With all of the complex issues facing the nation today, it seems as if the legalization of marijuana is being set on the back burner of legislation. There are so many opinions, sides, and overall arguments for and against it that many vote seeking politicians and policy makers have put up a strong resistance to this issue. In this paper I will illustrate the reasons why I think marijuana should indeed be legalized and also the arguments from people who disagree and feel that it should stay an illegal drug.
Marijuana has been around for centuries. It comes from the species of plant Cannabis Sativa, and is used for things other that its renowned drug form, such as rope, clothing, medicines, and oils. Other common names for it include weed, pot, grass, reefer, and bud. The drug was actually not outlawed in the United States until the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which made the possession and sale of the plant illegal. A large part of the original fear and misrepresentation was due to ethnic and racial concerns of the southwestern U.S. Large immigrant populations moved into the area and introduced pot as a recreational drug, similar to the use of alcohol or tobacco. The xenophobic reaction caused the initial rejection of the drug and led to its outlaw in 1937. Since that time, government and society’s ignorance have kept the drug illegal.
In a nutshell, there are many substantial reasons why the use of marijuana should be made a legal drug. Some of the reasons I will be discussing to support my argument are crime reduction, government benefits, medicinal benefits, lack of evidence to support harm, and constitutional rights. First and foremost is the issue of one’s constitutional right. Even if a drug is shown to be harmful, isn’t it the right of the individual to choose what harms him or her? Tobacco and alcohol are perfect examples of people consuming harmful products regardless of its harm to them. Also, weed has been for the most part classified as a “victimless” crime. This means that only the user is being harmed in the use of this drug. With this in mind, you can’t legislate the morality of a society when the society itself disagrees on what is actually considered moral.
If pot was made a legal drug it would also greatly affect the crime rates in the U.S. Legal prohibition does not stop consumers from purchasing or using illegal drugs. By instituting a system of regulations on the drug, as with alcohol or prescription drugs, illegal drug prices would fall, leading to lower prices of the drug, therefore related crimes such as theft would be reduced. Illegal drugs are higher in price because of the inherent risk involved in production and distribution of them, which gives them a “black market status”. When people develop drug addictions (although pot has not been shown to be addictive) or habits they will do anything to get money to support their lifestyles. Many times people will resort to robbery or theft to account for...