Puff, Puff, Pass the Legalization of Marijuana
Many people crave the moment where they can just sit down, relax, and enjoy some free time. They could perhaps take a nice walk in a park, or possibly sit down and enjoy a movie on T.V. However, a large sum of people nationwide chooses to participate in a certain recreational activity to find their relaxation: smoking Marijuana. In fact, “Washington and Colorado are the first to allow adults to use the drug for recreational purposes” (Legalizing Marijuana, par 1). Unfortunately for half of our nation’s population, the use of the plant, Cannabis, was deemed illegal. “Before 1937, marijuana was freely bought, sold, grown, and smoked in the United States. Since that time, all of these activities have been illegal, but many groups and individuals have fought to decriminalize marijuana” (Rich, par 1). I find this preposterous! I believe that the federal government should look at what the people want, and pass the law making Marijuana legal, but of course having regulations to go along with it. Not only shall it please the people of the United States, but our economy could greatly benefit from legalizing Cannabis and it is an aid towards medical treatment. It would be to our nation’s best interest to have legislation legalize marijuana at not only the state level, but as a national level as well.
People ask, “What good does legalizing Marijuana do? It is a drug for a reason.” Well, I, along with numerous others question, “What are those reasons? What good does keeping it illegal do?” One reason to legalize the “drug” is that it can save/earn the United States of America a great deal of money. “Nationwide, law enforcement officials made 1.5 million drug arrests in 2011, more than 40 percent of them for marijuana possession,” (Legalizing Marijuana, par 5). Think of all of the money injected into law enforcement to keep weed off of the streets. A study by a man named Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer at Harvard University, shows that an average of $8.7 billion is spent of law enforcement every year (Sledge, par 1). That is a large sum of money that could be spent on more resourceful causes such as public educational programs who definitely are in need of help. Economists have signed a petition in regards of people taking count of Miron’s findings. It also suggests that $7.7 billion could be saved if marijuana was legalized because the government would not have to spend money to enforce prohibition. Along with that $7.7 billion, the United States could earn around $6 billion a year on the taxing of pot similar to the taxes on products such as cigarettes and alcohol. (Sledge, par 3). Washington, who last November voted for the legalization of marijuana, recently dismissed 220 cases related to the use of pot (Sledge, par 8). Already, the state is proving to be an example of how money can be saved due to lack of prosecution towards cases related to pot.
Another example of how it would behoove the government to...