Marijuana Should Be Legalized And Regulated

2068 words - 9 pages

Should U.S Federal Government legalize marijuana and let the States choose their own path? A progressive thinker and realist would say yes. Cannabis possession and use, both recreational and medical, need to be legalized by Federal Government. It has to allow the States to decide whether they want it or not. Much of the modern marijuana problem happened after it was prohibited in 1937. Before that date, a few people used marijuana for recreation. Federal Government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug, which means that it has no medical uses and high risks of abuse. Many researches have been done about marijuana, and they show many medical benefits and very few, if any, dangers. States of Washington and Colorado have legalized possession and recreational use of cannabis; all the same, the business operators are restricted and under constant danger that Federal agents will crack down on them. In a truly free society substances such as marijuana should not be illegal. The prohibition of alcohol had shown that it is impossible to change people’s habits, so instead of fighting it, it is better to profit from it. The prohibition of marijuana was a mistake based on racism and politics, cannabis also has widespread use in America and the country can greatly benefit by legalizing it; therefore, U.S Federal Government needs to legalize growing, possession and use of marijuana.
Marijuana is widely used drug in America. 3.5 million U.S citizens reported smoking marijuana daily, 5 million reported smoking the drug once a month, and more than 100 million have tried it at least once in their lives (Holland 2). Scope of marijuana production and use is immense. Even though Federal Government ruthlessly fights marijuana production, it has increased tenfold from 2.2 million pounds in 1981 to 22 million pounds in 2006. (Holland 3). The revenues generated by sales of cannabis is illegal; thus, the distribution and sales are done by gangs and criminal organization throughout the U.S. Profits proceed from cannabis sales is often the main source of income for many of these gangs. The marijuana prohibition is helping gangs grow and become stronger financially as the prohibition on alcohol did to Mafia. It was small, weak and decentralized organization before 1920; however, after the prohibition, it grew exponentially and made Al Capone and Lucky Luciano household names. Gangs like Norteños and Crips get a huge chunk of their profit from marijuana distribution. Also, Mexican drug cartels make 60% of their profits from marijuana trafficking. (“It’s Not the Marijuana…”) The authorities spend the tremendous amount of taxpayers’ money to fight these criminal organizations, stop distribution of marijuana and arrest people on possession charges. In 2012, 749,825 people were arrested for marijuana law violation. 658,231 or 88 percent of those people were arrested for possession only. In comparison, in 2012 1.55 million people were arrested on nonviolent drug charges (“Drug...

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