classical theory of deontology. Deontology is the classical theory where the reason for which an act is done is assessed. (Mosser, 2010) When assessing the issue of the legalization of marijuana, one must question the exact reasons as to why......

Words: 2618 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Marijuana Legalization

...Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a form of the cannabis plant. In 1923, marijuana was added to the Confidential Restricted List as a prohibited drug in Canada. However, many Canadians believe that marijuana should be legalized because it can play a significant role in the medical industry. However, others hold the opposite attitude toward Marijuana legalization. This serious controversy has lasted for many decades. Canada’s neighbor, the U.S. government, has forbidden this drug since the early 1900s. However, this implementation didn’t produce a satisfactory result. (National Prevention Strategy, 2011) Marijuana should be legalized in Canada because its advantages outweigh the disadvantages. These advantages are likely to promote the Canadian economy, eliminate social issues and benefit the health of its residents. In terms of the economy, legalizing marijuana could conduct not only negative effects, but also positive effects. In the past decade, underground trade of marijuana has caused harm to Canada’s income. Werner Antweiler, the UBC professor, believes that the marijuana market is sizable. (2013) In B.C., the estimates show that Canadians consume at least 3 billion dollars in marijuana products annually. (Barmak, 2013) Other data from The International Journal of Drug Policy indicate that the retail value of marijuana consumption in B.C is between $443 million and $564 million. In addition, further estimates point out that marijuana legalization is likely to help......

Words: 1594 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Marijuana Legalization

...Why Marijuana should not be made legalized * Introduction * Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with nearly 17 million Americans age 12 and older reporting past‐month use, and 374,000 people entering an emergency room annually with a primary marijuana problem. * Proposals such as legalization that would promote marijuana use are inconsistent with this public health and safety approach. * This is in contradiction with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and any economic argument that applies to the legalization of marijuana applies most other illicit drugs. * Tax incentives argument * Alcohol Tax Incentives to Cost incentives * The debate over how much tax money recreational marijuana laws could produce is playing an outsize role in the campaigns for and against legalization — and both sides concede they're not really sure what would happen. * The argument is for: * it could prove a windfall for cash-strapped states with new taxes on pot and reduced criminal justice costs. * The report shows that marijuana legalization -- replacing prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation -- would save $7.7 billion per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement and produce tax revenues of at least $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like most consumer goods. If, however, marijuana were taxed similarly to alcohol or tobacco, it might......

Words: 532 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...The Benefit of Legalizing Marijuana Of all legal reformations that should be made, the legalization of marijuana is perhaps the most necessary. If legalized on a controlled basis, it could greatly benefit our country in a variety of ways. Clearly the most controversial topic is marijuana's benefit to the medical community. The economy would also be a beneficiary of marijuana's legalization through taxation and all the while crime rates would inevitably decrease throughout the country. While many citizens are opposed to the legalization of marijuana they are often misinformed and misguided. Marijuana is a drug that is overlooked and can be used in many positive ways. There are many people that oppose the idea of legalizing marijuana and their point of view can be justified, but marijuana can be used for other purposes than getting “high”. Although there are valid points to each side, ultimately, if legalized the benefits of legal marijuana could greatly outweigh the risk. It has been documented that marijuana can severely reduce some effects of cancer. Also, it is known that marijuana has prolonged the lives of people who were diagnosed as terminally ill. Many rely on the drug to ease their pain and suffering. Another useful benefit is its aide in reducing nausea in chemotherapy patients. Medicinal uses for cannabis date back to 2737 B.C. when the Chinese emperor and pharmacologist Shen Neng prescribed the drug for gout, malaria, beriberi, rheumatism, and memory problems...

Words: 1481 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Marijuana Legalization

...Davis English 1020 10 November 2015 The Legalization of Medical Marijuana Legalizing marijuana has been a controversial issue for quite some time, but only recently have commercials in regards to legalization flooded American television. The recent exposure occurred largely because the issue finally made it to a ballet for Ohioan’s to vote. Ohio spoke and the legalization of marijuana was not passed. Those that are for the legalization of marijuana believe that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of chronic illnesses. It is marijuana’s addictive properties and ability to become a gateway drug that concerns those who are opposed to legalizing marijuana. While some say medicinal marijuana is safe and effective, others say that marijuana as a whole is dangerous. There has not been enough research and medicinal marijuana lacks FDA approval. Should we be concerned with the legalization of marijuana? Medical marijuana refers to using the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or chemical derivatives from it to treat diseases or symptoms. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, the chemical that is most talked about and used in medicine are cannabinoids which are related THC. THC is the main ingredient that gives users the effect of being “high”. Currently, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine. Scientific studies however, of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, have led to......

