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Marijuana: A self-justifying solution for legalization

Updated on July 19, 2010

The debate over the legalization of marijuana is gaining attention, a lot of it. Recreational marijuana use will be legalized within a few years, even if only in a few states. The only question left: How can society benefit from its legalization?

There are two ways to answer this question. We can either state that the legalization of marijuana is beneficial to the United States because our nation is regaining some of its freedom or we can say that the taxation of marijuana would be responsible for billions in revenue for the government. Either way, you see that it is important.

There's an issue however. It seems as though everyone supporting the legalization of marijuana is considered a 'pot-head', and as such, marijuana and its supporters are given a bad stigma. This means that you might be jeopardizing your reputation if you advocate the legalization of marijuana. The ethical implications of this issue are obvious: either you support 'hard-drug use' or you don't.

Is there an attainable solution for this dilemma? I'd like to propose my own.

In order to counteract the moral problems surrounding the legalization of marijuana, we need to ensure that its legalization does something for the greater-good. What might this be? What if we were to take a portion of the taxes collected from the sale of marijuana and use it for drug-treatment centers? Instead of throwing all of the drug addicts in jail, let's use marijuana as a gateway-drug, but in the reverse sense. Why shouldn't we legalize the sale of marijuana if it can provide money for those struggling with drug dependency issues? It has the potential to be the solution and not the problem.

If it sounds too simple, it's probably because you're used to our government making everything so sluggishly impossible. The idea is sound and we're in the midst of an impending change. Let's ensure that those who don't want marijuana to be legalized have some comfort in knowing that the drug is being sold, in part, to help stop drug abuse.

Do you know why the government is furiously trying to stop marijuana trafficking? It's because the cartel leaders are making a lot of money selling weed, which allows them to buy the supplies they need to run their business. What we apparently haven't realized yet is that once marijuana is legalized, people won't be buying weed from private dealers who likely obtained their product from a Mexican cartel. Once we stop wasting law enforcement resources on marijuana, we'll be able to concentrate a lot more on the actual 'hard drugs' (cocaine, meth, heroine, E, oxycotton, etc).

There are solutions to the difficult questions. We need to start thinking again. The government isn't going to solve these issue unless we make them known. Once we all compromise a bit, we'll start making progress in the right direction. Hopefully you will check out my website sometime. Thank you for reading!

Progress Through Thought


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    • profile image

      Larry Wall 3 years ago

      This Hub is four yeas old and could be written today without any changes. There is one point I want to throw out. Holland was mention. I have never been, but is the base for Shell Oil Co. they have developed a tremendous system for preventing coastal erosion. However, they do not have a space exploration program, or a substantial military force. The U.S. is and not really by choice the "police force" for the world. Maybe we should not be, but we are. Would we be able? I never smoked pot and at 64 am not going to start--if a true medical reason is proved, I might consider it. However, smoke, any kind, bothers me. What will be the restrictions on pilots, soldiers, people working on high-rise buildings or on oil and gas platforms in the Gulf? It must have some euphoric, relaxing, or other similar effects. If the use grows, can we trust the people working in our hospitals, pharmacies, governmental offices, to pay the attention to their jobs. People compare it to cigarettes, saying it is not as dangerous. I do not think we have that evidence. People say the air pollution is so bad that it is killing us, yet they want to add one more unknown to the mix. I took a course in college about drug use--it was a pharmacy course, but open to anyone. This was in 1972. The professor kept talking about this other PhD in Mississippi who was growing pot that would be legal in two years (he missed on that prediction) and noted that a series of brand names had already been copyright registration. I think a copyright is good for 26 years and can be extended once. Well, the first 26 years are over.

