Since its prohibition, the question of marijuana legalization has been on the minds of legislators and marijuana supporters. There are several impassioned arguments on both sides, and the matter is highly controversial. Some argue that marijuana is an unethical narcotic that leads to a life of crime, while others argue that it has medical benefits and that its prohibition increases crime. The legalization of marijuana will be supported in this paper, as marijuana does not definitively create detrimental consequences and can significantly reduce law enforcement expenses.
The first time marijuana was prohibited was in 1937, when the Marijuana Transfer Tax Act was passed. Since then, marijuana has been prohibited, and the sale or purchase of cannabis is punishable by a large fine and maybe imprisonment. However, a burgeoning legalization movement has made progress in advocating for legalization, with California taking the first step in making the sale of marijuana for therapeutic purposes lawful. Numerous other nations, like the Netherlands, Peru, and Spain, have legalized marijuana under limited situations.
There are numerous opponents to the legalization of marijuana, including the claim that marijuana serves as a gateway drug to stronger narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Others believe that the signs of marijuana use (sluggishness, delayed response time) make it far too easy for people to put themselves in danger, particularly while driving. In addition, there are a number of people who believe that marijuana is hazardous and addictive, just like any other substance. They view the sale and consumption of marijuana as criminal acts, for which the perpetrators must be punished.
Contrariwise, legalization of marijuana can actually reduce crime rather than increase it. Due to marijuana’s illegal status, the only way to obtain it is through criminal activity by drug traffickers who frequently smuggle it into the country and have other markets and criminal activities in addition to marijuana smuggling. Because of this, generally well-adjusted people who desire to smoke marijuana frequently turn to criminality. If marijuana were legalized, there would be a safe and legal way for individuals who desire it to obtain it. It would result in fewer cases of desperate individuals stealing and associating with the wrong people, which could lead to violence and death, in order to obtain marijuana. (Soros 2010)
In addition to being non-addictive and non-toxic to the body, marijuana can also give medical benefits, which is another argument for its legalization. Medical marijuana is utilized for a variety of aches and pains, as well as glaucoma and other ailments. There are also studies demonstrating that marijuana improves the health and well-being of persons with HIV and AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. (Fogarty et al. 2007) Furthermore, there are no definitive studies demonstrating any health risks associated with marijuana usage, providing it is consumed in moderation (as with any other drug). Since it is not hazardous, its purchase and usage should not be prohibited.
The fourth reason is that marijuana legalization would greatly lower law enforcement expenditures and improve the efficiency of the justice system. There is already congestion in jails, and it has been demonstrated that persons who are imprisoned for lighter sentences are more likely to commit more violent crimes after release. The prison culture forces people to be violent in order to fit in, and as a result, these violent tendencies can persist in the future. People whose sole crime was purchasing, selling, or consuming marijuana would not be sent to prison and would remain useful members of society if marijuana was legalized.
In addition, law enforcement agents might use their time and resources more effectively pursuing violent criminals and those who actively do harm, rather than pursuing marijuana users and marketers. The cost to the public would be significantly reduced if they were not paying for more individuals to be incarcerated. (Soros 2010) There would be legal channels for resolving conflicts between supplier and purchaser, and the FDA could monitor marijuana’s quality to assure its safety.
On the basis of the data and reasoning offered in this article, marijuana should be legalized as a drug. The only reasons why marijuana is still illegal are superstition and rivalry from big tobacco lobbyists, who fear that an increase in marijuana use would significantly reduce their revenues. The legalization of marijuana would provide medical assistance to individuals who require it, save enormous government funds on law enforcement and incarceration costs, and prevent those who simply desire marijuana from engaging in criminal activity. Despite allegations to the contrary, marijuana use has no negative effects; therefore, there is no logical justification to keep it illegal. Numerous problems with the criminal system and the economy could be resolved if marijuana were prohibited.
Medical marijuana has no documented addictive or harmful effects on the body; therefore, it should be authorized to decrease unlawful sales.
The use of marijuana for medical purposes is permitted in California and other nations across the world.
Contradictory beliefs — Marijuana has unanticipated addictive and damaging effects, and it may be a gateway drug to heavier substances.
Reason No. 1 – Crime Reduction
Reason 2 – Medicinal Uses
Reduce law enforcement expenditures
Recommendation – Legalizing medical marijuana
Restate Argument – would minimize law enforcement costs and crime; is non-toxic to the human body
S. Kippax, et al. “Marijuana as therapy for people living with HIV/AIDS: Social and health
aspects.” AIDS Care 19.2 (2007): 295-301. Academic Search Alumni Edition. EBSCO. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.
Soros, George. “Why I Support Legal Marijuana.” Wall Street Journal – Eastern Edition 26 Oct.
2010: A17. Academic Search Alumni Edition. EBSCO. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.