Legalizing Drugs For Recreational Use

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Recreational drug use can be traced back to the earliest known humans. The practice is pervasive, problematic and rife with moral and religious opposition. In this country, we need only to look back less than 100 years to see the earliest incantation of this debate. Prohibition: “The Noble Experiment” was instituted from 1920 to 1933. A moral high road, which was believed at the time, would cure all of society’s ills. Economically, it was believed that the taxpayers would benefit by less incarcerations, better mental and physical health and a more productive workforce. I would like to assert that in the context of “drugs”, I am speaking only about marijuana. Legalization of harder substances such as heroin, in my opinion, would not be practical due to their deadly toxicity.

Evidence of current taxes on cigarettes provides the basis for the economic benefits of marijuana legalization. For example, the state of Texas recently raised it tax on cigarettes to $1 per pack. This resulted in net revenue of over 1.5 BILLION dollars. That is quite a chunk of change in today’s economic climate. The parallel here is that; the packaging, distribution and sale of marijuana cigarettes-much like tobacco, could generate considerable revenue.

Many studies have concluded that the carcinogens present in cigarettes far exceed that of marijuana. So, from a health standpoint- marijuana is less harmful than already-legal cigarettes. Furthermore, to dictate or infringe upon individual choice is an infringement on personal freedom.

“It is not worthwhile for a law to forbid people from willingly exposing their own bodies to harm by using drugs, any more than by overeating or bungee-jumping. Obesity is a national epidemic, killing millions ev...

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...bh. "Pros and Cons of Legalizing Marijuana." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. .

Dubner, Stephen J. "What Prohibition Can Teach Us About Marijuana Legalization -- and Other Tales From Last Call Author Daniel Okrent - NYTimes.com." Opinion - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com. 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. .

Dubner, Stephen J. "On the Legalization -- or Not -- of Marijuana - NYTimes.com." Opinion - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com. 30 Oct. 2007. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. .
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