      If it could not be legalized in the 70s when we had the hippy generation, the flower children, LSD, and a whole lot of other illegal drugs we are still fighting today. I knew many who did not graduate because getting high was more fun than studying. Many are dead. It is now more than 50 years later, and the pro-marijuana movement is saying virtually the same thing, and those opposed are still voicing opposition. It may have some limited medical purposes, but just giving you a mellow feeling does not fall within that group. I have no real point to make. I think it can be a gateway drug for many people. I think it can be grown in a way that could make it dangerous (too many pesticides) and I just don't accept the concept that because people want it, they should have it. I have numerous diet restrictions for health reasons. I have not seen any evidence to show it would help any of my health Issues. I heard about marijuana when I was in High School for the 1965-69 term. It is now 2015. So after more than 50 yeas of debate not a lot of progress has been made. Maybe it is time to move on. I will say that we have gotten away from the "Reefer Maddness" mentality to a more intelligent discussion, but the movie was fun to watch, even back in the 60s.

    • ivanpoleti profile image

      ivanpoleti 7 years ago from Rijeka,Croatia

      Well said man,your idea is the one idea all of us

      'potheads" have incommon.It is kinda stupid not to legalize marijuana because everybody smokes marijuana,not just in USA but in all countries world-wide,India,whole of Africa,Croatia-my country.I know for a fact that 80 percent of Croatians between 18-25 smokes marijuana on regular basis.

    • CJamesIII profile image

      CJamesIII 7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      The biggest hindrance to legalization is that those doctors and other so called "professionals" who designed the DSM (Diagnostic Statistic Manual and other resources) classified marijuana as a hard core drug in the same class as opiates, heroine and cocaine. Not only was that assessment irresponsible and small minded, it was decided in complete ignorance with little or no testing. As for alcohol, it is legal, obviously, but the problem is our attitude towards it. I had 3 grandparents who were alcoholics, so I am more than aware of the problems, but it is our whole society that promotes drinking and alcoholism. Think of sporting events or celebrities in rehab. We as a people glorify this activity and that is the problem. There are millions of people in this country who use marijuana regularly (at least once a week) and still go to work and have kids and pay their bills and vote. Our legislators are in the dark ages on this one! I would much rather have marijuana be legal than alcohol.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Well it's an important topic and I appreciate all of the input! It's something that I've recently started looking into, but I'm aware that there needs to be a lot of reform before our systems fix the problem.

      In all honesty, I think that fast food places are twice as horrible for the individual and society as marijuana is. They take money away from local restaurant owners and feed the public cheap, unhealthy food with a smile...

      I'm not blaming the government for everything either. I think it's time for the citizens to wake up and realize that we're causing many of the problems ourselves.

      I heard about that "safe injection site" in Vancouver before. It's a pretty interesting concept. A lot of people are against it, but then again, an addict is going to find a way to get high even if it means stealing or killing for it.

      Thanks for the comments! Visit if you're interested in reading some more of my ideas.

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...well google Mark Emery - he was selling seeds out of his store in Vancouver BC - the US finally extradited him and he's gone...I don't know what has happened to him...he was selling 'friggin' seeds...but the 'war on drugs' had him listed as someone the US wanted...I don't recall all the details...I think he was finally extradited within the last year. Now, he's not a good face to put forward in relation to advocating for legalization...he's around 50 and whenever I see him on the news or in the papers...he's usually smoking some outrageously huge joint (that no one would normally do) and then he has older teens and really young adults following him - I never took him seriously; considered him an idjut the way he went about advocating...anyway, so I guess through his store and his online biz...he sold seeds to people in the US and he got called on took a while for Canada to send him to face charges in the US however. Yes, pressure is/was put on politicians here (especially when Bush was around)...I'm not sure what if any pressure Obama puts on Canada; maybe not..i don't follow it close enough.

      yea, you and I both know hard drugs are a completely different matter...but then again...legalization would cut down on all kinds of criminal activity...think Amsterdam. I don't know if you've ever been there but they've legalized the hard stuff - like heroin and most of the 'junkies' disappeared off the streets because they were able to function better in society with their legal drugs and other supports....but again, that's an entirely different issue. None of it makes sense when I think of the legal drugs like hill billy heroin that people take - Oxycontin (or whatever it's called)...I think we need to straighten up and take a good look at what's happening with the legal stuff and 'slap' a few Dr's for feeding their patients for pain that is probably not there anymore.

