Why Marijuana Should be Legal


 Why Marijuana Should be Legal

Over the years, marijuana has been connected to many different negative side effects. People have used it as an excuse to commit crimes and act inappropriately in public. Even with all of these opinions, the truth is that marijuana should be legalized.

This post will cover the benefits of legalizing marijuana and how it will help improve our society and economy. The article will also discuss how people who use marijuana in moderation are not dangerous when compared to those who abuse alcohol or other substances. Lastly, by making this change we can raise money from taxing cannabis sales and use it for causes like education or healthcare for those who truly need it.

Reasons Why Marijuana Should be Legalized
Currently, each year we as a country spend billions of dollars fighting marijuana. According to the independent think tank, RAND Corporation, in 2008 alone we spent roughly $15 billion to enforce marijuana laws in the United States. In addition to this $15 billion, In just 2010 we spent $91 billion on Federal and State law enforcement combined. If marijuana is legalized and taxed at rates comparable to cigarettes and alcohol; we can expect to raise at least $20 billion per year with a similar taxation model as the tobacco industry (Jacobson & Kilmer). This money could be used for anything like education or healthcare to benefit our fellow citizens and those who need it most.

By legalizing marijuana we can cut down on the amount of violent crimes that occur in our country. According to the Bureau of Justice, approximately 40% of offenders in state prisons used marijuana during the offense for which they were serving a prison term. In addition, 25% used it during their most serious offense (BJS). By legalizing marijuana, we will see a reduction in violent crime similar to what was seen with alcohol prohibition.

Marijuana may not be as dangerous as prohibitionists claim and therefore it should be taken off the schedule I controlled substance list. The DEA classifies any drug that has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse under Schedule I. Currently there are drugs like heroin and cyanide in schedule I (DEA, 2016). These drugs are clearly more dangerous than cannabis and have never been accepted for medical use in the United States.

Cannabis can be used to treat many different ailments and illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Crohn's disease and many others. It is proven to help those who suffer from seizures as a result of epilepsy. It is also well known to effectively treat pain which is beneficial for Veterans who suffer from PTSD or other terminal illnesses (Bailey). In addition to this, marijuana has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of addiction to other substances like nicotine or alcohol. It is safer than most prescription drugs and with legalization, we can become less dependent on pharmaceuticals (Jacobson & Kilmer).

Medical Marijuana should be regulated in the same way as alcohol is. It is clear that the states that have legalized marijuana have seen a drop in crime rates and the amount of people who are imprisoned for drug offenses while those states that do not have legalized marijuana have seen increases (Nadelmann). This proves that we can regulate marijuana similar to alcohol and make it safe for public consumption.

If you legalize cannabis, then you can make more money then the Federal Government makes by taxing it. There were 31,057 arrests in 2011 alone for marijuana possession and only $18 billion was raised from the Federal Filing system by filing taxes (Jacobson & Kilmer). It is clear that if cannabis were legalized, that we can make more money by taxing it than we could from these policing expenses.

In Conclusion
Simply put, the reality is that marijuana should be legalized. This move will not harm the citizens of our country but will instead give them the chance to prosper with it. Not only this but if we legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, then we can save billions of dollars each year in policing costs and raise ample amounts of money to be used for other causes that benefit our fellow citizens.

Conclusion: Get Rid of Cannabis Prohibition
by: Robert J. Szczesny
I've been on a personal journey to change the status quo. I've always been an advocate of freedom and free markets, yet at the same time I've always been a member of the unjustly oppressed. I was born into a family that held these two notions in perfect balance and this obviously came to fruition in my own personal decision making process as well. When you look into the subject of cannabis policy it's quite clear to see that there has been one thing held steadfast in it's place since its inception – prohibition.

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