Legalization of marijuana



Legalization of Marijuana

In a day in time where alcohol and tobacco products, although restricted by age, are available to millions, one has to wonder why there is such controversy about the proposal to legalize marijuana. Of course, there are many arguments or both sides of this hotly debated issue. Nonetheless, marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and tobacco products and in some cases, marijuana has already proven to be medicinally helpful. Marijuana, a plant with many uses, should be legalized for crime deterrence, medicinal help and tax purposes.
Marijuana is, in truth, no more harmful than currently sold alcohol and tobacco products. In the U.S. each year, millions and millions of dollars are spent on health care issues stemming from the use of alcohol and tobacco drugs: Studies have indicated that the toxins in tobacco and that alcohol, perse, are addictive. Fighting addictions, added to the cost of fighting cancer, has skyrocketed the amount of money spent and the personal/ family angst suffered in this nation for decades. Studies do not, however, indicate that marijuana is a “gateway drug,” one that causes addiction (“Legalization Report,” Http://www.geocities.com/marinol.html). Perhaps the only reason that currently points to danger associated with marijuana has more to do with the fact that because it is not currently government regulated for the public use, marijuana does, occasionally, contain impurities that cause temporary nausea. Obviously, government control, perhaps under the FDA specifically, would guarantee a consistently pure product. Already, the FDA has that marijuana is helpful in treating nausea for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. In addition the FDA supports the research that shows marijuana’s medicinal potential in treating glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. Several studies have found that “smoking marijuana reduces intraocular pressure…the main [cause] of this disease” (“Legalization Report,” Http://www.geocities.com…Glaucoma). How can a drug that the FDA endorses for purposes of healing and prevention be harmful that the general population needs to be prohibited from its pleasurable effects?
Along with the medicinal purposes of marijuana, it will also help to reduce crime related offenses. Police enforcement will save billions of dollars a year. Because marijuana is illegal only criminals deal the drug and will at any point change the cost of their product. This causes anger and frustration among their clients, which often erupts into violence and theft. Law enforcement spends 9 billion dollars annually on cannabis arrests that would no longer be made. Because it is illegal, marijuana is often used today in “shady places” and allowing may well decrease the number of such meeting spots. The legalization of marijuana will also result in a decrease of jail population, which will save millions and will result in less violence that often occurs from overcrowded conditions.
Marijuana, just like alcohol and tobacco, could be taxed, the revenue of which would result in billions of dollars that could be spent in areas needing further funding. One pack of twenty joints could be sold the same amount as one pack of cigarettes, $3.50 a pack. From that per pack amount, one-fourth the total cost would go directly to the government (“Bud Smokers of America,” Http://www.geocities.com…economics.html). For the government to regulate and maintain affordable prices, it would tax the registered dealers but not growers. “This means the sale of unregistered homegrown weed would be banned.” However, “People could grow [their own cannabis] but only for personal use” (“Bud Smokers of America,” Http://www.geocities.com…economics.html). Another feasible way to limit abuse of the drug would be to “regulate consumers directly, [as] for instance, by issuing licenses to buy/sell/grow pot” (“Bud Smokers of America,” Http://www.geocities.com…economics.html). The government could impose a “harmful tax” of around $.50-1.00; such a tax on items is to help control the use, which would, in turn, lower the potential for abuse of a substance. These taxes alone would raise around $2.2-$6.4 billion a year. This tax is only one of several cumulative taxes that would be imposed to support the legalization of marijuana. Overall the government could potentially earn $24.2-$43 billion in just one year.
Marijuana has been proven to be a very safe drug that has many benefits that should be taking advantage of rather than being banned from today’s society. It has many uses, not only as medicine but to reduce crime rates, as a