      Vancouver BC has safe injection sites for heroin users...they have supervised access to sterilized rooms and the equipment they need, nurses are there, if they overdose, etc. and/or if they decide they want rehab...ultimately Vancouver would want to move to where Amsterdam did with legalization so that people can function better and obtain it legally, etc. etc. I could go and on about this topic btw.....

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Shadesbreath - I'll look it up. Thanks for pointing it out. It's always helpful to have research-backed information available!

      SomewayOuttaHere - It's interesting that it's sold in Cafes there... I really had no idea it's use what that prevalent in Canada. The US really has that much influence over Canadian policies? In my opinion, the war on drugs would be a good fight if they left marijuana out of it an concentrated on the Hard Drugs. When will our leaders learn...

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky

      ...well what about the way it is already sold in Canada at cafes (Vancouver BC) as well as the cafes in Amsterdam....i've gone to the cafes with people but didn't pay attention to how they chose what they wanted to buy. (at the time i wasn't smoking it) ...(from time to time i indulge...but I don't inhale LOL!) Cafe operations would be something to look into, because it is already being sold...from time to time, pressure is put on the Canadian politicians (some of it being influenced by the war on drugs in the US) and the police start busting the cafes...and then after the dust settles, the cafes just goes on with business as usual from there...i don't really understand it...i figure it's just pressure sometimes, but it doesn't stop...a blind eye is turned. It will be a big deal when Canada legalizes it - because of the pressure that could come from the US.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      I don't remember the name specifically, but you can find it talked about on the NPR page from the week they did on this topic a few weeks back.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Great advice! May I know what studies you're talking about specifically? I'll probably write a follow up hub in the near future and that study sounds important. Thanks!

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      Put a potency "proof" on it because it is regulated and tested just like alcohol (people should know what they are getting and get what they are paying for). Regulate it exactly like tobacco and alcohol, except legal age should be 25 if the studies concerning adolescent/young adult brain structures are correct.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Marijuana should be used by adults who are old enough to make their own decisions (not High School kids). There do have to be restrictions when we're talking about a mind-altering drug, however, those restrictions shouldn't be a complete ban, as it is now.

      The frequency that someone uses marijuana reflects their personality; it's not the drug that's making them smoke. I know people that smoke almost every day yet they attend college, workout at the gym, have a social life and work a part-time job. The drug isn't making people lazy and lethargic, it's the individual's personality.

      Great comments guys! Curious though: what is the 'best' way to regulate marijuana sales to the public? (for now, I'm not talking about growing it, just selling)

    • Pandoras Box profile image

      Pandoras Box 7 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

      CLS as a parent -who used to smoke pot and still does on rare and joyous occassions- (or when I'm visiting family) -I object to your assertion.

      I would be concerned with my child's future and financial and long-term mental growth and well-being, should he or she develop a habit. I wouldn't be at all concerned with the fact that they broke the law. That would be the least of my worries.

      The first thing I would do is confiscate it. ;)

      But seriously, let's be honest. Pot use can have some negative effects -like most everything else.

      Shades -as always- makes good points. I think also it's not only an unproductive policy, but it's also just an unnecessary affront to our so-called freedom.

    • saddlerider1 profile image

      saddlerider1 7 years ago

      Let's just go back in history and realize how legal Hemp and cannabis once was, it was some stupid government official who proclaimed it as dangerous and voila the dye was cast and forever more it became illegal and innocent people put in jails all over America, how sad is that?

