Marijuana has been federally illegal since 1937 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill making the sale, use, and production illegal in the United States of America. This bill included industrial hemp a plant in the same family as Marijuana but with very little THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces the effects of being high. Marijuana law should be reconsidered and should be legal at the federal level because the pros outweigh the cons. The money made from new taxes would help our economy, our prisons would be less crowded due to the reduction in nonviolent criminals serving, and it would be harder for minors to get.
When anything becomes illegal there becomes an underground market for it. Take alcohol prohibition for example not only did people continue to drink but the problem of drinking became way worse and crime rates rose. Alcohol Prohibition was an utter failure and because of that it only lasted 13 years. The same thing has been happening with Marijuana as Alcohol Prohibition, but nothing has been done to stop it. People still produced and consumed alcohol even though the government said it was illegal. The very producers prohibition aimed to take down actually in turn made them very rich. If marijuana was taxed the government would create a new revenue stream for federal programs. The money made from the tax could be used to help educate the public behind the effects of marijuana on youth. Cigarettes are legal and horrible for your health and programs armed with evidence based studies have since reduced the amount of people smoking. Not only that by increasing the taxes on it people begin to quit as prices rise.
Most prisons are filled with non-violent criminals which leads us to spend more of our federal budgets keeping non-violent criminals locked up because of their drug use. More spending on people who only have a drug problem aren't a risk to society, the drug dealers, violent criminals and sex offenders are the ones to be locked up. Reduce our non-violent prison population and spend the savings on slashing our federal trillion dollar debt. Prisons should not be filled with non-violent drug criminals that only did things in the privacy of their own home and did nothing to hurt anyone else. For example a 3rd offense for a marijuana conviction at the federal level has a maximum sentence of 3 years and sometimes carries a felony charge along with it. If someone has a felony they don’t have a chance at getting a job. This just makes the non-violent drug user stuck with being unable to obtain a job and then seeking welfare programs to provide for themselves or family. America needs to fill prisons with the real criminals not the non-violent drug users.
Many people are scared that if we legalize marijuana teenagers would believe that it is okay to use marijuana because the government legalized it. But in countries with very relaxed drug laws such as Amsterdam; use of drugs by their people are way less. But if meth was legalized tomorrow how many people would be going out and hitting the meth pipe?
People think there is such thing as a drug free utopia but the thing is there never will be, just like the world will never reach nirvana. If there is a will there is a way to get a drug. Look at all the other substances that are marijuana “substitutes” coming out that are legal but are sending to people to the hospital even killing them. These companies are producing synthetic materials and marketing them as a mix of herbal plants called spice. While the government is banning these synthetic cannabinoids the companies are easily able to alter the chemical a little bit and it is completely legal again.
When something with a lower dependence rate then coffee and is less addicting then cigarettes is illegal there is something wrong. Yes, many people abuse marijuana but also many successful people have used it too and have no problems in society. Former President, Barrack Obama was a heavy marijuana user in his teen years he stated in his own auto biography. He and his group of friends called themselves the Choom Gang literally meaning to smoke lots of weed. Eventually a time will come when it is completely legal, and when that time comes hopefully everyone sees that it isn't as evil as it was made out to be.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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Section III: The Prison Economy
Addictive properties of popular drugs
The Netherlands Compared to the United States
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