Marijuana Legalization Argumentative Essay
Growing up, everyone is told that, “Drugs are bad for you,” time and time again. Now as a kid you don’t really understand the reasoning behind it, but you listen to your authority figure regardless. I remember being told this my entire life and even to this very day. But as I got older I realized that people would still use drugs even though it’s illegal. I could never understand why someone would go against the law and jeopardize their life just to use drugs? The drug that I am talking about is marijuana, and surprisingly it is all around us. Marijuana is even referred to in today’s media Mainstream media sources that people enjoy, like music, movies, and TV shows, do not even bother to leave the drug out of their system.
personal experience with the drug
Now being a young adult and having my own personal experience with the drug and knowing its effects on others, I wonder why it’s not legal. Why is it that this drug has become illegal all over the world? The debate to legalize marijuana in the United States of America has been fought over nonstop since the existence of the drug and its effects. Marijuana has been tested and proven to provide a very positive impact on American society for many reasons. Some of these reasons are for America’s economy, health and even crime. These reasons could very well help America thrive in the future and that is why Marijuana should be legalized in the United States of America.
This naturally found plant known as marijuana is recognized all around the world. This plant is known to be a drug that gives users a “high” and is illegal in almost every location of the world. Some places are very strict when it comes to enforcing that law while others are very lenient. Today more and more people are deciding to side with pro-marijuana legalization for America. People that never gave marijuana legalization a thought or were heavily against it are now starting to believe legalization would prove helpful for the United States of America.
Benefits of Marijuana
There are many reasons why many people support marijuana legalization and one of those reasons is the benefit of marijuana being a medicinal drug. Some states in America have already legalized the use of marijuana for medical use only, while many have not. Other countries like Canada have already allowed medical marijuana use. (“17 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Medical Marijuana – ProCon.org.” 17 Sept. 2012.)
The fact that states and other nations have allowed the use of marijuana for an important aspect like medicine should make the drug legal. Especially since it has caused no problems being used that way. Marijuana as medicine can relieve pain for its users along with other benefits. It is also beneficial to the everyday person for relief of migraines, OCD’s, ADHD, ADD, and even prevention of Alzheimer’s. The drug also has no proven or tested medical drawbacks (“10 Major Health Benefits of Marijuana.” COED. 2. Sept. 2010.) Unlike other drugs like sleep aids, painkillers, alcohol, and cigarettes, marijuana is not addictive. Of course, the argument could be made that it is, but off of what information? There is no factual evidence that proves that marijuana is addictive but simply used as pleasure.
People that are anti-marijuana legalization will say that it is unhealthy and bad for you. But all of these assumptions are made based on opinion on the drug and its bad image people get from it. Also, people against the legalization of marijuana quickly attack the topic of medical use of marijuana and instead state it is unhealthy for the body. Another claim is the fact that people would abuse the drug and cause harm to the body.
Marijuana has never been proven to cause any harm to the body and there is not a single recorded death of an overdose on marijuana. But just like everything else you do it must be done in moderation like sweets, food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. The reason why there isn’t that much solid information against legalization is that it is already legal medically and many studies and tests have been done already. With that said there is no need to go back and test things on marijuana that have already been tested.
Another belief that pro-marijuana legalization protestors have is the thoughts of economic relief. The topic of economic relief from marijuana legalization has been brought up countless times, and really only by the pro side. The reason why the pro supporters bring up the economic relief topic is that it is true. No one expects that America will recover economically by becoming a “pot nation” but it will help to bring America out of the hole it is in a legalizing marijuana would in no way hurt the American economy at all. Regulation of the drug will bring money into the state and ultimately the nation. Right now medical marijuana in California brings in 14 billion dollars a year and with legalization. It is expected to rise by 4 Billion dollars and that’s only California! With the rise of income, there will also be cuts on government spending.
Every single year America spends around 68 Billion dollars on prisoners in jail where 1/6 of the population were incarcerated due to nonviolent drug crimes related to marijuana. That means America could save 11.5 Billion dollars a year on prison spending with your tax money (Wolff, Madeline. “Legalizing Marijuana Can Reduce Crime, Increase Revenue For State.” Daily Sundial.) The topic on prisons will come up again as well but that’s for later. People that support the cause feel that legalizing marijuana would help bring America out of its economic struggle. The government can regulate the drug in the states by taxing the drug and distributing it for consumption. Marijuana is legalized, would become a product for anyone to purchase to the guidelines that the government or state sets and regulates.
Legalizing marijuana is also believed to reduce the crime rate in America and free up resources. Think about what I said above. About 1/6 of the population in prisons were incarcerated due directly to marijuana charges. You take away the federal law that states marijuana is illegal and you have less crime. Instead of having many crimes due to drug possession and smuggling people will be able to simply purchase it legally. This would keep more space in prisons for real crimes and prisoners and going back to the economy, it would save the taxpayers money. That is the direct effect of legalization but there’s much more.
