Marijuana has been illegal on a federal level within the United States dating back to the 1930s. Not only is it illegal, but it is classified as a Schedule I drug under federal law, along with some of the most harmful drugs known to man. Such as, heroin, MDMA, LSD and even bath salts! Not even cocaine, certain methamphetamines or opioids are classified under federal law to be as dangerous as marijuana. According to regulations set forth by the Drug Enforcement Agency, otherwise known as the DEA, to meet the criteria of being categorized as a Schedule I drug, the substance must have a high potential for abuse and have no currently accepted medical treatment. Well as some of you may already know, 23 states, dating back to the 90s, have taken it upon themselves to legalize marijuana for a medicinal purpose, and even 2 states, Washington and Colorado, have voted in legislation to legalize marijuana on a recreational level, and many more are to come. However, this is a complete and total contradiction to the second criteria that needs to be met of the classification of a Schedule I drug! Now being a young adult and having my own experiences with this plant and knowing its effects on others. The fact that this plant hasn’t been legalized yet just baffles me! Why is it that this drug has become illegal all over the world? The debate to legalize marijuana in the United States has been fought over nonstop since its existence, despite the tests and analysis of the benefits of legalizing it. There are far more dangerous things that are legal in this country, such as nicotine, alcohol and prescription painkillers, that kill more people in one year than marijuana has since the beginning of its existence. There are so many reasons for the federal government in favor to legalize marijuana, both on a medicinal and recreational level, that hopefully sometime in the near future we can see a complete turnaround on their stance of this harmless plant.
The first and probably most important reason to legalize this plant is economic relief we would see nationwide. The topic of economic relief from marijuana legalization has been brought up countless times and really only by the advocators of legalization. The reason why you may ask? Is because it is the truth! No one expects that America will recover economically by becoming a “pot nation” but it will help to bring America out of the hole it is in. In no way will legalizing marijuana hurt the American economy at all. Regulation of the drug will bring money into the state and ultimately the nation. Right now medical marijuana in California brings in 14 billion dollars a year and with legalization it is expected to rise by 4 Billion dollars and that’s only California! With the rise of income there will also be cuts on government spending. Every single year America spends around 68 Billion dollars on prisoners in jail where 1/6 of the population were incarcerated due to nonviolent drug crimes related with marijuana. That means America could save 11.5 Billion dollars a year on prison spending with your tax money (Wolff.) The topic on prisons will come up again as well, but that’s for later. People that support the cause feel that legalizing marijuana would help bring America out of its economic struggle. The government can regulate the drug in the states by taxing the drug and distributing it for consumption. Marijuana if legalized would become a product for anyone to purchase according to set guidelines that federal or state governments will put in place.
A close second, however is the medicinal benefits this plant carries. Marijuana is known to be a drug that gives users a “high” and is illegal in almost every nation. While some nations are very strict when it comes to enforcing this particular law, others are extremely lenient. Today, though, more and more people are deciding to side with pro-marijuana legalization in America. People that never even gave