The debate of whether or not to legalize marijuana has been raging for years. While some believe the decriminalization of marijuana would create a state of chaos in America, others believe the substance would have a positive effect on our society. Personally, I feel legalizing this drug would provide a helpful boost to our economy, our criminal justice system, and society as a whole. It is because of these reasons that our government should adopt a system that will legalize, regulate, and control marijuana. A system that would allow the government to distribute and tax marijuana would give an enormous boost to our stumbling economy. Sales tax generated from buyers of this drug would produce large sums of money that would be similar those produced by alcohol and cigarettes. Also, since marijuana would be legal, the government would no longer need to dish out the large sums of money spent on the war against pot. The forty-two billion dollars a year that is used to prevent marijuana use could be redirected towards other issues. The decriminalization of marijuana would also have a positive impact on our criminal justice system. Every year, our law enforcement spends a lot of time and money locking up pot users. This is a problem for two reasons. First, despite their efforts, our criminal justice system is losing its so-called “War on Drugs.” Even though there are nearly a million people locked up for marijuana possession, marijuana use among Americans continues to rise. The second reason that I feel this is wrong is that marijuana is proven to be less dangerous than alcohol, which is legal and available all over the U.S. By legalizing marijuana, our law enforcement agencies can stop wasting time and money trying to prevent marijuana use and turn their attention towards more serious issues. Although there is no way to predict the type of results legal marijuana would have on American society, I think we can get a good idea of the impact that legalizing this drug would bring by looking at countries who have already done so. Countries like the Netherlands, who legalized marijuana in 1976, have proven that legalizing cannabis can provide helpful benefits among its people. Since legalizing marijuana, the Netherlands has seen the use rates of both youth and adults decrease each year. As of right now, the use rate of marijuana as well as the crime rate in the Netherlands is lower than in the U.S. Although I know the United States is not the Netherlands, the example of the Dutch system shows me that marijuana legalization will not be the catastrophe that many people believe it will be.
Much like the Netherlands, I feel the decriminalization of marijuana would produce positive results in American…