MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGALIZED 1
The use of marijuana in the United States has been an issue underdebate with some people feeling that the government should treat itlike any other drug and, therefore, restrict and ban its use. Othersfeel that the effects of marijuana when compared to other drugs, areonly an exaggeration. In most of the states, the use of marijuanaremains illegal (Rosenthal et al., 2003). The antinarcotics enforcersconduct arrests for people using it, and this raises the question asto whether their actions are justified. However, it is worth notingthat unless there is a policy legalizing the use of marijuana, thelaw enforcers will continue arresting and charging people caught inpossession of the marijuana. The government should legalize marijuanasince because it comes with various economic benefits that remainuntapped.
First, legalizing marijuana in all the states would result inthousands of new job opportunities for these who grow it, thedistributors and the retailers. All these parties will pay taxes tothe government through the legally accepted systems (Rosenthal etal., 2003). Currently, the cultivation, distribution and sale ofmarijuana continue without the government collecting any taxesbecause it is an illegal business. The economic benefit of legalizingmarijuana also reduces the cost incurred to flush out suspects andarraigning them in court. Marijuana costs between 200 and 500 dollars(Lyman & Haugh, 2014). All this money goes untaxed, and thegovernment can collect enormous levies from its legalization. Forexample, in Chicago, each gram of marijuana the best grade ofmarijuana cost five dollars per gram. An ounce earns the sellers 75dollars (Lyman & Haugh, 2014). The high grade The law enforcerswho take part in restricting the use of the drug would ]take part inre prevention of more dangerous criminal activities like arson,murder, rape, robbery, and kidnappings. Also, the cost incurred inmaintaining the arrested individuals in prison would reduce, and thegovernment can save billions of dollars every year.
Secondly, the government does not provide a concrete reason it makesmarijuana illegal. The effects of the tussle between the authoritiesand those who deal with marijuana demonize its use (Rosenthal et al.,2003). Those who sell it get at loggerheads with the authorities andthey appear like immoral outliers in the society. People have theliberty to choose the behaviors to engage in provided they do notcontravene the rights of others. The use of marijuana is a personalchoice, and the government should not introduce a barrier for peopleto enjoy the liberty. The government may have the right to intercepta behavior that poses a significant threat to an individual (Swift,2013). The effects of marijuana do not equate the impact of otherdrugs on people’s lives, for example, alcohol and cigarettes. It isironical that the government restricts the use of marijuana whilecigarettes that kill thousands of citizens every year remain legal.
Also prohibiting the use of marijuana does not necessary reduce itsuse. In fact, it encourages people to look for it since there is nolaw regulating its sale. Most of the legal drugs sold in the countryincluding cigarettes and alcohol have rules to regulate their saleand use. For example, underage children may not buy alcohol whilethose who smoke may not do it in public places. However, it is easierfor high school students to buy marijuana than buying alcohol.Marijuana is very popular among high school students due to itsnon-regulated sale (Lyman & Haugh, 2014). However, should thegovernment make it legal, the law enforcers would find it easy tocontrol its use especially among the high school students. Those whowould be selling it will have to abide by the business rules in theirareas of operation. If the goal of the government is to reduceconsumption, it should focus on honest, open programs that keep therugs away from the children. The idea cannot idealize if there arestill unlicensed sellers along the streets who have no considerationfor age provided they make sales.
Also, about 21 million people in the United States smoke marijuana.Some states allow its planting and use while some are totally inopposition. Therefore, it creates a situation of a possible profilingby the radical anti-marijuana states. For the past 75 years, thegovernment of the United States has tried in vain to eradicate theuse of marijuana (Swift, 2013). It would be easy to apply a uniformlaw if all the states legalize it. Also, the reason most of theyouths who smoke marijuana use other drugs is because the sellersoperate in the same environment with the vendors of dangerous drugslike cocaine and heroin (Weitzer, 2014). Most people regard it as apathway to the abuse of hard drugs. However, the reason the youth getaccess to the hard drugs is because they buy marijuana from theillegal groups that also sell cocaine and Heroin. Legalizingmarijuana will take its sale from the alleys and reduces the exposureto high school students from the addictive drugs.
However, some people feel that marijuana is an addictive drug thatreduces the user`s sensitivity to distance and time. Unlikecigarettes that are addictive and expose an individual to lungcancer, marijuana also affects one behavior and it can expose othersto danger. For example, a deteriorating sense of distance may exposedriving individual and other road users to accidents. The governmentshould, therefore, not allow its sale lest it risks the lives ofother people (Crippa et al., 2013). On the same note, although peoplehave the liberty to choose their behaviors, those that can havedetrimental effects on the safety of other people should not be partof the enjoyed liberties, and the use of marijuana is one of suchbehaviors.
Also, some people argue that legalizing marijuana will forge a pathfor the legalization of other drugs, and this can be the country tomass addiction. However, it is worth noting that legalizing marijuanamay be the easiest way to reduce the use of the other drugs. Therationale is that its use is the gateway for youths to the harddrugs. If they get marijuana legally, they may not easily access theother drugs (Crippa et al., 2013).
In conclusion, the benefits that accrue to the legalization ofmarijuana are more compared to the perceived demerits it brings inthe society. The government can collect a significant amount ofrevenue from its sale because its sale continues even when it isillegal in many states. It can also be the easiest way to curb theuse of hard drugs since it will detach it from their sale. Whenlegalized, the authorities can monitor its sale and possibly curtailits use among underage children. All states should revise their rulesand embrace the cultivation, distribution, sale and use of marijuana.
Crippa, J. A.,Hallak, J. E., & Zuardi, A. W. (2013). Marijuana, Feijoada andthe Debate on Drug Legalization. Frontiers in Psychiatry,4(1), 45-61.
Lyman, R., &Haugh, K. (2014). Pivotal Point is seen as more States considerLegalizing Marijuana. The New York Times.
Rosenthal, E.,Kubby, S., & Newhart, S. (2003). Why Marijuana Should beLegal. Philadelphia: Running Press.
Swift, A. (2013).For first time, Americans favor legalizing marijuana. GallupPolitics.
Weitzer, R. (2014).Legalizing Recreational Marijuana: Comparing Ballot Outcomes in FourStates. Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice and Criminology,2(2). 21-42.