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Legalize It, Tax It and Get Over It!
Written By: James Nelson
Legalize it! This slogan has been the chant of marijuana legalization activists for several years. There are those of course who would point out that marijuana should not be legal because it can impair a person’s ability to function properly. Honestly there are a few dangers and health issues that could arise, but those are easily remedied. Marijuana has more benefits than what are being looked into, like economic benefits, along with health and legal benefits such as police being able to focus their attention on crimes like murder, rape and theft. So, marijuana is very beneficial not only to the individual user, but also for the nation as a whole.
Marijuana can impair a person’s ability to function properly, but is that not one of the reasons people use it to begin with? Much the same way people use alcohol to get intoxicated, people smoke marijuana to get high. Instead of getting all liquored up and driving around or picking fights however, a stoner would instead raid your refrigerator and take a nap. Some say marijuana is a gateway drug, and it must be asked, a gateway to what exactly? Caffeine which is put in almost everything ingested today is more of a gateway drug than marijuana. When someone eats drinks and breathes caffeine all they want is to go faster, so in turn someone that is used to having caffeine all day every day would naturally gravitate towards speed. Some people would tell you that smoking marijuana is harmless however; this is not true Gale Opposing Viewpoints states that, “Despite a popular myth that cannabis use is harmless marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, contains cyanide…” This is true, marijuana smoke can be harmful. When smoked it has many of the same carcinogens and chemicals caused by smoking cigarettes, such as cyanide and tar. This however, can be remedied by using a vaporizer or ingesting it by mouth instead of smoking. The economic benefits are impossible to overlook. After being legalized, a new cash crop will be born. Farms and factories would boom with now products. There would also be higher quality bud available to the public so less people would visit drug dealers because it would be worth paying a tax on the quality product. There would also be thousands of new marketable products that could be made out of the cannabis plant even after the bud had been stripped and sold. Products like oils and lotions, cloth and rope, perhaps even fuel could be produced from this amazing plant! With all of these new products being taxed it would create direct revenue for the nation’s economy possibly helping curb our downward spiral. Of course if someone was to possess marijuana and not have a tax stamp to go along with it then it should be illegal, not only as tax evasion, and treated as such. According an article in the Atlantic, if legalized, taxed drugs were sold for a seventh or eighth of their current price it would make illegal selling pointless and could bring in at least $10 billion in taxes at the current level of use. Economics aside there are a plethora of health benefits that are offered by the consumption of marijuana. Dr. Henry Gonte says he has never experienced anything like it. “Most of them [patients] are using other prescribed narcotics that are supposed to help them manage their pain, but it’s not working. The usual narcotic combinations make them sick. It’s not satisfying. It doesn’t do the job…” (MMMCC) So it would seem combining other legal drugs just makes things worse while marijuana alleviates the symptoms. The mother of an 18 year old cancer patient, Kim Watkins stated, “I was not a fan of marijuana and then my son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He suffered dramatic weight loss, headaches and anxiety. His doctors were pumping him with all kinds of drugs to get his appetite back. Nothing was working. We were referred to Michigan Medical…