Final Essay Legalizing Marijauna

Submitted By fayesh9
Words: 1227
Pages: 5

Legalizing In 2014, the United States of America had approximately 2.4 million people incarcerated (Economist, 2014). According to the new BJS report, "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," 12.7 percent of state inmates and 12.4 percent of federal inmates incarcerated for drug violations are serving time for marijuana offenses (Armentano, 2007). Combining these percentages with separate U.S. Department of Justice statistics on the total number of state and federal drug prisoners suggests that there are now about 33,655 state inmates and 10,785 federal inmates behind bars for marijuana offenses (Armentano, 2007). The report failed to include estimates on the percentage of inmates incarcerated in county and/or local jails for pot-related offenses (Armentano, 2007). One marijuana smoker is arrested every 48 seconds in America (NORML Organization, 2015). Taken together, the total number of marijuana arrests for 2012 far exceeded the combined number of arrests for violent crimes, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault (NORML Organization, 2015). That’s a problem that we can easily solve by making marijuana legal in the United States.
By making marijuana legal, police officers will be able to focus on other crimes that are more vicious and harming than marijuana. Police officers would be able to focus in more on going murder investigations, domestic violence incidents, rape allegations, and robbery cases along with other heinous crimes committed in the United States today. Also, marijuana can make this country plenty of money if the government controls it. We would be able to put marijuana in different types of drug stores, grocery stores, and super stores all over the United States and have a huge tax on it. It’d most likely bring the country millions maybe even billions of dollars annually since over 25 million Americans smoke marijuana per year (Gettman, 2007). Also, if marijuana was legal, then around 45,000 Americans wouldn’t be in jail (Armentano, 2007). To keep a prisoner in prison, it costs the government around $29,000 per inmate (Samuels, 2013). Taxpayers would be able to save over $1 billion by not having the 45,000 Americans in jail for marijuana related charges (Armentano, 2007).
There are a lot of common beliefs that are misconceptions of marijuana. The first one is that marijuana causes cancer. It's true that marijuana smoke, like tobacco smoke, contains carcinogens (Rolling Stone, 2015). The thing is that even hardcore pot smokers typically consume much less pot than tobacco smokers do cigarettes, probably not enough to cause cancer (Rolling Stone, 2015). A 2006 UCLA study concluded that even heavy marijuana use does not lead to lung cancer (Rolling Stone, 2015). The lead author of the study stated, "We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect” (Rolling Stone, 2015).The leader of the study went on to say that marijuana may actually “inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors” (Rolling Stone, 2015). Another misconceptions is that marijuana is a very harmful drug. Marijuana is actually less harmful than alcohol and tobacco and much less harmful and dangerous than crack cocaine and heroin (Rolling Stone, 2015). Another misconception is that marijuana is completely harmless. Heavy use can be harmful (Rolling Stone, 2015). Since pot smoke is chemically very similar to tobacco smoke, heavy pot smokers are at risk for some of the same health effects as cigarette smokers, like bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses (Rolling Stone, 2015).
In 2014, the United States of America had approximately 2.4 million people incarcerated (Economist, 2014). In the United States, there are now about 33,655 state inmates and 10,785 federal inmates behind