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Should Marijuana Be Legal ?
The legalization of Marijuana is a highly heated and controversial issue in America today. Data shows that over 55% of Americans believe marijuana should continue to be illegal and the remaining 45% believe the pot‘s legal status should be altered. But why? Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption of the drug simply haven’t worked. It has simply just places a burden on tax payer’s money and has been a wasteful usage of police enforcement. The prohibition of weed is also a direct infringement of our personal liberties, President Abraham Lincoln once stated that, “…Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes…” Marijuana prohibition laws strikes a fatal blow at the very ideologies and principles of freedom upon which our republic was founded and to the very civil liberties which government was set up to defend.
So why is the basic liberty of deliberately using cannabis to alter one’s state of mind illegal in our nation? Because of the misconceptions of the drug and plain old ignorance.
3 Main reasons Pot hasn’t been legalized yet
1. It is perceived as addictive and dangerous
The perception is that people get try marijuana and then they get hooked and become "potheads," and they suffer physical and mental injuries or even death and marijuana begins to dominate their lives. Both of these assumptions are false most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally. A small minority of Americans, less than 1 percent, smoke marijuana on a daily basis. An even smaller minority develop a dependence on marijuana. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty! Furthermore, there is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage, mental illness or death in either teenagers or adults. In fact, in marijuana’s long history there has NEVER been a reported death because of smoking it.
2. It is linked with stereotypical lifestyles.
Marijuana is often thought of as a drug for hippies, low lives and trash at the bottom of the social pyramid due to Hollywood’s brainwashing and the conservative, bureaucratic mass media. The truth is that some of societies most successful and prominent people have smoked it. From Barack Obama to actors, musicians and athletes like Michael Phelps. And your every day Joe, who comes home after a hard day’s work to smoke a joint and relieve some stress.
3. Inertia is a powerful force in public policy.
If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been banned for a long time, however, then the ban no matter how ill-conceived it might be tends to go unenforced long before it is actually taken off the books.
If people’s perception of marijuana changed and congress passed a bill the legalized pot, the 2 million people in the U.S. that are arrested for drug related offenses, including using or selling marijuana could be set free. If these prisoners were able to enter a regulated, safe and taxed pot industry this would mean a significant boost to the nation’s economy. If it was legalized tax money spent on police enforcement would stop growing down the drain and the black market would eventually be wiped out creating a safer less corrupt environment.
Let's look in detail at different positive ramifications that the legalization of pot could have. Assuming there'd be authoritarian regulation similar to that for alcohol and cigarettes, including age limits, licensing, quality control, high taxes and limits on advertising.
If pot was to be legalized the US could be savings up to $2 billion to $10 billion of tax payer money on law enforcement like the FBI, police, courts and prisons. Based on a wide variety of estimates up to $40 billion if all pot was to be legalized, based on enforcement costs from the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy. If
pot was given a legal status, police enforcement labor would not be wasted trying to catch a few high school students who made the erroneous decision of smoking pot. It could be used more effectively to catch hostile people who truly cause harm to the system like prosecuting child molesters and scheme artist.
Violence on the streets
The US government spends about ninety billion of dollars per year for the war on drugs. The mafia earns somewhere the same amount from selling drugs. Legalization of pot could change this situation for the better. By legalizing drugs the government will take away a "fat piece" of mafia's income and thus reduce crime and gang related felonies on the streets. Furthermore, Legalization of drugs should reduce terrorism in the world and corruption. After legalization, the government, instead of criminals would regulate pot and it would become even safer.
If pot was to be legalized a new legal drug industry would create jobs, farm crops, retail outlets and a tiny gross domestic product as the black market money turned clean. Productivity would prodigiously increase as fewer people were murdered, drug offenders were freed to find work and those stripped of their criminal record found it easier to get jobs (including running drug boutiques). 100,000 jobs and 60,000 retailers could emerge from a legal marijuana industry! Such high influx of new corporations and legal transactions of money would bring in vast amounts of wealth. Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer in economics for Harvard University, calculates the $10 billion-plus U.S. marijuana market could collect $6 billion in annual taxes.
In conclusion, Marijuana should be legalized for three reasons. First, it’s our right and we are free to do so. In this greatly advanced nation all individuals should be sovereign over their own lives and no one should be forced to sacrifice his or her values and freedoms as humans .It is a necessity that government respect individual rights, as it is an essential precondition for a free and prosperous nation. Government ought to defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest. We should be able to ingest any substance we desire without interference from government or any authoritarian power. Second , it’s not hazardous to health. Data has shown that people perception of pot is incorrect; pot is not as detrimental to health as some believe. In fact it is less harmful than some other legal substances like liquor and tobacco And Third; it’s beneficial to society to certain degree. Legalizing weed would enable entrepreneurs to create business models that would create countless jobs and bring in billions of dollars in taxes that can be used for towards schools and research. It would also wipe out organized crime and violence amongst gangs and cartels. In addition, legalizing pot would increased trade with marijuana producing nations and this would help to stabilize their struggling third world economies. This would also help to curve illegal immigration to the states from major marijuana producing nations like Mexico by creating a new Mexican industry fresh with new jobs.
Marijuana legalization offers a glimpse of hope into this slowly degrading economy, and a symbolic deed from government protecting the civil liberties of its people.