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Marijuana, just like any other drug, is used by many citizens in the United States due to its euphoric effects and affordability. Even though marijuana is regarded illegal, it has remained one of the most popular drugs in the country. Many people grow and trade in the drug for their personal use and sell it for profit.
These people do not see why the government should intrude into their own business when the drug does not affect those who do not use it (Burnham 46).
Some people hold that it is their right to do what they please in the privacy of their home. It actually does not make much sense for the government to be spending a lot of money trying to enforce law to wipe out marijuana use, when it could gain much money by legalizing and imposing taxes on the drug (Holland 447).
Therefore, the main benefit of legalizing marijuana in the country would be the vast revenues obtained from taxing it. The government would also be able to save the money that it spends in enforcing the relevant laws (Dale, Allhoff, and Cusick 60).
In addition to revenues that would be collected from taxing marijuana, there are also other benefits that the government and the citizens would reap from legalizing the drug.
The legalization of the drug would bring to an end the discrimination of the African Americans in marijuana-related arrests, reduce the sales of the drug and its use among teenagers, encourage the development of hemp as a valuable crop in the country, and also bring an end to the lies and disinformation associated with its prohibition (Goldberg 251).
Marijuana Legalization will Minimize Racial Discrimination
Since the time when marijuana was pronounced illegal in the US, the arrests made for its possession has been affecting the African Americans, who feel that the law enforcers are biased against the minority groups.
Even though the blacks only comprise of about 14 percent of the US total population and approximately 13 percent of all marijuana users in the country, they account for more than 26 percent of the total marijuana arrests (Holland 450).
The studies that have been conducted by different groups reveal that Hispanics and the African Americans account for the biggest percentage of all marijuana arrests in the New York City. Most of the blacks and the Hispanics are normally arrested for smoking marijuana in public scenes (Morgan 41).
It is evident that the law enforcers have failed to exercise equality during the marijuana arrests done on the whites and the non-whites. The arrests seem to be driven by the racial factor since very few of the whites who smoke marijuana get arrested (Burnham 51).
Since race is still a factor that drives most of the law enforcement practices, the only way to minimize the incidences of race discrimination is to legalize marijuana. When the drug is made legal in the country, there would be no such cases of racial discrimination in marijuana arrests (Burnham 52).
The Prohibition Efforts have failed
The United States’ government has been in the war front in fighting the use of marijuana within the country since the 20th century without much success.
It is estimated that over twenty five million citizens still use the drug every year even though the government has been effecting tough measures to deal with the drug users. Currently, marijuana is considered one of the largest cash crops in most of western countries (Johnson and Mowry 303).
The claim by the government that it has made a break through in the fight against marijuana is not supported by facts. If the claim was true, then there could be no such a big number of marijuana users in the United States. There are no signs that the drug will be completely eliminated from the country in the near future.
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Since it is evident that the prohibition efforts have failed, it is only proper that the government legalizes the use of marijuana (Holland 450).
Promotion of Hemp Development as an Agricultural Crop
The legalization of marijuana is likely to promote the development of hemp in the United States. Hemp is used for bio-fuel production, a good alternative to fossil fuels, which does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Goldberg 257).
Even though in the European countries the development of hemp has been done without legalizing marijuana, the US it is a different case altogether. The failure to legalize marijuana in the US has greatly thwarted the development of hemp (Dale, Allhoff, and Cusick 63).
The hemp development is one of the most effective ways through which the US government can ease the work of the energy policy. The energy policy seeks to promote the establishment of bio-fuels in order to reduce the overdependence on fossil fuels, which emit a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (Johnson and Mowry 307).
To achieve the goal, the government needs to legalize marijuana, which in turn will promote the development of industrial hemp. Unlike other plants such as corn, whose use for bio-fuels would increase the demand and prices for food, hemp does not have such effects on the economy when it is used as a bio-fuel source (Chaffee 416).
