This is a debate that is both heated and fascinating. Its amazing that a natural substance as simple as a plant can be the center of a political, moral, and health dispute bigger then many other more pressing issues in America. There are very few negatives to legalizing marijuana and many positives.
Before launching into why marijuana should be legal, one must consider a world in which this drug is legal and readily available. Compared to its currently legal counterparts (tobacco and alcohol), marijuana is clearly the lesser of the 3 evils both for health factors and societal problems. People claim marijuana is more damaging all around then the other two, but is it really?
Thousands die every year from health complications due to smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, etc. Billions are spent on purchasing tobacco and tobacco related products not to mention trillions spent on health care costs associated with tobacco smoking Tobacco is highly addictive and many smokers become hooked at a young age when the image of smoking is considered ‘cool’ no thanks to marketing by multi-billion dollar companies.
How many thousands die due to drunk driving and alcohol poisoning each year? Everything from car accidents to domestic abuse cases have incidences due directly to consumption of alcohol. Also consider unprotected sexual activity due to impaired mental capacities due to drinking and the risks associated with unprotected sex. Then theres the health care costs associated with liver damage and even injuries acquired during alcohol fueled fights. Not to mention the harm done to a society in which alcohol is viewed by as many as ‘the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems’.
Currently this natural drug’s users have an image of drug addicted, non productive members of society. Thats funny considering those who drink and smoke are portrayed as happy, successful, and popular. Unless of course you go to underground sources in which marijuana users are shown as creative, sophisticated, and ‘cool’.
But anyways, social view aside one can’t ignore the fact that marijuana is safer in countless ways then alcohol and tobacco. One major fact is that not one single case of death has been officially attributed to using untainted marijuana. Alcohol and tobacco? Hundreds of thousands.
Health and societal financial costs due to marijuana? You may have a marijuana user come in because he got so relaxed he fell and hit his head on the table, but your not going to see an influx of overdose victims (like with alcohol), violent fights breaking out among a few smokers of the drug, and certainly not the same level of destruction and arrogance that leads to destruction associated with ‘liquid courage’. (While both alcohol and marijuana are considered depressants on the body, alcohol seems to stimulate the ego).
And the legalities….
The US government spends billions on repairing damage and injuries due to alcohol and tobacco use, and billions on preventing marijuana from entering the US. Plus they spend billions incarcerating people for years over a small amount of marijuana.
and whats in it for the US government…
By legalizing marijuana not only would the government reap the benefits of HUGE sales tax profits, but they would be able to regulate marijuana to ensure it is not tainted or laced and to keep it out of the hands of minors. Tobacco companies have already expressed interest in product marijuana if it is given the ok to be legal and it WILL be a big industry.
So lets review real quick? No deaths directly due to marijuana use, thousands in jail over the green stuff, unsafe green stuff in the hands of minors that could be laced, huge tax benefits, medical benefits proven across the board, AND clearly better then alcohol and tobacco as a vice.
There is no reason why marijuana should not be legalized, regulated, packaged, and sold. As a post note did I mention that legalizing marijuana would drive the underground illegal marijuana drug trade completely out of business? A trade that is responsible for billions in illegally earned money, countless deaths, violence, corruption, and community degradation? A fine way to get drug dealers off your streets is to remove their most popular product and put it in the hands of legal trade.