Words: 1493 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...com/od/legalandethicalissues/i/Is-It-A-Good-Idea-For-Marijuana-To-Be-Legalized_2.htm   http://casac.org/legislation/shouldmarijuanabel/   http://hightimes.com/legal/ht_admin/1842     http://www.mjlegal.org/alctob.html   http://www.saferchoice.org/content/view/24/53/     http://guyism.com/lifestyle/10-major-health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana.html   http://norml.org/legal/item/war-against-marijuana-consumers   http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Legalize-tax-marijuana-to-fill-budget-gap-1121668.php   Why marijuana should be legalized?   I.                   Expensive keeping marijuana illegal II.                Drug dealers and violence reduces III.             Marijuana vs. alcohol and tobacco IV.             Marijuana has medical benefits   References Brown, M. (2003). Legalize, Tax Marijuana to Fill Budget Gap. Retrieved from http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Legalize-tax-marijuana-to-fill-budget-gap-1121668.php. Hartney, E. (2011). Is It a Good Idea For Marijuana To Be Legalized? Retrieved from http://addictions.about.com/od/legalandethicalissues/i/Is-It-A-Good-Idea-For-Marijuana-To-Be-Legalized_2.htm. Marijuana Legalization Organization. (1999-2008). Marijuana vs. Alcohol and Tobacco. Retrieved from http://www.mjlegal.org/alctob.html. Marijuana Legalization Organization. (1999-2007). Why Should Marijuana Be Legal? Retrieved from http://www.mjlegal.org/. Marijuana Legalization Organization. (1999-2002). Why Should Marijuana......

Words: 281 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Running head: LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA 1 Legalization of Marijuana Communications and Thought 1 February 23, 2015 LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA 2 Abstract The debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana has been raging decades. The debate is centered on the issues of health, addiction and economics. Arguments and claims supporting the legislation are countered by contrary arguments and claims. Scientific claims from one side are disputed by scientific claims from the other. The tug-of-war is beginning to show signs of a clear winner. Time has brought about changes in the thinking and behavior of a large segment of our population. Marijuana usage is now considered acceptable behavior by a clear majority of Americans. Social mores have changed and the use of marijuana is commonplace. We have reached the point in the debate where the trend is leaning toward legislation. LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA 3 Legalization of Marijuana Introduction There is an ongoing national debate about the legalization of marijuana. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, a clear majority of Americans (58%) favor legalization. The age group most likely to support legalization is young adults from the age of 18 to 29 years. Surprisingly, the majority of the 30 to 64 years age group also favors legalization. The opposition to legalizing marijuana comes mostly from Americans 65 and older. Changing......

Words: 1491 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Legalization of Marijuana Tina Washington Everest University March 3, 2015 Abstract The prohibition of marijuana has brought forth multiple passionate debates for many years in reference to its effects on the human body, its medicinal properties, and its effect on society. Even though there are many people who are opposed to the legalization of marijuana, this paper will dispute that the legalization of marijuana is justified. This paper will provide proof by measuring marijuana’s effects on the human body when ingested by inhalation against the effects on the body when consuming alcoholic beverages and smoking tobacco, by submitting research facts on its medicinal qualities, and providing you with information on how the use of marijuana can benefit a lot of people as well as our nation as a whole. Legalization of Marijuana Legalization of marijuana is wide spread. There are so many benefits to it such as helping those with medicinal issues like anxiety, AIDS, Cancer, glaucoma, etc. Being able to assist someone without throwing pills down their throat is certainly a better approach. Most people don’t know this, but there are 18 states that have already gotten on the band wagon of legalizing marijuana. Colorado and Washington are the two most recent states that adopted this law. Not only is it a great way to aid in certain medical issues, but it is also a way for the states and our government to generate......

Words: 2224 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Marijuana Legalization

...Marijuana Legalization The legalization of marijuana is something that I have always been interested in. In high school, I heard about people first smoking marijuana, and I thought it was so bad because of everything that I was taught in elementary and middle school. Kids always pledged to stay away from any type of drug. Once I knew friends that were smoking and I talked to them about it, they made it seem so harmless, and that’s when I really got curious about it. Then I started to find out more information about marijuana and its effects, and I started to wonder whether marijuana should be legal for recreational use? After all my research I have come to the conclusion that marijuana should be legal for recreational use in the United States. Lets start by looking at the economical perspective. The United States has a national debt of trillions of dollars, and a huge financial problem is how much our law enforcement and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) are spending to enforce the prohibition of marijuana. “In America we spend nearly $8 billion trying to enforce the laws prohibiting the use and possession of marijuana” (Cartwright 86). This money could be spent on highways, schools and other government properties but instead it is spent on enforcing laws that are being broken every single day. Another huge part of the DEA is the so-called war on drugs. Mexican drug cartels are a huge supplier of marijuana to the U.S. “In 2009, the U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center......

Words: 1609 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA Kristina Brown Ashford University POL 201 American National Government Instructor: Tracy Trunnell When it comes to marijuana there is a great debate. While there are still many who oppose it, there are just that many more that will be for it. There is more than just the bud that can make you high. The entire plant has many uses. But the Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) within the female part of the plant is all that anyone can seem to focus on. With there being many medical benefits that have been proven, they are still worried on the criminalization of it that has been created. Many feel that it has proven that it doesn't belong here as it made a major appearance in the 50's and 60's. There are many faces to the making Marijuana debate, but I see nothing wrong with it being fully legalzied. In the birth of this nation, even a few of our founding fathers grew hemp. Hemp is related to the marijuana plant. Hemp can be useful for many things, such as paper, rope, clothing, etc... Marijuana first made an appearance in the United States after the civil war, were it was encouraged to be grown. It was then found and used for many medicinal aspects. At the turn of the century, the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed that in short required the lableing of canibus that was in any over-the-counter remidies. From the turn of the century through the roaring twenties, the Mexican's introduced the use of the recreational proerpties of marijuana. As it soon...

