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Legalizing Marijuana Essay

1184 words - 5 pages

Legalizing Marijuana
Greg Crist
Law and the Individual
Fall 2010

Legalizing Marijuana

Legalizing marijuana would prevent so many problems for the United States government and could have a positive effect on the economy if handled correctly and take a very large strain off of our justice system as well. This debate has become much more intense since the latest president legalized medicinal marijuana. Now the push for total legalization has become much stronger. The recent ‘Proposition 19’ in California, which called for total legalization and taxing, failed by only a small margin, losing by only 7%. ( The problem with this issue is that marijuana has been viewed ...view middle of the document...

Thirteen states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use and fifteen more have legalization on the ballot or are considering putting it to a vote. Marijuana can be medicinally useful. It has been proven that the use of marijuana can stop tumor growth by up to 82% and that THC selects only cancer cells and leaves normal cells alone, making it a great tumor-reducing drug. (Herreid) THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the drug in marijuana that produces the mind altering ‘high’. A study has shown that THC causes tumor cells to destroy themselves from the inside, which is called autophagy. (Anthis) The American Medical Association just recently began to support clinical research of the drug, which is a big step towards legalization since the American Medical Association is the largest medical organization in America. (Hoeffel)
It seems logical that marijuana should be legal, since there are so many drugs out there that are legal and either proven to be more dangerous, or just as dangerous, as marijuana. Alcohol is legal, yet it is still responsible for many deaths across America’s roadways. Another legal drug is tobacco, which has been lawfully used since the beginning of this country. It has obvious health concerns, yet it is still legal due to a powerful lobby in congress. If these drugs can remain legal it makes sense that marijuana should be legal too. You can much more easily die from alcohol poisoning than overdosing on marijuana. In 2003 the American Civil Liberties Union stated that no one has actually died from solely overdosing on marijuana recreationally or medically. (Herreid)
If marijuana became legal, the government could tax it and create a free market for it. This would be a great way to generate revenue for the government since they could start making money off of the drug instead of having to spend millions of dollars trying to stop people from using marijuana. In 2007, marijuana arrests in America consisted of 42% of the drug related arrests. (Gunn) The federal government spends about 12 billion dollars a year on the war on drugs. (Michigan Daily) Instead of spending all those billions of dollars fighting this drug, the government could actually turn a profit and create revenue for the government, while at the same time creating jobs. That would be a huge turn around of revenue. The government could then use the tax money to focus the War on Drugs on those drugs that are actually dangerous and addictive, such as heroin, cocaine, and crystal meth. These drugs have been proven to be much more dangerous than marijuana yet they are treated the same by the federal...

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