Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Legalization of Marijuana

More by this author
I am writing about a more controversial topic, but one I feel should be addressed, and more people should be aware of. I am talking of the benefits of the legalization of marijuana. There are many reasons that marijuana should become legal, which could ultimately benefit the economy and society as a whole.

It is common knowledge that gasoline, cigarettes, and many other products have a tax on them that is issued by the government. There could an equally high tax on marijuana that could bring in profits for the government as well. However this is not the only way the government could profit by the legalization of marijuana.
I would first like to draw a comparison to the alcohol prohibition that took place in the US from 1920 to 1933. This idea, and whole period of time have been generally reviewed by most people as an awful mistake and total disaster. A main reason for this was that although it banned the selling of alcohol, it did not enforce this law very well. This helped create very influential gangsters, like Al Capone, and financed them to be able to get away with whatever they wanted. During this period, corruption, smuggling and crime rates in general.
In many ways, marijuana being illegal is similar to Prohibition. There is a law against marijuana that is not fully enforced; and the dealing of marijuana in part helps finance many gangs. However, if marijuana was legalized, most people would be buying it legally, not through these gangs. If this source of profit was taken away, many gangs would have less power, or in some cases cease to exist; and gang violence rates would significantly drop, much as they did after the re-legalization of alcohol. And benefits of legalization don’t even stop there.
If marijuana was legalized, police could spend time on more valuable issues. A main component of this would be what I have already discussed, with gang violence decreasing, however that would not be the only way. Police forces would be able to completely shift their focus off of marijuana dealers and possession, and be able to spend more time on other issues, like catching murderers, arsonists, bombers, etc. And not only would legalization help the government, it would have an impact on the economy as well.
I (as a fourteen year old who does not have extensive knowledge of the economy) have no way of knowing how potentially large a marijuana industry could be, but it would definitely be big. Based on the size of the marijuana industry in California, which is only for medical marijuana, and the size of the cigarette industries, it would be very large, and create lots of jobs. Maybe not the best jobs, but during our current economic recession, new jobs are desperately needed. I would like to go back to the comparison to Prohibition for a second too. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected with the promise to the end the depression we had been facing by using a combination of policies called the New Deal which in part said that the economy could recover if steps were taken to reduce the black market, a major part of which was re-legalizing alcohol. This helped, in some way, to pull our country out of the Great Depression, so I feel we can assume it could help with our present economic issues as well.
A main reason against the legalization of marijuana is its health problems. I am not at all denying that marijuana is unhealthy, and can cause a variety of health issues, as it certainly can. However, I am saying other very unhealthy things such as tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and fast food; which are all legal, are not any better or worse for a person.

So far I have been mainly talking about the complete legalization of marijuana, which is a dream I do wish to see come true. I do, however, realize that this would take time and we should smaller steps to reach this goal. One important way to do this is to consider the legalization of medical marijuana. Medical marijuana, as an industry can be helpful, if steps are taken to prevent the, in my opinion, disastrous way things have played out in California, where very few people seem to making a profit. But, on the other hand; as most people now know, Arizona will try to legalize medical marijuana this coming election, and I think they are doing a great thing, which could benefit many people, and that many other states could also consider putting this measure on their ballots this November.
But medical marijuana too is not only an economic reason. The main reason for the legalization of medical marijuana is to help with the debilitating pain that many AIDS, cancer and other serious or terminal diseases can cause. These people are in serious pain, and marijuana can help with that, as well as help them sleep, or give them an appetite. It is wrong that they are persecuted or arrested for trying to relieve their pain, as they have to suffer through so much already. Medical marijuana is also an ethical issue which should be legal in more places than it is.
I am sure there are many other reasons that marijuana (medical or not) would help people which I have not addressed, or that have even been thought of. I do hope though, that after reading the few I have provided, it has become more clear that this is an issue that should be dealt with.

Join the Discussion

This article has 15 comments. Post your own!

