Legalization Of Weed

Legalization Of Weed

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     In this country, we are locked in a war we simply cannot win. We strive to protect
over 10,000 miles of border, against enemies who are driven by the lure of a huge profit.
We fought a version of this war before with prohibition, and we lost that one. All that has
really resulted from this war is the overcrowding of prisons, the expansion of law
enforcement’s ability to infringe on the personal lives of ordinary citizens, paranoia and
distrust. If its not obvious already, I am referring to the war on drugs, marijuana in
specific. Why spend millions of dollars fighting a war that can not be won? Legalizing
marijuana would not only make the government money, but also improve society as a
whole.
     To most the financial reasons for ending the war are the most convincing. For
example, it costs over $30,000 per year to house a prisoner - this does not include
processing and legal fees. There are over 1.5 million non-violent drug law offenders in
prison right now, and this number is increasing daily. That means we are spending a
minimum of $45 billion per year keeping former tax-paying citizens locked up with
murderers and rapists. When these people get out of jail, they will have criminal records
which will make it nearly impossible to get a decent job. Most of whom had jobs and
were contributing to the economy in some way.
     The United States spend $37 billion per year funding police efforts to fight the
war on drugs.. Recent evidence suggests the CIA has been involved in drug-trafficking to
fund its own private wars. Currently there is over $150 billion worth of drug traffic that
remains untaxed. If you figure a tax rate of 15%, that is a total of $22.5 billion of taxes
that America doesn't see. The U.S. Treasury estimates America wastes a minimum of
$104.5 billion per year fighting a war that can not be won. Meanwhile crime rates
continue to rise (because of the huge profits made possible by the risks involved in the
drug trade as drugs remain illegal), and the quality of education, medical care and
environmental protection falls due to lack of money in the budget.
     The problem with drugs is not their effect, it is the corruption that is tied to the
huge profits that doing illegal business commands. Increasing penalties for drug crimes
will just increase the prices and thereby the profits for people willing to take the risk.
Along with these profits will come increasing war in our neighborhoods as gangs and

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dealers fight and kill for the enormous profits. Americans will never see any of this money
because, being illegal, it is not taxed. Supply is driven by demand. As long as there are
people that want to adjust their state of mind, there will be someone to help them do it,
and adjusting our state of mind is part of human nature. Go to a schoolyard sometime and
watch kids spin 'round and 'round till they fall down. Just as you can't cure a cold by
taking cold medicine, you can't cure substance abuse by throwing people in jail. Substance
abuse is a symptom of a larger problem, and we can't continue to pretend it doesn't exist.
     Is legalizing drugs going to end society's problems? It would be silly to even think
that. We have driven ourselves into such a moral predicament that it will take years to
fully recover. But our present course of action has proven to be more destructive than
marijuana itself. The only way we are going to stop substance abuse is by lowering the
pressure in day-to-day life for our citizens. Unfortunately, the drug war has driven the
cost of living up to unbelievable heights, while lowering take-home pay through high tax
rates, and has increased crime while lowering education quality. All of these cause
increasing pressure on the working family and their children, which manifests itself in
increased drug and alcohol consumption. You can't solve problems by fighting the
symptoms. You have to go after the problems themselves. Just think of all the money the
government could make with taxing legalized marijuana purchases. Even though this
would not solve all of society problems, it would be a start.

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