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Marijuana Legalization Essay

Thesis Statement: Although America is the land of the “free” you do not really have too many “free” choices you can make. Americans should have the right to choose whether or not marijuana should be legal. II. Background

III. The tax benefits that can be created
A. If legalized they can tax it how ever much they want
B. Can be regulated
IV. Drug enforcement money can be diverted.
A. Can help other needy departments that lack money.
B. Keep the court system and jails less full for real criminals V. It’s no more harmful then alcohol or tobacco
A. Must use it in moderation.
B. If abused it can cause health effects like anything els. VI. Rebuttal
VII. Conclusion

Marijuana Legalization
Although America is the land of the “free” you do not really have too many “free” choices you can make. Americans should have the right to choose whether or not marijuana should be legal. The government should not be able to tell people what to do, as long as they do not hurt others in their actions. Three reasons why marijuana should be legalized are taxation benefits, drug enforcement money can be diverted and utilized in other needy departments, and the drug generally isn’t more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation. In a study done these were the results of how many people die per year from each: “Tobacco- 400,000, alcohol- 100,000, all legal drugs- 20,000, all illegal drugs- 15,000, caffeine- 2,000, aspirin- 500, marijuana- 0” (us policy on drugs). Background

“The Marijuana, cannabis, or hemp plant is one of the oldest psychoactive plants known to humanity. Cannabis has become one of the most widespread and diversified of plants” (marijuana history and timeline). Cannabis or hemp plants are grown throughout the world and develop into what we know as weed. “1915 – 1927 Cannabis begins to be prohibited for nonmedical use in the U.S., especially in SW states…California (1915), Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927)” (marijuana history and timeline). “The U.S. government and the media began spreading outrageous lies about marijuana,

which led to its prohibition ” (Amsterdam cannabis mystery). “Since 1996, thirteen states have legalized medical marijuana use: AK, CA, CO, HI, ME, MI, MT, NV, NM, OR, RI, VT, and WA. Eight of the thirteen did so through the initiative process” (Get the facts). The taxation benefits that the United States could receive from legalizing marijuana could be limitless. When something is in such a high demand and the government regulates it they have the right to charge what ever they want for it intern giving them full control over the market. It works sort of like a monopoly because if the user cannot get in anywhere els then they only have one choice and that’s the government.

If you look at the current taxation benefits from tobacco and alcohol alone it just shows you how well they do. “An enormous amount of money is raised through government taxation of alcohol, cigarettes, and other “sins”. The legalization of marijuana would create another item that could be taxed. I’m sure the government would have no problem spending all that extra money” (Should marijuana be legalized). Drug enforcement has become a bigger and bigger agency throughout the United States to try and stop drug trafficking. “The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars” (drug war clock). So it would be in a huge advantage for the governmental spending program if they didn’t have to dump as much money into the (DEA) every year.

Therefore; giving the government more money to spend on different governmental agencies that are in need of the extra cash flow. Not only would it give us more money for other departments but it would also keep are court systems less crowded and jails freer. “Many consider the War on Drugs an expensive failure. Resources for DEA, FBI, and border security are only the tip of the iceberg. You must add in the cost of police officers, judges, public defenders, prosecutors, juries, court reporters, prison guards, and so on. Legalization of marijuana would free up those people to concentrate on more important things like terrorism, harder drugs, rape, murder, and so on” (Should marijuana be legalized). Marijuana is proven not to be more harmful then tobacco, or alcohol if used with self-control. “Most doctors would agree that it’s not very harmful if used in moderation.

It’s only when you abuse the drug that problems start to occur” (Should marijuana be legalized). But isn’t that true if you abuse anything problems start to occur? For example if alcohol, coffee, or food just to name a few are abused you could develop serious health conditions. But would you want the government to tell you how much food you could eat or how much alcohol you can consume when you go out? People should be able to make their own dictions when it comes to their health. So what makes marijuana any different from food, alcohol, or tobacco? Rebuttal

A general worry of government officials is how its legalization can lead to abuse and how many will suffer from the long-term effects of marijuana. Marijuana certainly can be misused, but in a country were alcohol and tobacco are legal resistance to legalizing marijuana is a bit of a contradiction. Alcohol and tobacco lead to millions of

deaths in America .To be accurate with numbers over 100,000 die each year in the U.S. from alcohol, about 15,000 are caused by vehicle. Marijuana causing deaths are zero in its long history. Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol and easily treated if addiction does occur. Alcohol is hands down more dangerous out of these two drugs, it’s kind of backwards on the part of the government that marijuana is prohibited while alcohol is available to the population at large.

It is clear to me that the legalization of marijuana would not only be good for people in distress from terminal illness but, also would help empty out local jails keeping room for more serious criminal offenders, saving money on the DEA programs and making more money obtainable for other government funded program, and also the availability of all the tax benefits.

“Amsterdam cannabis mistry.” CANNABIS/HEMP WAS LEGAL, WHY WAS IT BANNED?. 15 Apr 2009 <http://www.thc-ministry.net/untoldstory/hemp_5.html>. “Drug War Clock.” 15 Apr 2009. 15 Apr 2009 <http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm>. “Get the facts.” medical marijuana. 15 Apr 2009 <http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/54>. Marijuana History and Timeline. 15 Apr 2009 <http://www.concept420.com/marijuana_cannabis_history_timeline.htm>. “Should Marijuana be Legalized under any Circumstances?.” April 7, 2008. 15 Apr 2009http://www.balancedpolitics.org/marijuana_legalization.htm “The Top Ten Reasons Marijuana Should Be Legal.” alternet. September 1, 2007. 8 Apr 2009 http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/ “us policies on drugs.” legalization of marijuana. 13 Apr 2009 http://www.legalizationofmarijuana.com/index.html

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