Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana is a sensitive issue in America today.  The drug has been illegal since 1937 and has been used, abused, and sold illegally ever since.  It wasn't until California sanctioned medical marijuana in 1996 that efforts to legalize the drug started.  Today, sixteen states and Washington D.C acknowledge medical marijuana as useful and necessary treatment for disease and pain.  There are currently eighteen states with pending legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes: Illinois is one. 

With changing times, values, and beliefs comes changing laws.  It is possible that marijuana will be legal in our lifetime.  In this article i will show the top five reasons marijuana should be legalized.

5.  Prohibition has never worked. Take the alcohol prohibition in the 1920's, there was more crime and violence because the government opened the door for criminals to control a product people wanted.  The gangsters and the bootleggers killed over turf and alcohol sales which all could have been avoided if the government controlled the alcohol industry.  Because marijuana is illegal, people who choose to use it have to buy it from the black market.  If it was legalized and controlled by the government, they can take the control and power from drug cartels and dangerous dealers.

4.  If the government controlled marijuana, it would become harder for teens and kids to buy.  Just like with alcohol or tobacco there should be an age where you can legally purchase marijuana.  By creating special shops where you need to be eighteen or older to enter you can reduce the availability of the drug. 

3.   Marijuana is a good source of medicine for sick people.  Marijuana helps cancer patients who suffer from nausea and pain after treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.  It reduces pain for arthritis and other ailments.  It can be substituted for expensive and potentially dangerous drugs prescribed by doctors.  It is completely natural and has no dangerous side effects like prescription drugs.  There are even products that use the healing element of marijuana but does not produce a high. 

2.  Marijuana is non lethal but is treated like it is.  Comparing the deadliness of marijuana to tobacco or alcohol is like comparing apples and oranges.  Both tobacco and alcohol can have devastating effects on the human body over long term use.  Also, alcohol can make a person who normally wouldn't act crazy do something they will may deeply regret. 

1.  The government could make a lot of money from taxing marijuana and controlling it.  Lets face it, marijuana is used by about 25 million people in the U.S. according to Alternet.org.  That is a large percentage of the population and will continue to increase.  Marijuana could help to pull our nation out of the recession and the ridiculous debt it is in.  Also, criminalized marijuana is costly to law enforcement.  Law enforcement uses a lot of resources and man hours to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate marijuana crimes.  These resources can be used to crack down on dangerous drugs, violent offenders, and gangs. 




Sources:

Times, High. "The Top Ten Reasons Marijuana Should Be Legal." Home. 1 Sept. 2007. Web. 12 Apr. 2012. <http://www.alternet.org/drugs/60959/?page=2>.


7 comments:

  1. I completely disagree with legalizing marijuana. If you are arguing that some kinds of marijuana take away pain without giving the person a high, take some ibuprofen; that does the same thing. walking past someone or people who have smoked is one of the most disgusting things i have ever smelled. Anybody who wants the smell everywhere in the country is off their rocker. Another thing: nowadays marijuana is not the most sought after drug; cocaine and meth is now. So just by legalizing marijuana you're not going to "put a dent in cartels" when they wouldn't really take too much of a hit. This drug is ILLEGAL for a reason. If it is ever legalized do you honestly think that people aren't going to fight for other drugs to be legalized too? You are naive to think they won't. 9 out of 10 people who argue for marijuana to be legalized usually use it on a daily basis...

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  3. I completely disagree that legalizing marijuana would make it harder for teens and kids to get a hold of it. If marijuana is ever legalized (which I hope its not) drug dealers and cartels will still be around to offer the product at a cheaper price and accessible to anyone, regardless of age. You can count on one hand how many countries have completely legalized marijuana, but there are quite a few that have decriminalized the drug; however, the vast majority of countries have legislation which makes marijuana illegal. The myth that only the U.S. is strict on marijuana is a lie, considering almost every country in the world outlaws the drug. As Alan said, if you want to control pain, take an ibuprofen or have your doctor prescribe you some pain pills, I don't see how smoking a substance is any better than taking a couple prescriptions or over-the-counter medicines. If marijuana is legalized it will, in no doubt, turn into a domino effect where people fight for the legalization of other drugs such as opium, cocaine, etc.

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  4. I also completely agree with the legalization of marijuana. The main reason I disagree with legalizing it is deriving off of what Alan said. In society marijuana is already somewhat socially acceptable. If we legalize marijuana, what will be the next socially acceptable drug? The government has to draw the line somewhere. I also think that it is a HUGE joke to even think that legalizing marijuana would reduce the amount of underage kids smoking. How would making it readily available make it harder for kids to get? You said that marijuana is not lethal. Perhaps, some people may believe that smoking something and contaminating your lungs is healthy; however, I am not buying it. Also, if the drug is not unhealthy, what about the activities associated with drug dealings? I do not foresee or agree marijuana being legalized, there are simply too many variables that would be affected.

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  5. I completely agree with the legalization of marijuana. Alcohol is so much worse for your body and causes thousands and thousands of deaths each year. People don't overdose on marijuana, but people get alcohol poisoning and die all the time. Marijuana has very positive healing affects and helps cure many types of problems. It just makes no sense to me that we could allow alcohol to be legal and not marijuana. If anything in my mind alcohol should be illegal and weed should not. The government could make so much money off of it and possibly help to end our current economy troubles. I know many people will disagree with this, but I also know many people who feel the same way.

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  6. I think that it would be hard for the government to control the tax on marijuana. Anyone can grow it in their home for personal use or to sell without the government knowing about it. I don't think it would be the government that would be making money off of legalizing marijuana.

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