Marijuana is the fifth most addicting drug in the United States (Henningfield). An even more shocking fact is that two states, Washington and Colorado, have made it legal for recreational use. Just like alcohol. Marijuana used to be legal, up until 1937 when it became illegal with the Marijuana Tax Act. It was only in March 2011 that medical marijuana was legalized in Washington, Colorado, and Alaska because of sick people who had a variety of sick diseases ("Legal History of Cannabis in the United States").
Just imagine it: a country where the smartphone market makes less money than a plant. Colorado did the bright idea and legalized it; same with Washington. “In 2013, 52% thought that marijuana should be legalized with 45% opposed” Just legalization of this plant would allow the economy to boost. “Residents can currently purchase up to an ounce of marijuana at one time for recreational purposes. Non-residents can purchase up to a quarter ounce.
In 2006 it was made known that young people in Britain used more drugs than any other European nation, with on estimate, four and a half million people admitting to either smoking weed or taking ecstasy or cocaine2. However, out of all the available drugs, in 2005, it was declared that the most popular, illegal drug for people aged eleven to fifteen was cannabis, as they said it made them “feel good when feeling good” and “reflect when feeling bad”2. Not only do eleven to fifteen year olds smoke cannabis, a third of men aged sixteen to twenty-four admit to smoking it2. On average, three and a half million people every year use cannabis as a recreational drug2. Marijuana is known under many names, varying from weed to cannabis to kush or even wilder names such as “Zig zag man”.
Nowhere is this more clear than in the laws against possession of marijuana in private for personal use…” The legalization of marijuana is a must for the United States. Major health benefits, decriminalization of otherwise normal citizens, and billions of dollars would be effects of legalization. Some people may ask, why should I care? Well, if a family member ever develops AIDS or cancer, there is a new alternative that’s proven to help with the condition. We will also be taxed less because of less government spending on marijuana convictions.
Nearly half of those were marijuana related, and over 85% of those were for marijuana possession alone (Federal Bureau of Investigation 2012). The resources required to handle these arrests, the relatively negligible risk marijuana poses to a user, and the positive effects that de-stigmatizing marijuana use may have, are all reasons that marijuana use for recreation should be legalized. The resources needed for marijuana criminalization are staggering. It is estimated, for example, that the current marijuana related prison population is around 40,000 (Caulkins et al. 2012).
In late 2013, a man was found to have thirty-eight pounds of methamphetamine along with 25 guns. Regarding nighttime drivers, 12.5% tested positive for prohibited drugs. The federal grants given to the state are more for drug trafficking rather than prevention. A doctor in Wyoming has suggested that the government needs to spend more on prevention because it has proved to be more effective. The drug situation also exists in the neighboring northwest states.
Colorado and Washington both decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use and the country has been engrossed in how it will play out. As long as the government stands firm on marijuana being an illegal substance the only people that win are the users. Let’s explore why legalizing marijuana is not such a good idea. Some states believe that legalizing marijuana will lower cost in the legislative branch of local, state, and even federal levels. States could greatly favor legalizing marijuana as the majority of criminal prosecution and housing falls on the state with very few marijuana cases going all the way to the federal level.
The fact remains that crime would still inhabit the streets if marijuana was to be legalized. The organizations base there theory on the success that the Netherlands has had with reduction of crime due to the wide- spread legalization of marijuana. The differences between New Amsterdam and the United States is great due to a different structured economy and different cultures. This differences would prove to be the reason for their success and the United States failure. Legalization would also be very dangerous to the economy.
The court ruled that ?medical necessity? is no defense to the distribution or use of marijuana, which is classified as a ?Schedule I? drug under the Controlled Substances Act in 1970(Tabetha). American citizens that are found guilty of using cannabis are charged with a fine of $1000, or sentenced to six months in jail. Marijuana is the most used drug in the United States and about sixty million Americans over the age of twelve have tried it at least once despite the fact of the forbiddance by the American government.
In fact, two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for anybody over the age of twenty-one since 2012. (Hawken, Caulkins, Kilmer, and Kleiman 2013) The legalization and regulation of marijuana would greatly minimize crime and solve many problems including overcrowding of jails and prison, lowering the tax dollars that people need to pay in order to support these incarcerated criminals, and regulating the economy. Importance of Drug Policy Debates Most Americans would agree that the debate over whether to legalize drugs and which ones to legalize is an incredibly important topic. Whether you are a conservative, liberal, or anywhere in between, it is likely that you have thought about this issue and have some sort of opinion on it. It is not just a political issue it is a social one.