The legalization of marijuana

The legalization of marijuana is a controversial issue that has been fought for and against for several decades. Marijuana is defined as a preparation made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis plant, which is usually smoked or eaten to induce euphoria and to heal and soothe (dictionary.com). In the 1930s, the American media spread numerous false stories that marijuana was an extremely dangerous drug and therefore marijuana and hemp were effectively banned in 1938. It is apparent that the ban on marijuana in the United States is unnecessary due to the fact that the crime would be reduced, its results are proved to be better than those of prescribed drugs and taxes on other products would be reduced.
1. As we know there are many people in the world that sell and/or grow marijuana. Under the Drug Act this is illegal and fines and even prison time can occur. Why is it everyday professional athletes and other famous people in the media get away with murder but if anyone else has any amount of marijuana in their possession they get jail time? If marijuana was legalized it would decrease the crime rate and would eliminate many problems with adolescents.
“Alcohol, which is advertised on television and sold in supermarkets, is responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths annually, including those caused by drunk drivers. But the use of all illegal drugs combined – cocaine, heroin, marijuana, angel dust, LSD, et cetera – accounted for only 3,403 deaths in 1987 which is only 1 percent of those caused by alcohol. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, however, there are no deaths that can be unequivocally attributed to marijuana use. And unlike alcohol use, a frequent factor like child abuse, marijuana does not predispose its users to violence” (War on Drugs 25).
This quote proves that the use of marijuana doesn’t directly cause deaths. Death may be caused while under the influence of marijuana however, it is also under the influence of another drug or alcohol.
Today all marijuana is purchased illegally and the government has no control over the way it is used. If it were legalized the government could control the selling and growing of it, which in turn would rid of many of the problems we hear about on the news or read in the newspaper. Not only would it abolish the need for dealers, but it would also eliminate the need for concealment due to the fact that it would no longer be against the law to purchase it. With the government having control over the selling of weed it would also control who purchases marijuana, similar to the purchasing of tobacco. Parents could worry less about their teenagers purchasing marijuana under age as well as preventing teenagers from getting involved with dealers. Unlike cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, marijuana is not addictive (War on Drugs 25). Like cigarettes one is unable to purchase them until one is eighteen years of age; however, many teenagers still find ways of getting them on their own. This is the same for marijuana. If a teenager wants to purchase marijuana then they will find ways to get. People would no longer be arrested for carrying marijuana on them; therefore, decreasing the amount of drug trafficking in Canada. By eliminating the crime caused by marijuana selling and smoking, it could also decrease the amount of other crimes that are associated with the drug culture. With the government’s control over the marijuana they could also put taxes on each bag.
We as tax payers are always looking for other ways to decrease the amount of taxes that we have to pay. This year alone the government has increased the price of tobacco as well as the amount of hydroelectricity we pay for our houses. If we look at how much money was consumed last year form the selling of illegal marijuana we can see that it would raise our country’s profits significantly. Each year almost 7 billion dollars is made through the exporting of marijuana. Since the government would be controlling the buying and selling of it, it could charge a hefty amount in taxes. For the pot-smoker that wouldn’t necessarily be for the best, but for the other tax payers the tax on other products would reduce significantly. The taxes on such items like other prescribed and over- the-counter drugs would be reduced.
Medical uses of marijuana for the relief of nausea in cancer and AIDS patients and the stimulation of appetite have been proven to have better affects than those of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. The oil and fibers of the cannabis plant have many uses such as making rope, cloth, paper, and fuel. Aloe Vera is defined as “the mucilaginous juice or gel obtained from the leaves of this plant, widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations for its soothing and healing properties” (dictionary.com). Note that both Marijuana and Aloe Vera are used for medicinal use yet aloe vera is legal and marijuana isn’t. Why is it?
Many people oppose the legalization of marijuana as they consider it a drug, one that will open the doors to other harsher more serious drugs. Although this may be true only a person that abuses drugs will allow themselves to fall into a hole. Many people don’t look at marijuana as a plant that has many healing powers but as a drug that causes damage. Legalization advocates deny that the amount of drug use would be affected. People believe that drug use would soar because of the availability. My best friend, Alana, and I have been smoking pot for several years now. Yet, she moved on to more drugs, she tried new things. She tried coke. I was very displeased with her choice but I stated my feelings to her about her using such a drug. I am not sure whether she is addicted to it but she knows that I don’t like her doing it and knows that I am not going to lecture her on her using it anymore. For me, I am just fine with smoking marijuana, for her, on the other hand, she isn’t satisfied.
It is a common misconception that marijuana is a gateway drug and leads to other more harsher drugs. I know from personal experiences that it doesn’t necessarily lead to more harsh drugs. Like I have mentioned previously, I have been smoking pot for a few years now and have had no desire whatsoever to try any other drug. As far as it being more readily available, yes it is; however, people would smoke more pot but it doesn’t necessarily mean more people are going to smoke pot.
It is apparent that the ban on marijuana in the United States is unnecessary due to the fact that the crime would be reduced, its results are proved to be better than those of prescribed drugs and taxes on other products would be reduced. The government and the rest of society haven’t looked at the benefits that marijuana has. Ignorant people only look at it as a dangerous drug. Medically, marijuana improves those who use it. As far as the government selling it, the crime rate would reduce and so would taxes. Marijuana’s ban in the United States is strictly unnecessary.
Works Cited
Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Dictionary.com. 2003. 21 Oct. 2003
http://dictionary.reference.com/
Jones, David. War on Drugs; Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc, 1990.