The United States of America is supposedly the freest country in the world yet Americans do not have the freedom to possess, manufacture, smoke or use marijuana (a plant that grows naturally on this planet and with hundreds of years of recorded use can not be proven to have caused a single death) The same American government that passes these laws to keep marijuana illegal apparently believes it is alright to keep cigarettes and alcohol legal (both, substances that have been proven to kill hundreds of thousands of people each year). There are numerous reasons for marijuana to be legalized such as proven medical uses and benefits, the rebuilding of the American economy through the manufacture and distribution of marijuana whether it be recreational, medical or the thousands of textile products that can be produced from hemp or quite simply the freedom of choice to do things that don’t infringe on others rights. The following is a collection of popular beliefs of why it would be beneficial for the United States federal government to legalize marijuana. Marijuana has numerous proven medical uses, yet the federal government still will not pass laws to allow patients to use it. This type of thinking is not only denying patients a naturally grown remedy to many common ailments but also turning them into criminals just because they may want a little relief from diseases that are in many cases killing them. Studies have shown that cancer patients undergoing chemo-therapy have been able to reduce nausea (a common side effect of chemo-therapy) by smoking marijuana. Many people afflicted with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome claim marijuana helps to improve their appetite. People with AIDS often get sick because the virus takes away their appetite Marijuana helps to control that. It has also been known to help calm anxiety in patients with severe autism and multiple sclerosis. America could have a tremendous boost in rebuilding the economy by replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation. Jeffry Miron, a visiting professor at Harvard University performed a study and created a report which has been endorsed by more than 530 distinguished economists (from an open letter/petition to the President, congress, governors and state legislatures) from his studies entitled “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition”. His proposed system of replacing prohibition with a system that legally regulates the manufacture and distribution of marijuana would save and/or generate America approximately 14 billion dollars per year. “legalization would reduce government expenditure by $5.3 billion at the state and local level and by $2.4 billion at the federal level”(Miron, 2005, para 42). Miron has found many instances where legalizing marijuana could stimulate the American economy. “marijuana legalization would generate tax revenue of $2.4 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like all other goods and $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco”(Miron, 2005, para 42). Legalization of marijuana would eliminate arrests for trafficking and possession lowering crime rate and capital spent on enforcement. It would also create potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs if manufactured and distributed similar to the way tobacco is now.
Marijuana prohibition takes away American’s freedom of choice. Many citizens are starting to wonder why marijuana is still illegal. It makes no sense to be able to freely possess substances that have been scientifically proven to kill over a