Legalization of Marijuana

8 August 2016

Marijuana, a psychoactive drug, is hardly used in any circumstance used for medical purposes. In almost all occasions it is used as a recreational drug. Marijuana is illegal almost everywhere throughout the globe. Most countries around the world spend milliards of resources trying to implement the prohibition of this drug. The question is what the purpose of these efforts are and why governments invest so much effort in abolishing this drug? They are wasting many resources that could be used for other purposes.

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Legalizing marijuana would have much more positive consequences than banning it. The legalization of marijuana can lead to a decrease of crimes and an improvement of the economy. During the prohibition in the 1920’s, the United States experienced an increase in crimes like never before and the federal government spent absurd amounts of money trying to force the prohibition of alcohol. Once they legalized alcohol, crimes diminished drastically and the government stopped spending resources in enforcing that part of the law. The legalization of marijuana would have similar effects.

It would protect the consumer from the gangs who trade marijuana, it would also eliminate the crimes committed by violent drug-trafficking groups trying to avoid law enforcers or hiding its production and transportation. Its legalization would also stop enriching criminals. In the United States, the marijuana generates an estimated market of $35. 8 billion despite all the eradication efforts of the government. Almost 100% of marijuana sales go to unregulated criminals instead of going to legalized businesses which pay taxes that support the public services.

The legalization of marijuana would lead to a better control of how and who can sell it. It would also increase the government’s income by imposing taxes to the price of marijuana the same way Tabaco is taxed. It would also increase the government’s income from business taxes because the sales would go to businesses that pay taxes and declare earnings instead of going to criminals who don’t declare earnings from marijuana. One of the main and fundamental argument made for anti-marijuana drug policies is that the use of marijuana leads to the use of stronger drugs.

Although no study has proved this hypothesis, the argument might have its basis in the fact that marijuana is consumed by almost 2/3 of poly drug users. This argument is not valid for several reasons. Studies have proved that marijuana is much healthier than alcohol, cigarettes, and pharmaceutical medicines. I believe that the criminalization of marijuana has created a universal perception that places marijuana at the same level of other strong drugs such as cocaine and heroin. The truth is that it is not. Cigarettes are much more unhealthy and addictive than marijuana.

But still people don’t have the assumption that the use of Tabaco leads to the use of stronger drugs. The same goes with alcohol. Another reason, and maybe the strongest one that disclaims this argument, is the results obtained from a study conducted in 2004. This study compared San Francisco, a city in which marijuana was criminalized, and Amsterdam, a city in which marijuana is legal. The study showed that San Francisco users were significantly more likely to use stronger drugs like cocaine, heroin, ecstasies and crack than Amsterdam users.

The reason for this results is that in Amsterdam people obtain marijuana from coffee shops and people in San Francisco obtain marijuana from the black market and often the dealers that sell marijuana also sell the other strong drugs which makes it more likely for users in San Francisco to access and experience this harder drugs. This not only disclaims the hypothesis that the use of marijuana leads to other stronger drugs, but also indicates that its legalization could effectively decrease the use of other harder drugs. Marijuana is indeed a drug that shouldn’t be used by everyone.

Likewise cigarettes, Tabaco, and alcohol are much unhealthier and shouldn’t be used by everyone as well. No one wants their kids drinking, smoking marijuana or Tabaco. The legalization of all this products is not a moral issue, but a practical issue. It is a manner of analyzing what outcomes it could have and determining whether or not it should be done. Statistics, studies and even history examples have clearly shown that the legalization of marijuana would have immense positive consequences in every level that far outweigh the drawbacks it could bring.

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