Decriminilization of marijuana Essay

This essay has a total of 1698 words and 9 pages.

decriminilization of marijuana

Decriminalization of Marijuana


Every year our government spends more than nineteen billion dollars to eradicate it's use

in the United States. About seventeen thousand people were arrested last year because of it. We

spend twenty thousand dollars a year per inmate to hold these jailbirds captive. Who are these

dangerous criminals you ask? Stoners.

One argument against the decriminalization of marijuana is why would we want to introduce
another intoxicant into our society when alcohol and cigarette smoking is already so
damaging? Marijuana is far less harmful to the body than cigarettes. Not to mention while
it may be potentially habit forming, it is not addictive. When comparing marijuana to
alcohol the differences are obvious. I would much rather be in an argument with guy that
has been smoking joints all night than some dude who has spent all night pounding shots of
tequila. Alcohol can alter a persons common sense. Despite this, our government trusts us
with the burden of drinking responsibly.

Over seventeen thousand arrests are made regarding cannabis a year. Almost ninety percent
of these arrests are for simple possession, not trafficking or sale. This is an
inappropriate use of valuable law enforcement resources that should be focused on more
serious and violent crimes. I don't know about you, but I would rather have a midnight
toker for a neighbor than a midnight stalker. The spending of government money needs to be
reevaluated. Our government needs to take a step back and admit they were mistaken to
think they could successfully discontinue the use of marijuana. "You cannot have illegal
what a significant segment of the population in any society is committed to doing. You
simply cannot arrest, prosecute, and punish such a large number of people, particularly in
a democracy" (Incardi 285). Ultimately it is not the role of the government to tell it's
adult citizens what risks to take. Bicycles kill ten thousand people a year and yet no one
is proposing to make them illegal.

There are benefits of legalizing marijuana, both for the government and society. One of
these is that the marijuana market could be government run. The black market would be
abolished, saving lives and redirecting the profits from the drug dealers' Escalade's new
rims to the bettering of our society. A close examination shows that the total annual
costs of the drug war will probably exceed fifty billion dollars. If decriminalized users
could obtain their marijuana at government regulated prices (Incardi 285). Money that the
government cultivated from the selling of marijuana, the money they saved from reducing
the war on drugs to hurtful drugs like cocaine and heroin, and the money saved from not
housing so many inmates every year is much needed.

We know that our criminal justice system can coerce problem drug users into meaningful and
productive sobriety, or, if necessary, can remove problem drug users from society for long
periods of time if they are violent or destructive to others. So why do we persist with
our failed drug policy, which imprisons weekend pot smokers? If someone is using or
abusing drugs, and is not a problem to anyone but themselves, we should educate them and
provide treatment on demand. If those people do pose a threat to society they will find a
way into the court system one way or another. This program has worked effectively with
alcohol abuse and could work just as effectively with marijuana abuse (Gray 229).

Sure, I can understand why the government might be a little hesitant to admit they have
been throwing our tax money at this cause for decades. So far all I have mentioned are
laws prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana, which is comparatively less beneficial
than the medicinal uses that would be available. The governments's senseless fear of
loosing any more control over the marijuana market unfairly deprives gravely sick people
who could be greatly benefited by the use of marijuana. The effects of this drug could
potentially help chemotherapy patients by stimulating their appetite and relieving serious
pain. Glaucoma is effectively treated with marijuana by reducing intraocular pressure,
which stems the pain. In some cases pot has been found to stop the advance of glaucoma
altogether. AIDS patients given marijuana show improved appetite and reduced vomiting.
Pain can also be relieved in multiple sclerosis patients. Epilepsy can be treated by
marijuana, use has been shown to reduce the severity of seizures. Marijuana can also help
insomniacs finally get some sleep. With all of this potential it seems illogical not to
allow these people to benefit from the effects of this plant, yet our government is not
willing to allow it (Marijuana).

I have known too many patients who have lived miserably or died painfully to have patience
with the Bush administration's intrusive attempts to bar them from discussing medical
marijuana with their doctors.

I've seen one too many old men spend their final hours nauseated and vomiting while their
distressed and helpless families watched. One too many women with cancer who linger,
bone-thin and languid, as their loved ones beg for ‘something' to make them feel better.

And I, like so many doctors, have witnessed the therapeutic relief that many such patients
experience after using marijuana. Their illnesses become less miserable, their difficult
deaths are made more tolerable.

And those reasons explain precisely why the federal government's relentless attempts to
bar patients from access to medical marijuana constitute both cruel and unusual crimes
against us all. They are wrong-headed and politically driven obsessions, not compassionate
advisements intended to relieve human suffering.

As a patient, when I'm feeling ill, I don't want John Ashcroft's opinion about the best
medical treatment for my condition. When someone I love visits a medical clinic because
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