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Thoughts on Marijuana

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Since 1937, buying, selling, growing, and smoking marijuana in the United States has been illegal (Rich). Since that time, the question of whether the drug should be legal or illegal has constantly been debated. Would more harm than good result if marijuana became a legal intoxicant in America?

The economy could certainly benefit if marijuana became legal in the United States. With the government scrambling to find new sources of revenue, this idea of helping the government and the nation as a whole nearly blocks out the downsides to legalizing the drug. The War of Drugs is a costly one (Wright). Government spending on this 'war' is in the billions each yeah, while the government could be making money off of the intoxicant (Legalizing Marijuana). If people feely choose to put themselves the dangers that could possibly occur but are unlikely, then why should the government stop them, and why not make a profit off of it. There is no harm in that.

Is it right for the government to control some intoxicants but not others? One may argue that the government's role is to protect the citizens of that country from harm including harmful substances, but like alcohol or tobacco, in moderation marijuana is not a harmful substance (Rich). Just like marijuana, alcohol is potentially addictive and can lead one to self-abuse, or even the abuse of others. Marijuana can be harmful to one's health, but it does not bring about the atrocities of lung cancer that is often associated with cigarettes (Rich). These regulated intoxicants are permitted in the United States; marijuana should be in their same category. For the purpose of consistency within the government, if the federal government is so concerned with self-abuse among its citizens, it would also be fair to say that diets for obese people should be controlled? (Ford). Free will is also an issue; the government cannot take that away if it does not involve hurting another person. Directly, marijuana use does not (Ford). Marijuana should be on the same level as alcohol and cigarettes, because it is most like those drugs.

For the purpose of the government's debt, and the right on men and women in America, marijuana should be classified as a legal, regulated intoxicant. It is clear that marijuana is potentially a harmful substance when used in excess just like any other legal intoxicant, but at one's own risk. This being the case, if people know the dangers then legalizing marijuana would be beneficial to the whole of America.





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Dan H. said...
Apr. 1, 2009 at 9:24 pm
Finally someone with some common sense on the subject! To be honest, I'm surprised Teen Ink let this essay on. I'm glad they did
 
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