Marijuana Should Be Legalized | Teen Ink

Marijuana Should Be Legalized

May 30, 2022
By Anonymous

Marijuana is a 1.53 billion dollar industry, yet 500,000 people go to jail each year because of the stringent laws. Marijuana is illegal in most states, even though 56% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legal. You may be wondering why so many people want to legalize a drug that can be dangerous. 

The first reason why I think marijuana should be legalized is that people's lives get ruined by just owning the mild drug. Owning just 10g can send you to jail or give you a criminal record, and once you have a criminal record, it is hard to get a job, get higher education and get a bank loan. The effects of getting caught with the drug are a lot worse than the effects of the drug. Due to the economic damage getting a criminal record can do to you. And just decriminalizing the drug won't work because there will still be significant fines on the drug, which will still cause economic damage to the people who use the drug.

Legalizing the drug would also stop many organized crimes, vastly shrink the black market, and decrease the number of people killed due to drug-related violence. When alcohol was made illegal in 1920, there was a massive market for it because of how easy it was to make and how widespread alcohol was, and when it was legalized in 1935, a large portion of the black market fell apart. Marijuana wouldn't work any differently because it's like alcohol, easy to grow, and not that harmful. The government could also control the drug and make sure people aren't taking too much or giving the drug to people under 18.

I also think the government should legalize marijuana because the government would make a lot of money off the high tax on marijuana. Since it was legalized in Illinois, the government has made over 800,000 dollars a year. Marijuana is easy to make, so it is impossible to stop people from selling it entirely, and if people are going to be using it, the government might as well tax it. And if other states are like Illinois, the money made off the tax won't go to something like the military but instead go to helping people and families affected by the "drug war." This will give people a second chance and remove their criminal records. It is already too late, and too many families have been affected by the "drug war." No amount of money can help them.

On the other hand, marijuana can affect your ability to drive. Even though people against the legalization of marijuana have made a big deal about this, there has been much difference within the states that have legalized marijuana. Also, alcohol is far more dangerous to drivers. The police could also get breathalyzers for marijuana which are expensive. The government will make far more money from the high tax on the drug. People against the legalization of marijuana may also say marijuana could become more of a "gateway drug," which is a drug that you start with. Still, you slowly get into more dangerous drugs. This is currently a big problem, but if the drug is legalized, I don't think this would be as big a problem if the drug were legalized because then marijuana would be like cigarettes, not good for you. Still, you aren't going to go from cigarettes to cocaine. People also may say marijuana is terrible for your health and can cause mental and physical damage. It has been proven that people who smoke marijuana daily are less likely to graduate. I believe that this is true, but the study wasn't fair because people who smoke marijuana in high school already must have other issues out of school. Also, marijuana is nowhere near as addictive as cigarettes and causes minor damage. Alcohol is also more dangerous to the people around you.

The pros of legalizing marijuana massively outweigh the cons, and almost every argument against marijuana can be undermined. Legalizing marijuana would help people who have suffered from the drug war's strict rules and make the government a lot of money. Overly harsh drug laws will ruin many fewer lives, and legalizing the drug would also eliminate organized crime. Though marijuana can affect your diving, there hasn't been an increase in marijuana-related car accidents in states where marijuana has been legalized. Marijuana also has some adverse effects on your health, but it is still illegal even though it is less addictive or dangerous than other legal drugs. These are the reasons why I believe marijuana should be legal.

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