Marijuana also known as cannabis sativa has been falsely criticized since the beginning of the century. The fact is that the legalization of marijuana can have positive effects. Marijuana has been proven to be less likely to create crime, it can be used as a medicine, and isnt any more harmful than most other legal substances on the market. Its hard to understand why it is illegal. Legalizing marijuana would reduce the numbers in our prisons, help the countrys Ill citizens, and make money for the government by taxing the plant.
There is no feasible way to completely abolish drug use in the United States. As with Prohibition of Alcohol in the earlier part of this century, the fight against drugs has backfired. The United States is spending billions of dollars a year to fight a war, which over the last 60 years, has shown that it cannot be won. So lets use a little reverse psychology on the subject. What would happen if marijuana or other illegal drugs were legalized (Rosenthal, 133)?
First, the billions of dollars that the government is spending trying to abolish illegal drugs would be put to better use and the government would be able to tax the new drugs just as they do alcohol and tobacco. These monies could then be spent to provide better education on the affects of drugs and drug abuse, better healthcare, and research on medical uses of drugs such as marijuana. Also, the government would be able to regulate the quality of products on the market, resulting in fewer deaths caused by overdosing and by junk drugs (Grinspoon, Lester, 167).
Second, with government regulation, including sale and distribution, the big drug dealers would no longer be in control. The drugs would be made affordable or free to those who are addicted, thus decreasing crimes such as petty theft. The streets would be much safer to walk on, because the crack dealer on the corner would no longer be pushing drugs to young children. Since the drug dealers would no longer have areas of distribution (turf), there would be a decline in gang war crimes such as murder and accidental shootings(Matthews, Patrick, 205).
Third, if legalized, hemp and marijuana crops could take the place of part, or all, of the small farmers regular crops. They are both good rotational crops that need little tending, and it has been shown that they replace nutrients back into the soil that are lost in the growth of normal crops such as wheat and corn. This would bring in additional revenue to the farmers, keeping them in business, and provide even more tax revenue to the government (Rosenthal, Ed, 97). Also, a new retail market would emerge since hemp can be manufactured into clothing, paper products, oils, and fuels, and marijuana has medicinal purposes. It is often prescribed to AIDS, cancer and glaucoma patients. If the plant were legal, people wouldnt have to sneak behind the governments back just to smoke it. If it relieves their pain, why cant people take advantage of it? How can the government hold this plant back based on false research and propaganda? ? Legalizing this plant would free this medicine. That effect can greatly help society. Glaucoma patients rely heavily on marijuana as it eases their pain and helps blood flow to the eyes. Marijuana is one of the better medicines recommended to Glaucoma patients. If it has been proven to be effective, why isnt it fully available to the people?
As Adam Smith said, the market is regulated by an invisible hand this statement is as true with an illegal market product as with a legal market product (Rosenthal, Ed, 138). As was seen with the Prohibition, just because it was illegal to drink doesnt mean that it didnt happen. The black market for alcohol in the 1920s was just as big as the black market for drugs is now. Theres a saying We always want what we cant have; when something is prohibited more people flock to it because it is taboo (Zimmer, Lynn, 34). Once the Prohibition was over alcohol consumption was down and crime went down. If all it took was the legalization of alcohol, then why wouldnt the legalization of drugs do the same thing? As outlined above if drugs are legalized and regulated by the government there are more benefits than pitfalls.
Marijuana has been proven to be less likely to create crime, in some cases can be used as a medicine, and its legalization can be used to tax the people. The effects of its legalization would help society. No more sneaking behind the governments back to smoke this plant. No more locking up innocent, good, hard-working people. Everyone should be able to live in peace. Peace too many would be decriminalizing this plant. Hopefully well all see the day when marijuana is legalized.