It would also relieve stress on the police and courts that deal with marijuana cases. Going to the police, if officers won’t have to worry about marijuana possession then it would give more time and focus to cops to enforce other and more serious laws. A con statement would argue that marijuana would bring in another problem where marijuana legalization would increase the crime rate of use of much more serious drugs (“Legalization Will Reduce Crime, Free Up Police Resources.” 20. Apr. 2010.) Marijuana has been nailed with the “gateway drug” label for a long time now. It is true that many people start off using marijuana but what makes it irrelevant is that the other factors aren’t observed.
Marijuana is an easily accessed drug thus being more abundant and commonly used first. By legalizing marijuana it would not change that fact and people that want to go to that next step and use much more serious drugs can. It will still be illegal so nothing has really changed. There are marijuana possession arrests every single day in abundance all across the nation and without that, you relieve the police department. All the suspects of marijuana possession all end up in court and again without it, you have freed up the courts where it can trial other suspects. Again people against marijuana legalization will say court resources will drop due to crime rates rising is completely false and has no evidence to even support that.
If you have been paying attention to this debate for some time or just heard of it you would know that marijuana has been decriminalized for recreational use in Colorado and Washington. On November 7, 2012 Amendment 64 was passed making it legal for the people of Washington and Colorado to smoke marijuana for recreational use. (Ferner, Matt. “Amendment 64 Passes Colorado Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Nov. 2012.)
This also allows people to carry marijuana on them within the borders of Colorado and Washington (Washington, New York (CNNMoney) — Voters in, and Colorado Passed Ballot Initiatives Tuesday to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use. “Colorado, Washington Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 07 Nov. 2012.) This ultimately affects many people in the United States even if they do not live in those states. People that live in neighboring states could simply hop the border and smoke marijuana and it would be completely legal.
This potentially brings in tourism to these two states or the “New Amsterdam” just because they allow marijuana use. That means that legalizing marijuana nationwide would bring tourism to all of America and again help the economy. The fact that two states in America have legalized the use of marijuana when it is still against Federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act should put an end to this old law (Curry, Colleen. “Will Pot Laws in Colorado and Washington Make Them a New Amsterdam?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 14 Nov. 2012.)
The reason I say this is because when people go back to their own state they can be arrested, fired from their job, etc. for marijuana use if found in their system. Why allow two states in America go against the federal law and have the other 48 stuck in that system. This clearly goes against the con side, as it is a slight victory in the push for marijuana legalization. It is not nationwide but very well should be since it has been legalized in two states. There is nothing anyone can say against the fact that the idea
It is time to put the Federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act to rest. There are very clear points that prove legalizing marijuana would only help the United States of America. I say that with complete confidence because of the medical capabilities, economic relief, crime reduction, free resources and the fact that it has been decriminalized in a couple of states. All of these points are related to each other and directly impact the United States in a positive way. The pro-marijuana legalization is backed with many facts that make it a better option while the “nay-sayers” are driven by a false assumption that marijuana is a terrible drug that only causes problems. People need to open their eyes and stop being ignorant about the fact that marijuana being legal would help the United States in dire need of help.
Too many people still look down on the drug simply due to its false reputation. Most of the people against it have never once looked into the benefits it holds and may never will. No one is telling you to use marijuana as well, but the choice should be free for anyone to choose. We all seek pleasure in our life every day and everyone has his or her own way to achieve that. For some, that source of pleasure is marijuana and all they want is to gain that pleasure as others do. I say let the potheads smoke their “spliff” in peace because all they want to do is enjoy life and it harms no one.
Never in my life have I heard of a problem caused by marijuana and that is because it has never happened. The push for marijuana use is simply a chain of dominos about to be hit. In the near future, America will legalize marijuana use for its people and America will be put right back on their high horse (pun intended) once again.
Ferner, Matt. “Amendment 64 Passes Colorado Legalizes Marijuana For Recreational Use.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Nov. 2012.
Washington, New York (CNNMoney) — “Colorado, Washington Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use.” CNNMoney. Cable News Network, 07 Nov. 2012.
Curry, Colleen. “Will Pot Laws in Colorado and Washington Make Them a New Amsterdam?” ABC News. ABC News Network, 14 Nov. 2012
“Legalization Will Reduce Crime, Free Up Police Resources.” 20. Apr. 2010.
Wolff, Madeline. “Legalizing Marijuana Can Reduce Crime, Increase Revenue For State.” Daily Sundial.
“10 Major Health Benefits of Marijuana.” COED. 2. Sept. 2010.
“17 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC – Medical Marijuana – ProCon.org.” 17 Sept. 2012.
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