The Legality of Marijuana
Marijuana, also spelled marihuana is the dried leaves of the cannabis plant. These dried leaves are usually smoked in a pipe or rolled into a cigar or cigarette. Some street names for this individual drug are pot, grass, herb, and ganja. Marijuana can also be taken orally in the form of food or drink to receive the same effect (Britannica). Marijuana is classified as a hallucinogen but not rightfully so because it is not as severe as some of the other drugs in this category. The major psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). While experiencing a “high” users say it relaxes the mind and body, alters mood, and heightens perceptions (Hales63). As of now marijuana is a class two drug and is policed by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (Johnson41). If less enforcement were better, wouldn’t any enforcement be best? Would no enforcement cause total destruction?
Marijuana is a problem because Congress has chosen to make it a problem: its manufacture, distribution, and possession illegal, and it is the function of law enforcement to suppress illegal activity and punish those who engage in it. When alcohol became illegal all hell broke loose and to fix the problem congress gave the people back their drink. Since then there have been conflicts caused by alcohol but not nearly as many as before. Seeing that there is a problem with marijuana the government should legalize it and everything would be fine. Legalizing marijuana would have a huge effect on the economy. Tax money from alcohol and cigarettes combined equals 33 billion dollars (Becker12). Just think how much money that would if Congress would allow for the production and selling of marijuana. People would buy weed just like they do alcohol and cigarettes. Congress would be able to tax it and reap the benefits. It would create many more jobs because they would need people to work their factories. Think about how many people have jobs because of Budweiser and Winston. The more money people have the more they will spend which is the beginning of a very stable economy. This would be especially helpful now since our economy is in a bit of a recession. Once marijuana is made legal it will cause depletion in committed crimes. Take away the profit margin by decriminalizing drugs and lowering the prices and the intense competition is removed and the lucrative black market is destroyed. This will also wipe away some of the problems caused by crimes. Think back around 1919 and 1933 when the sale of alcohol was prohibited in the U.S. organized crime surged then as gangs profited heavily from trafficking illegal alcohol, and many people were killed in the violent battles between rival gangs. Since 1933 how many people have died from the distribution of alcohol (Gale123). One of the objectives in making drugs illegal is to cut back on the harms that they could do to our society. Addicts that do not have enough to buy their next fix often turn to stealing and robbery to obtain their fix. Legalizing weed would allow the government to regulate the cost of it cutting back on the robberies made to accomplish some drug money. Law-enforcement experts estimate that up to 75% of criminal offenses are in some way drug-related (Klieman57). That is 75% of crimes that would be taken care of by just legalizing marijuana. How does the government punish some one for using marijuana? Nothing has driven the boom in prison construction as much as government efforts to crack down on drugs. The New York Times states that in 1994 nearly half of the 23,140 prisoners there were non-violent drug charges. The government is complaining about the crowding in the prisoners but they don’t want to get rid of the stupid laws that are responsible for filling them up.
Legalizing marijuana will only cause a corruption of society. Consumption of alcohol jumped approximately 25% in years following prohibition; legalizing marijuana will have the same effect (Trebach145). Dr. Jack Homer, a professor of safety-systems management at the University of Southern California, estimates that legalizing marijuana would create anywhere from 10 to 32 million weekly marijuana users, a level that is between 5 and 16 times greater than today. Young people would also be able to get weed into their hands easier. Just like cigarettes young kids get others to buy them for them. We do not need to corrupt our youth like this. Legalizing marijuana would do little to reduce crimes seeing that so many crimes are done while on the influence of an illegal drug (Hamid6). Pandora’s Box, released in September 1995, 60% of 130 drug-related homicides resulted from the effects of illegal drugs. Only 20% were related to the drug trade. The Justice Department of the U.S. states that six times as many homicides, four times as many assaults, and almost one and a half times as many robberies are committed under the influence of drugs as are committed to get money to buy drugs. Not only will legalizing marijuana corrupt the society it will affect our bodies. The negative effects of marijuana use include impairment in perception, sensory motor coordination, short-term memory, and panic attacks, and are also linked to the impairment of the immune system, lowered testosterone levels in males. Long-term marijuana smokers display respiratory dysfunctions similar to tobacco smokers. Marijuana use can also cause a psychological disorder known as a motivational syndrome (Gale125). Why would someone want to destroy their bodies and society, lets not give them the chance to.
There is not a correct answer to the problem of marijuana and law but for now it is illegal so the use and possession is prohibited. A poll taken by CNN reported that 34% favor legalizing marijuana use while 62% oppose. Until more people unite to change the law it will stay the same and there will always be people writhing papers like this one to inform everyone on how it is going.