Legalizing Marijuana and the Economic Affect
The reason for this is due to the fact that there is no unwilling participant and the real reason these acts are illegal is due to an external psychic cost. People in the society do not want to see these acts being committed even though they are not hurting anyone involuntarily; however, as a nation since these acts are not appealing they should remain illegal. Through much research it is proven that legalizing marijuana would actually be a benefit to society through economic gain.
Legalizing marijuana would increase tax revenue for states and federal government along with job opportunity for society, would help save money in law enforcement while freeing up prison space, and would expand the use of marijuana medically by making it more affordable for those in need. The prohibition move of marijuana was designed to ban all usages of marijuana in an attempt to help shape society to be drug free. This movement has proven to fail due to the fact that marijuana is just as easily available today as it was when prohibition began (Chimes).
By pursuing the idea of prohibition states as well as the federal government will continue to lose drastic amounts of money just to keep marijuana illegal. The federal government has spent a total of $12. 2 billion in methods of fighting the use of marijuana in America alone (Fisk). The prohibitionists which use this money to help fight the use of marijuana tends to often associate drug dealers with violence. Although these two tend to go hand in hand, the reason for this is because of the illegalization of the marijuana.
As stated by Boaz, he mentions how drug use is often misconstrued with the cause of violence. “Drug’s do not cause today’s soaring murder rates,, drugs prohibition does. ” Boaz explains how drug laws result in a reduction of supply and increase in price of drugs. In any type of supply reduction and price increase an individual would result to finding alternative ways to reach the price to supply the good which with drugs results to crime, for example property crime(Boaz). (add more bout prohibition) ^
The money being spent on enforcing laws against marijuana has only increased since prohibition. The majority of this money is being spent on incarcerating individuals who have been accused of either using or possessing marijuana. By incarcerating people for this it only takes up jail and prison space which results to overcrowding and the need for expansion or building of new prisons. All of these aspects cause the federal and state government to spend on average about $30 billion a year.
Of all the individuals arrested in 2005 for marijuana offenses, 90% of these individuals were arrested for the possession of marijuana; therefore, only 10% of these arrests involved the actual use of marijuana (risk). These dollars being spent on fighting the usage of marijuana are clearly not being used to benefit the economy for multiple reasons. By spending the money to arrest individuals and punish them there has not been any evidence found to prove any deterrence is taking place. If anything there has been a complete opposite movement in society.
Thirteen have de-criminized the possession of a small amount of marijuana and fourteen states as well as Washington DC have passed laws to allow Marijuana to be used for medical purposes (CNBC). As more and more states start legalizing marijuana in these ways it begins to send a message across the nation that marijuana is not as bad as prohibition had proposed it to be. The time and money being used to help fight marijuana has proved to be an unsuccessful cost and could be used in more beneficial uses like education or fighting violent crime.
By legalizing marijuana the government would be able to save about $7. 7 billion a year (geekpolitics). Not only would law enforcement costs be cut by legalizing marijuana but the government would also receive an increase in tax revenue. If marijuana would be legal it would be sold in the same method as alcohol and cigarettes. This method would allow the government to keep a close watch on the production of the marijuana and control the business cycle of the drug (geek).
The legal marijuana would be taxed in the same ways as cigarettes and alcohol and the companies who would produce the product would also be taxed. Licenses for the sale of the legal marijuana would also be applied which would allow tight restrictions on the sale of the drug as well as provide safety. By legalizing marijuana, the government is able to control all aspects of the production and distribution of the drug. Once marijuana would be legal the risk of purchasing the drug that may be laced with other substances would no longer be there because the government would monitor the production.
The cost of marijuana would not be much different than the cost of it on the streets because the risk factor of getting caught by the police for obtaining and or possessing the drug would not be needed which increases a drug dealer’s price. Users of marijuana would also be able to purchase the drug in a safe environment without any violence which could easily happen when encountering a dealer. All of these results of legalizing marijuana help increase safety throughout the society. While having this drug legal it would also increase job opportunities as well.
Many companies and businesses, which tend to be higher income jobs, provide drug testing for their future or current employers which will decrease the number of marijuana users to be hired or even to apply for such jobs. With laws and regulations of marijuana similar to alcohol usage, the increase of jobs would benefit the economy with the legalization of marijuana. Although mentioning how legalizing marijuana would create a safer environment for these drug users may seem bad because the government would be emphasizing the acceptance of a drug, there are much worse legal substances allowed to citizens right now then marijuana.
Dr. Mitch Earleywine, a University of Southern California psychologist, has stated that marijuana has no lethal dose, the serious brain function changes along with liver problems are far worse due to alcohol then from marijuana, and other long term affects of drinking like malnutrition, B-vitamin deficiency, and Korsakoff’s Disorder all appear much more severely than with marijuana if appear at all from it. If marijuana has been proved to be no more dangerous to a user then cigarettes and alcohol, which are legal for US citizens to consume, there is no reason that marijuana should not be legal as well.
Another very important reason for legalizing marijuana is for purposes other than consuming it as a drug. One of the most important uses for marijuana is for medical purposes. As of today there are 14 states plus Washington D. C. , as mention above, who have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. To aquire approval for medicinal marijuana a doctor must diagnose you with certain illnesses in which marijuana has been proven to help improve the affects of these illnesses.
Science has proven that marijuana does in fact increase appetite and with many illnesses, especially those of which the medication is used and affects the patients appetite, it is important for the patient to consume food to help gain strength. (ADD MEDICINE) Although many states have made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, it is still expensive for the patient to obtain due to the fact that the drug is illegal for non-medicinal purposes. If marijuana was legal throughout the nation, it would be a lot easier for individuals with illnesses to obtain the drug and would be more affordable.
Another viable use for marijuana which can help the economy is the production of hemp. Hemp is a very versatile product made from marijuana which can be used to make rope, paper, etc. ( ). With having marijuana legal, hemp would become very easily available and the manufacturing of hemp in many different products would open up many new job opportunities. This type of product would be a complete self sufficient product made by the US because nothing would be needed overseas other exporting the product. This would be a huge economic benefit and would open up more businesses to increase job opportunity.