Billions of dollars are spent at the state, local, and federal level to fight the use of marijuana. Millions are arrested for marijuana offenses and sentenced for extended periods. Marijuana has negative effects on the human health and high potential for addiction. Legalizing marijuana will eliminate the black market, which is responsible for the increase in violence, crime, and corruption. Resources used for mass incarceration in the war on drug can be redirected to rehabilitation to decrease drug abuse and addiction.
A marijuana related arrest occurs every 42 seconds continuously adding to the 210,000 inmates in prison due to a marijuana related crime. The cost to feed and house these prisoners amounts to $39 billion dollars annually. Legalizing the substance would increase tax revenue, the same way it did many centuries ago in addition crime would go down. The legalization of the plant would also open up new doors in the medical field, but instead America loves wasting money. Many people believe that so far the legalization and war on marijuana is a positive thing and it has been working.
The War on Drugs in America is a failure for a multitude of reasons. The first reason the United Sates “War on Drugs” is proving to be a failure is the fact that illegal narcotics are becoming more and more cheaper while their potency continues to increase. Agencies such as the DEA and Border Patrol are failing to decrease the flow of drugs into the United States. Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to enforce these agencies, common statistics, such that the United States remains the #1 Nation for illegal drug use, proves that the money is simply being wasted. Cocaine, heroin, and marijuana have become cheaper and stronger over the past two decades, despite increases in drug seizures by authorities fighting the illegal drug markets.
The harsh punishment for drug crimes in the United States of America is not working. “With roughly half a million people behind bars in the U.S. for nonviolent drug offenses, drugs are as plentiful and widely used as ever” (Grenier, 2013). Even with very harsh long sentences and many people imprisoned drug use is as common as ever in America. ‘We cannot close our eyes anymore’ to the cost in human lives destroyed and taxpayer dollars wasted” (Holcomb, 2015). Harsh drug penalties are destroying American citizens lives and is costing a lot of money from taxpayers.
Dealers sell their product for hundreds of times the production costs, making huge personal profits with each sale. This money then leaves the economic system and ends up instead in the dealers’ pockets. Having less money circulating in the economy places strain on the system. In this way, illegal sales of marijuana are directly contributing to the economic deficit in which our country is currently finding itself. If marijuana were made legal, the government could tax it highly, which would raise billions of dollars in revenue that could... ... middle of paper ... ...edro-uva.org/lib/harrison.cannabis.04.html>.
Controlled substances come with a higher price tag, which means drug addicts need to pay more for drugs. This pushes many to commit crimes, such as theft and prostitution, to support their addiction. Gore Vidal in his piece “Drugs: A Case for Legalizing Marijuana” puts it quiet succinctly: “If there was no money in it for the Mafia, there would be no friendly playground pushers, and addicts would not commit crimes to pay for their next fix.” When the government criminalized drugs in the 1970s, they ushered in high prices to compensate for the greater risk associated with selling drugs. Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy call this the “paradox of the war on drugs” in their essay “Have We Lost the War on Drugs?” Because of the risk of imprisonment, drug dealers charge more from customers to compensate for that risk. It is the same principle that makes any illegal substance so expensive and smugglers so rich.
The drug trade fuels this violence and can cause a state to fail. The numbers are grim. The rate of killing in Guatemala and El Salvador is higher than that of their bloody civil wars (Economist April 14, 2011). According to Guatemala's government about 40 percent of murders are linked to the drug business (Economist April 14, 2011) and in Mexico the drug war has claimed more than 40,000 lives (Wyler 2011). A recent report from the Global Commission on Drugs claims that the US led war on drugs is a... ... middle of paper ... ...s the border illegally, the drop can also be attributed to the economic recession.
“ Therefore, billions of dollars could be generated from taxing marijuana purchases just as alcohol and tobacco sales have profited from consumers. Lastly, local and state governments currently spend a massive amount of money just trying to keep a regulation on marijuana. Having a tax on the recreational distribution of it could save the large amounts of money already being spent. The major con of this solution for this is the social impact of legalizing marijuana. Many say that if legalized it will still contribute to violence and crime in the states.
The legalization of Marijuana in the United States for medical purpose/reasoning could be the next big revolution with the potential to change several factors in todays economy. According to Rob Hotakainen from McClatchy Newspapers, if medical cannabis was legal the police could focus their attention more toward violent crimes and dangerous drugs. Over 700,000 people are arrested annually for the use or possession of marijuana. It is a waste of time and money for our law enforcement to be fighting something that is nonviolent and has the lowest death rates of any other drug. The Mexican drug cartel makes a part of their profit smuggling marijuana into our country, and as they are doing this a lot of violence happens.
This is shown by the popularity of movies, songs and TV shows about weeds. It is also shown in the amount of money American spends on the drug each year. While highly accurate numbers are hard to pin point, experts believe the ... ... middle of paper ... ...e criminal gangs are amongst the most powerful people in the country. Mexico grows all types of drugs, including being the second largest opium grower, but their biggest “contribution” to the drug trade is helping to transport the narcotics from South America to the States. Although the trade is very lucrative, raking in countless billions, it is extremely dangerous to the cartel members as well as innocent civilians.