Legalizing Marijuana

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Are there advantages to legalizing marijuana in America? The issue of legalizing marijuana has long been a topic of discussion among state and federal government officials. Individuals on both sides of the argument vocalize great points for and against legalization. However, looking at the facts it would be very difficult to make a sound argument against the legalization of marijuana. Medical marijuana in California alone is estimated to be a 14 billion dollar a year industry generating millions of dollars in taxes for local and state government (Lacter 2011). With legalization there will be fewer individuals incarcerated for marijuana possession freeing up tax dollars and law enforcement resources otherwise wasted on this issue. It is clear that legalizing marijuana would help the American economy by creating a new tax revenue, reducing prison populations, and freeing up law enforcement resources. The war on drugs has been a never ending battle that started long before it was called the war on drugs. This battle against marijuana is rooted in the passing of the Volstead act that banned alcohol and other drugs. States began to prohibit the possession and sale of marijuana to prevent drug users from switching to marijuana after the act was passed. In 1932 the government fully regulated but did not ban marijuana when congress passed the Uniform Narcotic Drug Act (“UNDA”). From 1932 to 1960 additional laws were set in place to further regulate marijuana. In the 1970’s congress completely outlawed marijuana and claimed it had no medical use. (Cole 560). Outlawing marijuana made possession of this substance a crime and punishable by a fine or prison time. Millions of individuals are incarcerated each year for marijuana possession. Thi... ... middle of paper ... ...and Alexander C.1 Wagenaar. "Effects Of State Medical Marijuana Laws On Adolescent Marijuana Use." American Journal Of Public Health 103.8 (2013): 1500-1506. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 16 Nov. 2013. BEDNAR, JOSEPH, "Grass Roots Effort." Businesswest 30.9 (2013): 6-62. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 16 Nov. 2013. Cole, Michael A. "Functional Preemption: An Explanation Of How State Medicinal Marijuana Laws Can Coexist With The Controlled Substances Act." Journal Of Medicine & Law 16.3 (2012): 557-579. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 16 Nov. 2013. Lacter, Mark. "Joint Venture." Los Angeles Magazine 56.4 (2011): 102-105. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 16 Nov. 2013. "Marijuana Legalization." White House. United States Government Office of National Drug Control Policy. n. d. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

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