      Billions of tax payers dollars spent on putting people in jail for smoking marijuana, now that's sick. When so much good could have been done with that money recklessly spent by governments. I am happy to see it legalized now in 15 states as well as for medical use in Canada. However the shit the government is selling is just that CRAP and hopefully we will be able to grow our own legally. Changes are definitely blowing our way and California may just be able to get out of debt with the tax money they will make from growers.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 7 years ago from California

      The simple fact that the nation has totally and completely failed in stopping the use of it is reason enough. At some point you just have to admit that craptons of people are already doing it and the only people benefiting from the profits are a bunch of total a-holes in Mexico and here in the states. Legalizing it won't be the panacea of all social ills like some of the ridiculous tie-dyed hippies proclaim--and frankly, having those flea-ridden faces speaking up for legalizing it is NOT helping. But anyone with common sense and the ability to let go of Victorian era mentality can recognize a failed policy when they bother to actually look. Anecdotal evidence like "well I know two brain dead dopers" is not an example of reason, IMHO.

    • SomewayOuttaHere profile image

      SomewayOuttaHere 7 years ago from TheGreatGigInTheSky that are allowed to grow in Canada (for medical purposes) have to jump through so many hoops - it is totally ridiculous...and basically have to set up like as is they are protecting something either extremely dangerous or something extremely valuable...drilling for oil doesn't even have the same ridiculous parameters...i'm all for legalization...but i struggle with the stupid gov't being involved with the regs. around it...they make it so difficult for a farmer to even want to bother growing it...years from now, hopefully that fear will subside and it'll be a crop like any other crop that is British Columbia, Canada, it is a huge underground economy...that doesn't get tapped into for tax purposes...but i'm sure the growers don't want gov't to interfere with what they already know how to do't will just bring it all to a screeching halt!...they're not farmers...they are silly servants!

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      I definitely agree with you!

      If your argument is that marijuana is unhealthy than..

      cigarettes cause cancers (legal)

      alcohol causes hangovers and brain damage (legal)

      marijuana has less severe effects than either (illegal)

      What!? We need to start thinking again and monazite this plant for our nation's recovery!

    • Cls1321 profile image

      Cls1321 7 years ago

      American Romance, there is literally no possible way marijuana can make somebody brain-dead. And if you just mean "lazy stoners", they are going to be lazy stoners regardless, so why not make money off of those people via taxes ?

      great article maple. I agree with the points you made.

      What I find funny, is that one of the biggest things that people find wrong with marijuana is that it's illegal.

      What I mean is, lets take teens for instance. Most parents aren't angry at their children because they smoked weed, It's a harmless substance which can't cause death no matter how much is consumed. Parents instead get angry because their children broke the law.

      Another thing that gets me going, is when people say it should be illegal because it CAN be somewhat harmful (they usually give examples starting with: "if you smoked 20 joints a day ...). If we are going to make everything that's harmful to peoples health illegal, than I guess alcohol, fast food, and candy should all be illegal as well right ?

      I could go on and on and rant all day about reasons marijuana should be legalized, and how the government makes it look like such a negative thing because they make plenty of money from fines, but I'll stop myself for now haha.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Here's the problem with your argument: You are asking the country to compromise its freedoms in order to meet your desire. It is a personal decision to use or avoid drugs of any sort and that decision doesn't change simply because marijuana would be legal.

      I know where you are coming from, but my Father was an alcoholic and, in all honesty, I would much rather have had him been a pot-head.

    • American Romance profile image

      American Romance 7 years ago from America

      We have enough problems controlling Booze in this country, you have some points and I smoked it years and years ago, but I don't want my children smoking it, and I know 2 guys who never stoppped and they are both brain dead idiots, This is not for our country.

    • maplethorpej profile image

      Jerad Maplethorpe 7 years ago from Minneapolis, Minn.

      Thanks! I appreciate the support.

    • Pandoras Box profile image

      Pandoras Box 7 years ago from A Seemingly Chaotic World

      Well written. Rated up and I'm for it.


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