Words: 1209 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Legalizing Marijuana What do George Washington, Ted Turner, Michael Bloomberg, Barack Obama, Michael Phelps, and Carl Sagen all have in common? All have either admitted to growing, and or smoking marijuana. Peculiar, to say the least, all of these extremely influential people would be prosecuted and possibly arrested had they had been caught partaking in these illegal acts. If one were to go back to the time of George Washington’s presidency and take a glimpse at the first president’s garden they would be shocked to see that the leader of the American Revolutionary War Army grew marijuana. The growth of cannabis in today’s world carries quite a hazy perception. Most people would be shocked at the thought of someone; much less the president was growing marijuana. It is in this perception in which the problem stems, why be shocked? Why think less of person? Why even consider Marijuana to be this life-threatening, lazy causing, brain cell killer, schedule one drug? Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in America today. It is estimated that one hundred million people have admitted to smoking marijuana. However the winds of reform and legalization have begun to sweep this nation. Americans, now more than ever, are advocating the legalization of marijuana, as seen recently by two states legalizing the plant for recreational use. I, for one, am a strong advocate for the recreational use and legalization of marijuana in the United States. I have found that to......

Words: 1693 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...PHI-105 Critical Thinking Legalization of Marijuana There has not been one marijuana induced death reported to the U.S Center for Disease Control, yet every year approximately 79,000 deaths are reported for alcohol induced deaths. (CDC, 2010). Alcohol is clearly more dangerous then marijuana, yet marijuana is illegal in 27 states. There are several positive arguments about this controversial subject, which will be addressed in this essay. Legalizing marijuana in the United States would benefit citizens with certain medical conditions, stimulate the economy, and reduce drug related crimes. Even though marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance, meaning it has no accepted medical use, it would still benefit many citizens in the United States with certain medical conditions if it were legalized. Currently 23 States have legalized the medical use of marijuana, as well as DC. (Carter, 2008). Using marijuana as a safe an effective treatment option for citizens who have cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma pain, epilepsy, and asthma provides benefits that cannot be found using anything else. (Carter, 2008).. It doesn’t have debilitating side effects and it gives a relaxing effect which lowers anxiety, reduces nausea and pain, and enlarges and relaxes the bronchial passage. It has been said that marijuana is psychologically addictive which is why it is so important to understand the medical benefits that marijuana offers. Any time......

Words: 1218 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...The arguments for and against the legalization of marijuana in the United States has been going on for many years. The valid points for both arguments are plentiful and each party feels strongly about their position on the matter. Marijuana should be legalized because the money the state and federal governments would make, and save, would ease or possibly eliminate any deficit they have. The average state and federal tax on cigarettes add up to $2.47(Boonn, 2011). The average tax is almost as much as a single pack of cigarettes before taxes. Conversely, smoking a single marijuana cigarette is the equivalent of smoking 7 – 10 cigarettes at one time (Miller, 1999). If marijuana is legalized a high price tag should be placed on the product as well as steep taxes. This would deter many people from actually trying if the price is so high. Some say if cannabis is legalized they will just grow their own. For cases like this permits as well as taxes will have to be in place for them as well. Overall the taxation of legal marijuana could potentially be a saving grace. A study at International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London found that “The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners” (Liptak, 2008). The legalization of marijuana would reduce the number of drug related arrests, court and prison costs. In 2005, 19.1 percent of state sentenced prisoners were drug offenders and in 2007, a......

Words: 767 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Legalization of Marijuana

...Legalization of Marijuana One of the primary focuses of America’s War on Drugs in the controversial drug Marijuana. Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug and stirs up a debate everywhere. Could you imagine a world where Marijuana was legal in all states? Sure it would have its pros and cons on the side effects that could occur when smoking it, but I don't think that it would enable us from working or doing other things. For many years people have attempted to find ways to get passed the struggles of everyday life. With the pain of the world stopping people from enjoying simple pleasures, sometimes there is a need for help. Marijuana brings millions of people relief from pain on a day-to-day basis. This completely natural plant, which previously helped so many people, puzzled the leaders of our nation for a long time. Using marijuana for medicinal purposes is not a recent discovery. In fact, written references to use medical marijuana date back nearly 5,000 years. Western medicine embraced marijuana’s medical properties in the mid-1800s, and by the beginning of the 20th century, physicians had published more than 100 papers in the Western medical literature recommending its use for a variety of disorders (Introduction to Medical Use). These disorders include pain relief, nausea, glaucoma, and movement disorders. It is also used as a powerful appetite stimulant which helps patients that had HIV/AIDS or cancer patients going through chemotherapy. Today, thousands of...

Words: 655 - Pages: 3