The American Civil Liberties Union estimated that local governments spent $211 million on enforcing marijuana related laws between 2000 and 2010 (Sledge, 1.) The issue of legalizing marijuana has been at the top of the political and societal spectrum for generations and the laws are now changing at a rapid pace all around the United
States. Not only is this problem causing the governments to lose massive amounts of money, it is also resulting in the overcrowding of U.S prisons. From 2012 to 2013,
27.6% of offenders were in prison for crimes related to marijuana (Miles, 1.) For most, this was their first criminal charge. The majority of the people that are in support of the legalization of marijuana see the medical benefits and how this can result in researchers having the ability to understand marijuana better. Scientists have found that medical marijuana can treat glaucoma, help reverse the effects of tobacco and improve lung health, control seizures, and even stop cancer from spreading. By legalizing marijuana in the United States, we could possibly find our way out of debt, improve the prison system, and help the people who need it the most.
One of the major problems that marijuana prohibition is the lost opportunity cost. If the government had a similar taxing method that is currently used for alcohol, marijuana would produce tax revenues between $10 billion and $14 billion per year
(Austin, 1.) Dr. Jeffrey Miron who gave a speech at Harvard University said “Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement, $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels” (Miron, 1.) It is estimated that
Americans will spend billions of dollars on buying marijuana illegally, and can result in even more tax money spent on the police to stop these illegal transactions. These billions of dollars could aid the less than stellar economy instead of criminals on the street. Not only would the government be getting money, but this process could provide and create jobs for many which improves the economy. The unemployment
level can rise, but is definitely decreasing for the states where marijuana is legal.
Colorado created over ten thousand jobs for construction workers, electricians, plumbers, accountants, landlords, and among others who work in the dispensaries
(Rucke, 1). The money, the jobs, and the opportunities that the most used illicit drug on the planet can open up is endless.
The Unites States spends $68 billion a year on its prisoners, one third being there drug crimes. Half of the “criminals” are offenders of marijuana laws which means that one sixth of The United States prisoners are in jail for marijuana charges (Wolff, 1).
The legalization of marijuana could help in de-crowding the prisons without putting any harm back onto the streets and spending $11.3 billion less a year on housing these prisoners (Wolff, 1). Improving prisons is impossible without money. When there are less prisoners in jail, there is more money to be spent on the few that are in jail. This could result in bettering the system by giving the prisoners higher quality food, offering counseling, better care, and overall giving them a more positive experience. With the improvements to the prison system, there could be less repeat offenders returning to the jail cells, and more contributing members of society getting back out into the world.
Marijuana is illegal in most states and countries around the world yet 76% of doctors approve and recommend the use of medical marijuana (Castillo, 1). Marijuana has the ability to relieve pain, enhance mood and increase appetite to those who are prescribed to use it. Almost all over the counter drugs have numerous side effects that can be very painful or overbearing, plenty worse than the side effects of marijuana.
There are limited options for people to take medicine…