The Legalization of Marijuana
Many years ago the average person did not think of marijuana as a harmful drug, but as a useful substance. The fiber of hemp is used for medicine, paper, fuel, and food. George Washington, the first President of the Unites States of America, even encouraged people to sow the Indian hemp seed everywhere. Marijuana was not prohibited in the United States until 1937 when Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. Today, many American citizens want this law removed. After so many years of medical use why do we look down on marijuana? People should realize all of the good that marijuana does.
When people smoke marijuana at home it causes no injury. The user is just enjoying a minor pleasure over which the government should have no jurisdiction. Limiting the use of marijuana through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 betrays personal freedom. People do not usually become physically dependent or addicted to marijuana. People can only become mentally addicted to marijuana. People use marijuana like many other people use alcohol- to relax and indulge in a festive mood. How can a mild intoxicant, used less than once a day by most users, be seen as a public threat?
The legalization of marijuana could have a huge impact on our economy. Just take a look at how much legalizing alcohol again paid off. Last year, the industry generated over $91 billion in wages and over 3.9 million jobs for United States workers. In 2008, alcohol contributed to $40 billion to state and local revenues. It has been estimated that the legalization of marijuana could take away as much as $10 million dollars from dealers and cartels. At the same time, decriminalizing the use of marijuana could reduce the number of resources that states and municipalities are forced to spend on enforcement and incarcerations.
In contrast, many people argue that the use of marijuana should remain illegal. Some say that marijuana contains many known toxins and cancer causing chemicals, which are stored in fat cells and remain there for long periods of time. Scientific research relates marijuana use to damaged brain cells and respiratory systems, decreased hormone production in both males
and females, acute memory loss, lowered immune systems, and decreased motor skills. THC and marijuana smoke have both been directly related to miscarriage and still birth. Some government officials say that marijuana is definitely not something they want to put their stamp of approval on.
Marijuana is the most commonly abused drug in the Unites States of America and also around the world. Those who oppose legalizing marijuana say that the ones who support it fail to recognize the greatest costs of marijuana are not due to prohibition, but to the use of marijuana itself. They also say that if the United States were to legalize marijuana, the number of users would increase. The increase in users would be both large and rapid with subsequent increases in addiction. Drug-impaired driving would also increase if marijuana was legal. Marijuana is already a significant casual factor in highway crashes, injuries, and deaths.
Despite the fact that the legalization of the drug is highly questionable, several benefits will emerge from the legalization of marijuana. Farming of marijuana can yield income and provide income for people working in processing industries. The drug is vital as a medicine. It cures mental disorders, acts as a sedative and enhances the quality of sleep to those with sleeping disorders. Lastly, the drug will benefit the government if legalized in that it earns the government tax and the money used in the fight against the drug will be beneficial to other significant projects. Since there are many benefits associated with the drug, is enough pressure mounted supporting its legalization?