The Devil´s Weed: Marijuana Essay

The Devil´s Weed: Marijuana Essay

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Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Despite it being illegal, the market size is estimated at huge numbers. Across the globe, countries have begun legalizing marijuana. Most notably, in the United States two states have recently legalized recreational marijuana usage. An analysis on the research of the marijuana market proves that the legalization of marijuana would create many positive externalities for society as a whole. Legalizing marijuana would allow our government to regulate and make use of the industry to gain financial profits that could be used for other places. In addition, the economy would benefit from the new entry of job opportunities and “spin-off” industries associated with the drug’s legalization as well. Additional positive externalities would be the elimination of unnecessary regulating and legal systems based on prohibition.
Marijuana, also known as “the devil’s weed” is thought to be equally as dangerous as cocaine or heroin. However, despite the dangers related with it, marijuana has been consumed for over 10,000 years. It had originally been used in China, Europe and Africa for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Marijuana then spread to the New World where it became a primary cash crop grown just like tobacco and cotton. In the early 1900’s it was America’s youth’s drug of choice until its ban in the 1930’s . Marijuana became an illegal Schedule I drug under federal law, charted next to harder and more addictive drugs by the United State’s Drug Enforcement Agency. However, over the past few years, 20 of our 50 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. In addition, Washington D.C. and Colorado have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. And so, ...

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...s technically illegal, but in certain situations consumption is allowed. Amsterdam is famous for their coffee shops where they can sell up 5 grams of marijuana, generating tons of revenue. Against modern-day rumors, Amsterdam has a lower crime rate than any major U.S. city.
Currently, the U.S. is dealing with conflicting beliefs towards recreation marijuana use. Two states have legalized marijuana and regulate it the same as alcohol, while the rest of the country sees possession as a “misdemeanor”. In theory, the economics seem to be heavily in favor of legalizing marijuana. Yet, the reality of marijuana being legalized in the short term across the country seems unlikely due to the awareness the country has towards recreational marijuana usage. Yet, in the long run, one must continue to recognize that the benefits from legalizing marijuana far outweigh the costs.

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