9 November 2011
Marijuana Legalization Marijuana is the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indicia plants. It is a leafy annual plant with parts that are used as herbs, animal food, medicine, and as hemp for rope-making. Marijuana is banned in the United States due to moral and public health reasons. Marijuana is also banned because of continuing concern over violence and crime associated with production and distribution of the drug. After so many problems that went wrong, the government prohibited marijuana from the United States. However there are different reasons why marijuana should be legal. The drug marijuana is not harmful like such things as alcohol or tobacco, if used in moderation (Messerli 1). Marijuana should be legal because of additional tax revenues, fewer minor offenders in jail, and medical benefits.
Marijuana should be legal because there are additional tax revenues. Marijuana is already the number one cash crop, exceeding the combined value of wheat and corn. “Marijuana is also the leading cash crop in at least a dozen states, including California and North Carolina,” says Ghosh (2).There is a huge amount of money raised through the government on alcohol and tobacco throughout the years. Ghosh says, “By legalizing marijuana that means there is another item that can be taxed” (2). Drug legalization would yield tax revenues of $46.7 billion annually, assuming legal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco. “Approximately $8.7 billion of this revenue would result from the legalization of marijuana” say Ghosh (2).
Legalization would also reduce state and federal deficits by eliminating expenditure on prohibition enforcement. If illegal drugs were legalized, taxation would be an advantageous way for governments to tap into the drug economy, resulting in economic benefits for states, according to advocates. In California for example, marijuana is the largest cash crop, worth an estimated almost $14billion annually (Wolfenden 2). Also, by legalizing marijuana that means fewer minors in jail. Only 5 percent of inmates in federal prisons are there because of simple possession. There are many criminals in jail now for possession charges. Those in favor of drug legalization state that jails are filled up with non-violent “criminals” whose only crime was possession of soft drugs like marijuana. “$68 billion is spent in United States on corrections, and one-third of those in jail and prisons were arrested for non-violent drug crimes,” says Wolfenden(1). Almost $75 billion in policing and court system goes toward marijuana-related cases. Advocates of legalization say a disproportionate amount of revenue is being spent policing and locking up petty drug users, and that money could be better spent elsewhere; Such as, furthering investigation on bigger crimes such as missing children and murder. After that, there are medical benefits such as those for cancer patients that marijuana helps. Marijuana has been proven to relieve the vomiting and nausea that come with chemotherapy. “Many cancer patients have said that marijuana was the best treatment for their symptoms” (Messerli 2). Marijuana is also used for treating multiple sclerosis and several mood disorders. After smoking small amounts of marijuana, patients are said to be relaxed and stress free, unlike alcohol which is depressant, Cannabis can be used to treat low level depression. Most depression is caused by stress; smoking marijuana relieves stress and thus relieves depression. Glaucoma is yet another disease that smoking marijuana will treat. Glaucoma is an optical disease that leads to permanent damage of the nerve ending and resulting visual fields, which progress to blindness. Despite making the eyes red marijuana actually lowers intraocular pressure and can prevent as well as cure Glaucoma all together. Marijuana has copious medical uses and little to no