Marijuana Marijuana was used as an herbal remedy for hundreds of years in China, and Asia. In the sass, the newly founded Federal Bureau of Narcotics launched an unscientific campaign that claimed the use of marijuana provoked Insanity, homicidal tendencies, and uncontrollable sexual desires. Their bias campaign worked, and by 1937 the U. S. Government outlawed its use. (Sorts).
By looking deeper into the subject one can see the true effects this drug has had on society, and the possible benefits that can be reaped if it is legalized.
Through the decentralization of marijuana, societies can reap the benefits of an improved economy, a reduction in violence, and better health for many. The legalization of marijuana would have a positive effect from an economic standpoint. The taxation and regulation of the drug Is Just one way It can benefit society financially. Me all know there is a market for marijuana, but right now the profits are all going to drug cartels or underground," said Brian Vincent.
The opportunity Is there. But the nation as a whole needs to take advantage of It.
According to the Wall Street Journal, if marijuana could be taxed nationwide the exult could be billions of dollars in tax revenue. Oakland, California is one city taking advantage of this new source of Income, and was able to raise SSL .
4 million from only a few dispensaries in 2011 alone (Cooper). It is clear that the economy of the U. S. Is in bad shape.
In fact the United States is roughly sixteen and a half trillion dollars in debt...
(US national debt calculator). In these hard times. Every financial opportunity should be taken advantage of. But where would all this tax money go? This general fund revenue all goes into the melting pot," said David Mcpherson, Oakland tax administrator. Oregano's new law, known as the Cannabis Tax Act, would devote 90% of marijuana profits to their states general fund (Wyatt).
California is not the only state in need of extra income. For many struggling states, every little bit helps, and this extra Income could be the difference between laying Off police officer or shutting off street lights. Records show that tax revenues are only on the rise in states that legalizes the medical use of marijuana.
Washington State, which has just recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana, projected that legal pot could produce nearly $2 billion in tax dollars over a five year period (Wyatt). According to Kristin Wyatt there are currently 17 states that collect pot taxes in violation of the federal law.
These states have only had positive outcomes from their decision to go legal. Marijuana Is currently the most widely used illegal substance in the U. S. (McKay). Costs the government millions in criminal Justice expenses (Sorts).
Border patrol is just one costly aspect of enforcing marijuana laws.
John McKay from the Vancouver Sun states, "l have spent much of my legal career fighting crime, often in an admittedly futile effort to suppress the gang activity stemming from the cross border marijuana trade". Illegal or not, users will continue t
get a steady supply of pot in spite of law enforcements tireless efforts. Some teens even say it is easier to get their hands on marijuana than alcohol. Law enforcement simply cannot intercept anywhere near enough marijuana to suppress the underground market. When a bust is made they are only creating an opportunity for new players to enter the game (McKay).
A large number of inmates in prison are incarcerated due to marijuana related crimes. Through decentralization of marijuana, overflowing prisons can see some relief, and tax dollars can be put to better use on more important issues. Oregon, a state that currently allows the medical use of marijuana, projects a savings of 2. 4 million in incarceration costs if recreational use is legalized (Sorts). A staggering 750,000 arrests are made every year for the possession of marijuana in the U.
S. George Alabamian of the Baltimore Sun states, of a million arrests have gotten society nowhere".
With this representing 40% of all arrests in the U. S, the load on law enforcement and prisons could be drastically cut through decentralization (Sorts). Violence is yet another negative problem stemming from the prohibition of marijuana. Its' profits have made possible organized crime that cannot be stopped by law enforcement.
Dangerous drug cartels compete for their place in the drug market, and use ruthless violence to do so (Cooper). They view the people that work for them a disposable, and many who work for these cartels die due to the large risk they take to smuggle the drugs.
Others are killed by rival gangs trying to eliminate their competition. Every time marijuana is purchased on the black market, profits go toward fueling this violence. The violence emanating from the crystallization of marijuana is far more dangerous than the drug itself.
While drug trafficking can never be eradicated, legalizing marijuana will eliminate a large part of the cartels market, and they would quickly lose their competitive advantage (Sorts). Sixty years of crystallization have not reduced marijuana's use so why should it be criminality for another sixty?
Alcohol prohibition exploded the number of federal crimes by eightfold in the U. S from 1914 to 1930 (Lieberman). "Like that of alcohol the criminal prohibition of marijuana is a dismal and destructive failure", said John McKay of the Vancouver sun.
Widespread availability of the drug exists because of violent drug cartels that reap lions of dollars in revenue. History has been known to repeat its self, and when one looks at the failure of alcohol prohibition, and the benefits that came with its abolishment, it becomes clear that this also applies to marijuana today.
Once alcohol prohibition was done away with, the crime rates dropped dramatically. If marijuana is legalized it will lose its social taboo as did alcohol and drug cartels will lose their edge like the moonshine's of the sass and sass lost theirs.
Of marijuana alcohol sales have gone down an average of 5% (Stuyvesant). People are simply trading in their Patron for pot. Marijuana's effects include calmness and relaxation which is a far cry from the aggressive tendencies that alcohol can provoke
(beer muscles). Not to mention the weight issues that accompanies alcohol consumption.
In fact Kirk Johnson from the New York Times stated "proponents of marijuana have argued for years that the drug is safer than alcohol, both to individuals and society.
" States that legalized the use of medical marijuana actually had a decrease in the number of fatal automobile accidents in their communities (Stuyvesant). On average these states saw a 9% decrease due to young adults hosing pot as a recreational drug over alcohol. If legalized nationwide, marijuana could prove to be an alternative to alcohol, and make for safer roads.
Troops returning from combat often suffer from symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PETS). Many of these veterans turn to marijuana after conventional medicine fails them (Steve Fox). American Medical Association suggested that prescription medications for PETS are no more effective than placebos.
Marijuana however has been shown to alleviate symptoms of PETS. Many people who suffer from the affliction experience symptoms of anxiety, migraines, and depression and end numerous petitions to health officials stating their complaints (Sanchez).
Sadly, the federal government will not allow research that can prove the effectiveness of marijuana (Fox). In comparison to other drugs marijuana is relatively harmless. Nobody has ever died from using the drug (Lieberman). Although pot is classified by the U.
S government as a class 1 drug, which is considered the most dangerous, it's addictive potential and health risks pale in comparison with other banned drugs such as heroin and cocaine (McKay). In fact, health experts see alcohol and tobacco as being more dangerous than marijuana (McKay).
According to the Huff Post teens that drink alcohol are likely to have reduced brain tissue health, yet marijuana had no effect on the brains health in an 18 month study. Although another study showed that marijuana contains four times as much tar than cigarettes there is a way around this. The drug can be eaten instead of smoked. Another current problem is that pot can be laced with other detrimental drugs when it is sold on the underground market, but if it were legalized it could be regulated by the government and this issue could be eliminated.
After weighing out the facts it is clear that marijuana does not merit being illegal.
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