Essay about We Have Lost the War

Submitted By tim3adams
Words: 1459
Pages: 6

With America's military might as a superpower, one would not expect such a great nation to lose such a conflict. I'm not referring to a literal war, but the war on drugs, especially marijuana. The government can't stop the use of marijuana. You probably didn't know that "marijuana is now the nation's biggest cash crop" (Smith par. 1). Marijuana should be legalized because it is such a big money maker, there are possible health benefits from it, the fight against marijuana is not worth the cost, and there are far worse and more dangerous drugs. I am against smoking marijuana personally, but I think the legalization of marijuana would have definite benefits for everyone.
Illegal drugs are widely thought to be horrific and utterly harmful. Most are, but marijuana actually has many possible health benefits. In an article, written by Randy Azaiza, the many health benefits and ailments that can be cured due to the use of marijuana were explained which included: prevention of blindness, increased lung capacity, prevention of the spread of cancer, decreased anxiety and progression of Alzheimer's disease, reduced pain and inflammation, and could increase sleep and appetite (1-15). Blindness, cancer, and Alzheimer's are three major medical problems that can be helped from one miracle plant. That is just brushing the surface of the many medical possibilities of marijuana. There has been much research and debate on the subject in the past and present In a New York Times article Margalit Fox wrote, "Dr. Mikuriya began researching marijuana’s therapeutic possibilities in the 1960s. He maintained a list of more than 200 ailments" (par. 8). Dr. Mikuriya was a doctor who believed and prescribed marijuana adamantly and backed his ideas with his years of research. Marijuana has been used throughout ancient history when the use of medical plants was pure experimentation. Cannabis was used in Ancient China, Egypt, Greece, India, Southeast Asia and Medieval Islam across centuries (Medical Cannabis). With marijuana as a new medical solution to such a variety of illnesses and ailments, those who can't afford better might get a cheaper cure from marijuana.
The so called war on drugs costs the government tons of money in legal punishment, anti-drug programs and criminal investigations. The Drug Policy Alliance has some statistics concerning the matter: "[the] amount [of money] spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: more than $51,000,000,000...Number of people arrested in 2011 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.53 million...Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2011: 757,969," (Drug War Statistics). Throwing money at the situation provides little benefit. The war on drugs is just the government trying to stop the use of dangerous and inhibiting substances. This has all happened before with cigarettes and alcohol. Cigarettes are dangerous; they can give you lung cancer. Alcohol inhibits people's thoughts and can cause reckless actions. Both cigarettes and alcohol are still legal. The government tried prohibiting alcohol in the United States in 1920, but the industry just went underground and mobsters arose to continue distribution of the then illegal alcohol. There was nothing the government could do to stop the wide use of alcohol. Does that sound like a familiar situation? The government is trying to stop the distribution and use of marijuana with little success. Now marijuana is also imported from other countries. We shouldn't out source the marijuana industry because we lose more money. People are going to use marijuana for recreational purposes no matter what attempt anyone does to stop them. In fact, "The country would save 7.7 billion in law enforcement costs and could generate as much as 6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed" (Venkataraman 2). That is a difference of 13.9 billion dollars a year. But, behind the marijuana market are just criminal and violent drug trafficking organizations that