04 November 2003
Legalization of Marijuana
The legalization of marijuana is a controversial issue that has been
fought for and against for several decades. Marijuana is defined as a
preparation made from the dried flower clusters and leaves of the cannabis
plant, which is usually smoked or eaten to induce euphoria and to heal and
soothe (dictionary.com). In the 1930s, the American media spread numerous
false stories that marijuana was an extremely dangerous drug and therefore
marijuana and hemp were effectively banned in 1938. It is apparent that
the ban on marijuana in the United States is unnecessary due to the fact
that the crime would be reduced, its results are proved to be better than
those of prescribed drugs and taxes on other products would be reduced.
As we know there are many people in the world that sell and/or grow
marijuana. Under the Drug Act this is illegal and fines and even prison
time can occur. Why is it everyday professional athletes and other famous
people in the media get away with murder but if anyone else has any amount
of marijuana in their possession they get jail time? If marijuana was
legalized it would decrease the crime rate and would eliminate many
problems with adolescents.
“Alcohol, which is advertised on television and sold in supermarkets,
isresponsible for nearly 100,000 deaths annually, including those
caused bydrunk drivers. But the use of all illegal drugs combined –
cocaine, heroin, marijuana, angel dust, LSD, et cetera – accounted
for only 3,403 deaths in1987 which is only 1 percent of those caused
by alcohol. According to theNational Institute of Drug Abuse,
however, there are no deaths that can beunequivocally attributed to
marijuana use. And unlike alcohol use, afrequent factor like child
abuse, marijuana does not predispose its users to violence” (War on Drugs
This quote proves that the use of marijuana doesn’t directly cause deaths.
Death may be caused while under the influence of marijuana however, it is
also under the influence of another drug or alcohol.
Today all marijuana is purchased illegally and the government has no
control over the way it is used. If it were legalized the government could
control the selling and growing of it, which in turn would rid of many of
the problems we hear about on the news or read in the newspaper. Not only
would it abolish the need for dealers, but it would also eliminate the need
for concealment due to the fact that it would no longer be against the law
to purchase it. With the government having control over the selling of
weed it would also control who purchases marijuana, similar to the
purchasing of tobacco. Parents could worry less about their teenagers
purchasing marijuana under age as well as preventing teenagers from getting
involved with dealers. Unlike cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin,
marijuana is not addictive (War on Drugs 25). Like cigarettes one is
unable to purchase them until one is eighteen years of age; however, many
teenagers still find ways of getting them on their own. This is the same
for marijuana. If a teenager wants to purchase marijuana then they will
find ways to get. People would no longer be arrested for carrying
marijuana on them; therefore, decreasing the amount of drug trafficking in
Canada. By eliminating the crime caused by marijuana selling and smoking,
it could also decrease the amount of other crimes that are associated with
the drug culture. With the government’s control over the marijuana they
could also put taxes on each bag.
We as tax payers are always looking for other ways to decrease the
amount of taxes that we have to pay. This year alone the government has
increased the price of tobacco as well as the amount of hydroelectricity we
pay for our houses. If we look at how much money was consumed last year
form the selling of illegal marijuana we can see that it would raise our
country’s profits significantly. Each year almost 7 billion dollars is
made through the exporting of marijuana. Since the government would be
controlling the buying and selling of it, it could charge a hefty amount in
taxes. For the pot-smoker that wouldn’t necessarily be for the best, but
for the other tax payers the tax on other products would reduce
significantly. The taxes on such items like other prescribed and over- the-
counter drugs would be reduced.
Medical uses of marijuana for the relief of nausea in cancer and AIDS
patients and the stimulation of appetite have been proven to have better
affects than those of prescribed and over-the-counter drugs. The oil and
fibers of the cannabis plant have many uses such as making rope, cloth,
paper, and fuel. Aloe Vera is defined as “the mucilaginous juice or gel
obtained from the leaves of this plant, widely used in cosmetic and
pharmaceutical preparations for its soothing and healing properties”
(dictionary.com). Note that both Marijuana and Aloe Vera are used for
medicinal use yet aloe vera is legal and marijuana isn’t. Why is it?
Many people oppose the legalization of marijuana as they consider it
a drug, one that will open the doors to other harsher more serious drugs.
Although this may be true only a person that abuses drugs will allow
themselves to fall into a hole. Many people don’t look at marijuana as a
plant that has many healing powers but as a drug that causes damage.
Legalization advocates deny that the amount of drug use would be affected.
People believe that drug use would soar because of the availability. My
best friend, Alana, and I have been smoking pot for several years now.
Yet, she moved on to more drugs, she tried new things. She tried coke. I
was very displeased with her choice but I stated my feelings to her about
her using such a drug. I am not sure whether she is addicted to it but she
knows that I don’t like her doing it and knows that I am not going to
lecture her on her using it anymore. For me, I am just fine with smoking
marijuana, for her, on the other hand, she isn’t satisfied.
It is a common misconception that marijuana is a gateway drug and
leads to other more harsher drugs. I know from personal experiences that
it doesn’t necessarily lead to more harsh drugs. Like I have mentioned
previously, I have been smoking pot for a few years now and have had no
desire whatsoever to try any other drug. As far as it being more readily
available, yes it is; however, people would smoke more pot but it doesn’t
necessarily mean more people are going to smoke pot.
It is apparent that the ban on marijuana in the United States is
unnecessary due to the fact that the crime would be reduced, its results
are proved to be better than those of prescribed drugs and taxes on other
products would be reduced. The government and the rest of society haven’t
looked at the benefits that marijuana has. Ignorant people only look at it
as a dangerous drug. Medically, marijuana improves those who use it. As
far as the government selling it, the crime rate would reduce and so would
taxes. Marijuana’s ban in the United States is strictly unnecessary.
Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Dictionary.com. 2003. 21 Oct. 2003
Jones, David. War on Drugs; Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven
Press, Inc, 1990.