Good Essay About Legalization OF Marijuana
The topic of marijuana has been an ongoing debate for ethical, legal, and even medicinal purposes. There is an excessive amount of money that has been invested in prevention and detaining individuals who possess and use marijuana. In addition, the opposition has failed to provide valid proof of the potential harm that coincides with marijuana usage. Regardless of one’s personal position on marijuana, legalization offers far more benefit than harm. Legalizing marijuana in the United States will help to reduce overcrowding in jails, provide a lucrative tax base, and allow for greater governmental control and regulation of the substance. Understanding the benefits of legalization provides a strong argument against those who oppose marijuana. Those in opposition base their position on moral, ethical, or misrepresented understanding of marijuana in and of itself. The legalization status of marijuana has led many to believe that it is a dangerous substance. Many people associate marijuana with other drugs such are heroin and cocaine; however marijuana does not carry the same type of dangers. Therefore, the excessive money, which goes into prevention, could be put to better use. Medical marijuana is used to aid for several ailments for sick patients, and has become legal in several states. The opposition to medicinal marijuana argues that it is dangerous and has failed to provide sufficient proof of its effectiveness. There are also arguments that the use of marijuana lead to harder drug usage, however there is no validation that supports such arguments. The excessive cost of preventing recreational and or medicinal marijuana could be better used for governmental improvements.
According to the Foundation for A Drug-Free World, “over 94 million people in the United States admitted to using marijuana at least one time in their life. This is a substantial number of individuals who feel the ‘potential harm’ is not a threatening consideration in making their decision. Now, let us examine why legalizing marijuana in the United States make sense” (Foundation, 2014). According to a study by the ACLU, “someone is arrested for marijuana related charges every 37 second in the United States. The ACLU further reports that these arrests and incarcerations resulting from them cost the United States $3,613,969,972 every year” (ACLU, 2014). This is a substantial amount of money being wasted on preventing the usage of a product that millions of people have used at some point in their life. This money could be better spent improving schools and providing for those in need. The prison system is now operated like a large corporation, which is being fed by marijuana laws. The prison could be better utilized by taking its space to house criminals who need to be off of the streets.
The ACLU further reports “that nearly 52% of all arrests are made for marijuana related charges” (ACLU, 2014). Overcrowded prisons are less likely to result in positive outcomes for inmates due to limited resources for rehabilitation. The prison system is forced to parole individuals much sooner than they should as a consequence of the overcrowding. Once someone has been incarcerated for marijuana charges, they are less likely to be able to find a job, making them more liable to become are revolving door syndrome that plagues our prison system. Now, let us examine another consideration in why Marijuana should be legalized in the United States.
The economic factors are very influential as well. “Nearly 2.2 million pounds of marijuana were produced in the United Stated in 2013” also, according to the ACLU. (ACLU, 2014). This poundage represents an important cash crop that has significant potential as a legitimate source of income, if it were legal. As we found earlier, marijuana is a crop that is produced in large quantities with an established market. All of the marijuana seized in drug raids was destroyed, resulting in lost potential income. The revenue that it could generate into the United States is significant. This could directly boost the economy that all businesses benefit from. This destroyed crop could have represented a substantial income if it were taxed. This tax revenue could be used to improve the infrastructure such as road and bridges. In addition, the taxes collected could be a saving grace for schools that are struggling financially. Finally, let us see how legalizing marijuana could resolve another issue.
Currently, marijuana is sold on the black market. Legalizing it, could allow for greater regulations and governmental control of the substance. If marijuana was legalized like any other commodity crop, the government could not only tax it, they would have a record of when and where the produce was being sold. Licensed shops could be established that complied with regulations, and that underwent regular inspections. Zoning regulations could be established, similar to alcohol licenses that restricted these activities to only certain areas of the community. This would help to keep these activities away from areas where they were not wanted. It can be kept away from school yards and religious institutions much like the alcohol zoning regulations. Individuals who oppose the use of marijuana are under no obligation to participate in the usage of it. It just provides the option for those who choose to use marijuana to do so legally.
Licensure would contribute to ensure that quality and safety standards were met. The license allows the government to maintain control over the purchasing and sales of marijuana. A license also provides another form by which revenue can be generating. The process of applying for legal permission to sell or possess marijuana will be similar to that of alcohol. If marijuana were legalized, standards for quality, potency, and safety could be regulated. This would help to ensure the integrity of the product for the consumer. The fear that has been wrongly instilled regarding its dangers can be squashed. Regulation would build confidence in the product. The government could oversee the product and make sure it was not adulterated with other dangerous substances. Much like the controls with alcohol content and where certain liquors can be sold. Now let us summarize the reasons why marijuana should be legalized in the United States.
Marijuana is a controlled substance that is responsible for prison overcrowding, and it costs the United States billions of dollars. There has been no proof that the detriments associated with marijuana usage exist. The arguments are based on the beliefs that have been adopted void of actual findings. Instead of spending billions of dollars to control it, legalizing would allow the United States to receive tax revenues from it. Destroying the millions of pounds of marijuana that are produced in the United States is tax dollars up in smoke. These taxes could fund infrastructure projects and schools. There are so many other uses that could benefit from the revenue that is generated through the legalization of marijuana. Instead, they are a burden on the taxpayer, with continual tax increases coming in every direction. Legalizing marijuana would allow the government to regulate its flow and to ensure that the product met quality standards. When one considers these three factors, legalizing marijuana makes just good sense. The threat that was once believed to exist with marijuana has long since been disproved, so, what is the hang up in the legalization process? Everyone should support the legalization of marijuana the next time it comes up on the voting ballot.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Marijuana arrests by the Numbers. Retrieved from //www.aclu.org/criminal-law-reform/marijuana-arrests-numbers
Foundation for A Drug-Free World. (2014). International Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/international-statistics.html
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