Cannabis and Prohibition Essay

Submitted By sluxem
Words: 747
Pages: 3

Professor Hawkins
Principles of Macroeconomics
5 February 2014
Cannabis Prohibition
The Costs and Benefits Almost eighty years ago, propaganda and exaggerated misinformation, led to fearful Americans turning against the “evil weed” brought in by Mexicans to turn people into beasts. This alone caused Congress to enact The Marijuana Tax Act, ushering in prohibition and making the plant illegal to anyone who hadn’t paid the excise tax to use it for medical benefit. We know that alcohol prohibition only caused more problems and greater harm than the substance itself, and that simple education on cigarettes have given a new generation an addiction free life, but is our marijuana law still operational for better or for worse? Numerous states have adopted new standards and laws regarding marijuana and prohibition, yet until recently it was still seen as completely illegal in the eyes of the Federal Government. Some new laws allow medical states to continue to operate and actually aid in the sale of the product to registered patients. Washington and Colorado have even legalized the plant for recreation use, along with the medical advantages, showing that enough people truly realize the benefits. It is simple to see the costs of prohibition far exceed the benefits of it still, so why would it continue to be a law? Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug, behind alcohol and cigarettes, yet is much less harmful to the user and those around them when compared with the other two. With the increasing number of arrests, prohibition has never done what it was original intended to accomplish; reducing marijuana. The drug is more prevalent, stronger, and cheaper than it has even been before. Since 1992 drug arrests have gone up drastically, and in 2006 nearly half of the 2 million arrests were for marijuana. The reduction efforts have been in the form of arrests, imprisonment, and more recently, the seizure of private property, which are obviously now a form of revenue for the government. I can understand how trying prohibition on marijuana, makes sense, but after it’s horrible failure why would the government now re-think the possibilities? At the time prohibition started, lawmakers wanted to keep society peaceful, so with the insurgence of an intoxicating smokable substance on their hands, they wanted to stop it. With the ridiculous and unforgiving law placed on marijuana, it can be understood that the government has been reaping the benefits of gains from this drug for many years. Collective costs on the public are significant, let alone the substantial costs incurred by individuals, and are very likely having detrimental impacts on the whole society. This interest me heavily because it is something I never thought would happen, let alone how quickly and readily it got this way. In my opinion marijuana laws have always been one of the most destructive forces humanity faces in this age. The ability for a health giving plant to be taken so wrongly by the public, is a very scary aspect of propaganda and brainwashing. Although I know this is a very controversial subject, I am glad to see a change in something even if it has to start small and gain…