Introduction in the United States. By nature, marijuana
The debate on whether marijuana should be legalized in the United States of America has formed one of the most controversial matters to be discussed in the United States (Ruschmann 15).
This has led to two groups being formed concerning this issue, whereby there are the anti-legalization and pro-legalization groups of marijuana in the United States. By nature, marijuana is a form of drug, which is obtained from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Marijuana just like cigarettes, it is consumed through smoking though there are other ways through which it could also be consumed.
Marijuana is normally consumed for various reasons, some of which include, body stimulation, stress suppression, increase of appetite and medicinal values among other reasons. Nevertheless, the government of the United States together with other related stakeholders has for a long time argued on the legalization of the drug in the country. This paper will analyze why marijuana should be legalized in the United States of America by looking at various reasons to support this argument.
Why Marijuana should be legalized in America
There are several reasons to support the legalization of marijuana in America, some of which include the following:
In each country, the citizens of the country have the right to freedom. This is to mean that they should be left to choose on whether to use or not use marijuana, but not to be forced by the government on either choice.
Just like the way alcohol and tobacco have been legalized but with certain restrictions, the same case should apply to marijuana. The government should only put specific restriction regarding the use of marijuana such as those concerning the age limit, place of consumption and places of sale among other reasons, which will regulate the consumption of marijuana.
Secondly, the cost of keeping and sustaining most laws by the government of any country are normally high in most of the cases. Therefore, if at all the government of the United States is to prohibit the use of marijuana in the country, it should be ready to cater for the high costs that come in hand with this law.
This is because in addition to the money spent on the anti-marijuana campaigns the government will have to bear the court costs to be incurred on the people who violate the law. Therefore, instead of the government having to spend so much money on this law, it should legalize marijuana and have the money used in other sectors such as healthcare and education (Ruschmann 57).
Just like other commodities in the market, marijuana is taxed and the revenue collected from the sale of marijuana forms part of the government’s income. Therefore, instead of prohibiting marijuana, the government of the United States of America should legalize marijuana in order to increase its revenue collection.
With this revenue, the government could use this money on developmental projects in the country as well as help in economy improvement. In fact, the government should consider the option of imposing heavy taxes on it. This will have a two-fold benefit of reducing the number of marijuana users while at the same time increasing the revenue collected from the sale of marijuana.
On the other hand, the government should also put into consideration that the marijuana smokers are also taxpayers and by putting them to jail through their prohibitive law on marijuana means that they no longer pay the taxes, hence a loss on the government’s side (Turnlund 5).
In addition to this, those imprisoned because of use of marijuana leave behind families consisting of either husbands or wives and children. In most cases, the families become desperate sometimes forcing the children to be accommodated in foster homes. This heavy burden is then placed on the government to take acre of such children hence spending a lot of money on these programmes. In case, the victim children are not supported some of them turn out to be criminals thus increasing the crime rate in the country.
This can be supported by the fact that the rate of crime in regions where marijuana has been legalized such as Amsterdam is lower than in the United States of America, which has not legalized marijuana. As such, it would be better if the government would legalize marijuana in order to prevent these social problems.
Additionally, the prohibition of marijuana leads to the problem of overcrowding in prisons. This is evidenced in the 1991, whereby 42, 209 people in the United Kingdom were convicted of charges on marijuana. This not only affects the prisons as the courts are clogged with people being charged and hearings being made on each day. In the end, the court officials and prison warders are overburdened hence leading to inefficiency in their productivity (Turnlund 6).
In fact, before prohibiting the use of marijuana, the government of the United States of America should look at the medical benefits of this drug. Actually, marijuana is therapeutically safer when compared to tobacco, alcohol, and other across the counter prescriptions (Goldstein 118). For instance, excessive smoking of marijuana will only put the smoker to deep sleep while excessive drinking of alcohol would lead to unstable mind and in extreme cases, it may lead to unconsciousness or even death.
According to Grinspoon, “The only well confirmed negative effect of marijuana is caused by the smoke, which contains three times more tars and five times more carbon monoxide than tobacco. But even the heaviest marijuana smokers rarely use as much as an average tobacco smoker” (Goldstein 119). This depicts how less harmful marijuana is when compared to other drugs that have been legalized by most governments including that of the United States of America.
Marijuana has also been known to have several medical benefits such as relieving nausea mostly experienced by cancer patients after they have undergone sessions of chemotherapy. AIDS patients are also prescribed to use marijuana in order to increase their appetite, which is normally low given their condition. Finally yet importantly, patients of glaucoma have effectively used marijuana since it perfectly works to minimize the pressure on the eye.
From these medical benefits listed above, it is clear that marijuana is of significant help in the medical world, without which most of the patients would end-up suffering. Therefore, as the government and other stakeholders of the United States of America campaign against the use of marijuana, they should consider the cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, and sclerosis patients whose survival is partly based on marijuana.
Other benefits of marijuana include the oil that is normally extracted from the marijuana seeds. This oil could be used as fuel within the country, or exported to other regions of the world, hence earning foreign exchange income to the government of the United States of America.
The fiber from the marijuana plant has gained a high value because of its strength and durability hence used in the manufacture of clothes, ropes, and used in the paper industry. With all these benefits in mind, the government of the United States ought to reconsider their argument on legalization of marijuana. This is because, despite the fact that the aforementioned are secondary uses of the marijuana plant, once marijuana is prohibited they will be also affected since the plant will not be grown in large scale.
Prohibition of marijuana would greatly affect the affiliate companies in the marijuana industry such as the research and paper industries among others. The paper industry, which produces the papers to be used in rolling the marijuana to be smoked, will be adversely affected since it will not have a ready market for its products. The same will be on the case of the research industries such as DuPont.
From the above discussion, it is clear that prohibition of marijuana is expensive when compared to its legalization. Therefore, instead of prohibiting marijuana, the government of the United States should make it legal since prohibiting does not benefit the country in any way. As such, the government should regulate the consumption of marijuana by putting in place stringent measures reading its uptake.
Finally yet importantly, the government of the United States of America should facilitate the development of educative programs on drugs as well as treatment or rehabilitation centers for those who have become addicted. This will ensure that those who decide to use marijuana will have done it out of their own will, knowing all the consequences if any.
Goldstein, Margaret. Legalizing Drugs: Crime Stopper or Social Risk? Tesla: Twenty-
First Century Books, 2010. Print.
Ruschmann, Paul. Legalizing Marijuana. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2003. Print.
Turnlund, Erica. Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana. Munich: GRIN Verlag, 2011. Print.