Legalization of Marijuana Essay

Submitted By jadaneese
Words: 811
Pages: 4

Legalization of Marijuana

Forty-six percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana (Mendes). From an economic standpoint, the legalization of marijuana at the federal level would be beneficial for the United States. It would allow for more tax revenue and less government spending on arrests. Legalization could also create an array of new jobs. In times like these, we could use a jumpstart for our economy.
Some may argue that legalizing marijuana can open the door for people to start using harsher drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or amphetamines. It is believed that connectedness is a key to drug prevention. Having a sense of belonging and having a strong connection with family and community makes it easier to stray away from illicit drugs. If children lack connectedness, they will find comfort and security in drug use. It has been discussed that programs to prevent illicit drug use are short-term and uncoordinated. I believe with the money that we would be bringing in and the money that wouldn’t be spent could fund programs in schools to teach students the dangers of using these harsh drugs. I believe the earlier you instill it into a child’s brain that these drugs are much worse for you than marijuana, the more they realize it. With legalization, we would be able to tax marijuana. We are able to tax alcohol and in 2007, the United States was able to bring in almost $6 billion. According to Stephen Easton, an economist, with the amount of consumers that there are, legalizing this drug could bring in anywhere from $45 to $100 billion per year. We could put this money towards other expenses and budgetary items, such as programs for children, as stated earlier, or even rehabilitation programs for adults. Along with bringing in billions of dollars through taxes, we would be saving billions. In 2005, the amount of people arrested for possession of marijuana was almost 700,000, while 90,000 people were arrested for sale and manufacture. In 2007, this prohibition cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $41.8 billion. The Department of Justice reports that we spend more than $1 billion to apprehend offenders and another $8 billion in criminal justice costs. Legalizing the drug could save us all this money and we could pay taxes for major drug crimes or other important matters. Now, others may argue that marijuana is harmful and addictive. It’s true that marijuana isn’t a harmless drug; however, alcohol and cigarettes are legal and can do just as much damage. There are thousands upon thousands of alcohol-related incidents every year. In a study conducted in 1997, it was found that alcohol and marijuana have the same effects: they both slow responding time and decreased accuracy of DSST (Digit Symbol Substitution Test) (Heishman). Cigarettes cause cancer, which can possibly be a slow and painful death. Yet, these substances are still legal and people still abuse them.
Opening new dispensaries would create new jobs. Company weGrow in Phoenix, Arizona estimates that about 75 jobs are created indirectly from each new dispensary. In order to get our economy running smoothly again, we need people working. Imagine the amount of jobs created if the United States were to legalize marijuana. If we assume that each state would have at least 20 dispensaries that had 75 people working in each, there would 75,000 new jobs. It might not be as many jobs as we would like but I believe it to be a great amount of people working. This prohibition on marijuana is parallel to…