Katiesetsfires said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 3:50 pm:
Honestly, I think it should just be legalized. People will continue to use it, illegally or not. 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
arharrison said...
Aug. 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm:
The goverment might as well just legalize weed. no matter how much money they put out by trying to stop it people are going to keep using it more and more. all it is doing wasting money and putting more men and women in jail for a few months.There is so many better things the police could be doing then looking for a pot plant.
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
MCRlover2011 said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm:
I agree. The goverment would save so much money if they didnt' have to keep ppl charged with possion of weed in prision and it can help ppl medically. Also it's been proven that alcohol is equal to or more harmful than weed. So i pass make it legal!!!
MCRlover2011 replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 9:35 pm :
...idk what i was trying to say on that last line sorry!!! lol
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
EmilyC. said...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 11:36 pm:

Saying that legalizing marijuana would lead to every other worse drug being legalized is untrue. That is called Unwarranted Extrapolation and it is a basic propoganda technique; and you know what, for that matter, who cares if all those drugs were legal? Yes, initially there would be a spike in their use, but the rate would soon even out to lower rates of usage because part of the appeal of illicit drugs is the idea of them being illicit! It also takes away the romanticized... (more »)

Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Aidan R. said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 8:01 am:

First, the bit about making more money for the government should probably be left out. The taxes you mentioned are exorbitant as it is; I'd rather by my weed duty free.

Second, the idea of "medical marijuana" is absurd in its present form.  The chemicals in marijuana that have any medicinal value should be extracted and used in pill form to be most effective.

Tonnie6 replied...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm :
First off, when I meant taxes, I meant back before Bud was considered illegal. People would grow hemp and instead of paying money, they paid it with hemp.
Aidan Ryan replied...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm :
ok, fair enough
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Scasmee said...
Jun. 15, 2010 at 8:45 am:

Hello Fiona:

In my opinion there are several issues you need to consider before marijuana is legalized: 

1st: Marijuana is not the same as tobacco and/or alcohol. Marijuana is a narcotic = worse.

2nd: If you take away drugs from gangs, they will eventually find something else to sell, like... people. The problem is not the material they sell, but the organization they have. Gangs are like weeds, you can take the upper part (marijuana) but they will eventually grow ag... (more »)

Seabosking05 replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 11:28 am :
You say because marijuana is a narcotic it is worse but it has been proven that alcohol is worse so for all the people who judge people for smoking weed and then turn around and chug a beer they need to stop because they are the ignorant ones
Scasmee replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 12:25 pm :

Ok I never judged people who smoke weed... Don't try to missinterpretate my words.

And as you said is alcohol is bad and it is legalized... what would happen with marijuana?



Seabosking05 replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm :
my comment was not targeted to say that you are judging but you do state that because marijuana is a narcotic it is worse than alchol which is not true. challenging me on topics like marijuana is not smart. the fact of the matter is that if you studied up on marijuana it would be clear that alochol has worse affects which marijuana do not have. it is not a bad substance therefor the legalization would be good  for everyone. And it is proven by almost every scientist who has done a non-bias ... (more »)
Seabosking05 replied...
Jun. 22, 2010 at 7:01 pm :

these comments are only targeted at issues 1 and 2. also again i am not accusing you of judging anyone


Tomboy replied...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 12:38 pm :
seabosking, do you know anybody who smokes pot?  i havent but its pretty obvious that it makes you stupid.  now i have no doubt that it can help you but im pretty sure that they can find something better then weed.  yes i think gangs would go down but they probably would find a new thing to sell so gangs would still be around
Seabosking05 replied...
Jun. 25, 2010 at 12:26 pm :
I do know people who smoke i personally do not. THe people that i do know who smoke are not stupid at all. I am not trying to tell people to smoke weed i just am tired of people bashing it and saying that because it is classified as a drug by the government it is worse than alcohol.
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Site Feedback