Marijuana has a lot of medical benefits when used in the right amounts. This is a fact that is supported by a number of medical bodies such as the American Medical Association (AMA).
Medical researchers have proved that marijuana can be used as therapy in serious illnesses such as cancer. The drug relieves patients from nausea, pain, spasticity, and tiredness among other effects associated with serious ailments (Bello 103).
It is not logical for marijuana to be illegal in the US when some of the legal drugs such as alcohol and cigarettes contribute to the highest percentage of all premature deaths in the country. When alcohol is consumed in excess, it is likely to result in the inability to walk, unconsciousness, or even death.
The effects of smoking marijuana in extreme amounts are not as severe as those associated with taking excess alcohol. The excess smoking of marijuana can only make the user feel dizzy, unlike excess alcohol, which can even lead to death (Burns and Bartel 127).
The only confirmed serious side effect of smoking marijuana is the large amounts of tar and carbon monoxide found in the smoke. However, very few people smoke marijuana as much as they do to tobacco, and so people can rarely suffer from such side effects (Bello 106).
Majority of the American adults feel that the side effects of smoking marijuana are easier to manage than those associated with the use of other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. Moreover, marijuana is not as addictive as smoking cigarettes (Burns and Bartel 128). It is easier for people to develop tolerance for marijuana side effects than to the side effects of any other drug.
Unlike in the case of alcohol and tobacco in which the users can’t quit despite suffering the side effects, marijuana user normally find easy to quit using the drug upon experiencing adverse side effects of the drug. The benefits that marijuana users obtain from the drug outweigh the risks. It is only the risk of the arrests that deter people from smoking it (Bello 110).
Source of Government Income
The government spends large amounts of money in an effort to see that marijuana remains illegal in the country. The money spent in the fight against the use of marijuana could be used to fund other viable projects of the government.
The law enforcers can indulge in more important activities than arresting more than 700,000 marijuana users who end up making the criminal justice system overcrowded (Goldberg 254).
These marijuana arrests impose a lot of unnecessary expenses in the criminal justice system, especially when it comes to handling and disposing the marijuana related cases. The cases have also affected the efficiency of the justice system by withdrawing the attention of the justice personnel from handling the more serious cases such as terrorism, sexual abuse, and violent crimes (Chaffee 419).
If marijuana was legalized, the government would be able to save the money it wastes in fighting the use of the drug. The government would also be able to earn enormous revenues by imposing taxes on the drug. The money collected from such taxes would be used to finance several important government departments and programs (Regoli, and Hewitt 8).
People Deserve Freedom to Use Marijuana
When people are denied the chance to use marijuana in the privacy of their homes, they consider it as an intrusion to their private life. The government should only impose restrictions on the use of a particular drug if its use endangers the user or someone else. However, no one has been able to prove how the use of marijuana adversely affects the user and those around him (Chaffee 421).
It is evident that the people advocating for the legalization of marijuana will not stop until they make a break through. These people seem to care less about the government’s efforts to ensure that the drug remains illegal in the country. They are determined to see that they succeed despite the numerous arrests that have been made as a result of the abuse of marijuana (Holland 455).
Proponents of marijuana legalization have been fighting for the legalization of marijuana since early 20th century and they show no sign of giving up. Since the government spends huge sums of money to counteract such efforts, it is necessary that it legalizes marijuana production and use in the country in order to eliminate the money it wastes in the fight (Dale, Allhoff, and Cusick 62).
Reduction in Marijuana Sales and Use among Teenagers
When marijuana is legalized, the authorities concerned will have easy time in regulating its market. As a result, its sales and use among the teenagers will reduce automatically. People normally find much value in substances that are considered illegal (Dale, Allhoff, and Cusick 67).
This is evident in the case of illegal marijuana, which students use to make easy money by selling it to their colleagues. If marijuana was legalized, such students would cease to find value in it and its use would reduce naturally (Chaffee 427).
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