- Politics and Social Issues»
- Social Issues
Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. The idea of legalizing marijuana has been raised in America for several years, but recently there has been more and more talk of legalizing pot in America.
Recent surveys have shown that almost 15 million people have admitted using marijuana in a given month. In the United States 40 percent of drug arrests are for marijuana.
Those who support the legalization of marijuana say that the focus on the use of marijuana is overrated, and that the drug does more to help the body than harm it. These supporters say that if the drug were legalized it would take a tremendous burden off law enforcement and help put the Mexican Cartel out of business.
California has already considered legalizing pot under an initiative called The Inalienable Rights Enforcement Initiative, which will allow marijuana to be sold anywhere alcohol is already sold. If the California voters can amend the Constitution of California it would defend the inalienable rights of the people of California against infringement by governments and corporations, providing for marijuana to be lawfully grown, sold, and possessed in the State of California.
It is legal in California to smoke marijuana as long as you can get a prescription from a doctor, which costs $100. To qualify for a prescription for pot you must be diagnosed with anxiety or insomnia. California is looking into legalizing marijuana through a system of stamps and licenses to help generate money for its ailing state budget. The sale of marijuana would be taxed $5 for an eight ounce. To legally grow marijuana would require that you have an annual license which costs $50 per plant annually.
But the opposition says the legalization of pot would only make things worse and it would make the war on drugs more difficult. The opposition believes making marijuana legal will not do anything to harm the Cartel because they would only change the way they do business by increasing production on other illegal drugs like methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin.
Many government officials say that the legalization of marijuana would send the wrong message to the growing number of drug users and would only encourage more drug use, and for this reason the DEA is against legalizing marijuana.
On the other hand, those who smoke pot say it is far less harmful to the health and safety of people than alcohol and it is far less addictive or harmful than tobacco. They argue that while alcohol is harmful to the health and safety of people, it is a legal substance and it should not be.
Will prohibition of marijuana deter people from smoking it? Those in favor of legalizing pot argue that when alcohol was prohibited from 1920 to 1933 harm to people increased for people who were associated with alcohol. During this period criminals seized control of the alcohol market, there was a sharp increase in crime and violence, poverty, unemployment and corruption.
Are we not seeing the same result today with the prohibition of marijuana? Marijuana is a multi-billion dollar market and who is in control of all that wealth? The criminals are in control, and just like in the days of alcohol prohibition, there is still a sharp increase in crime, violence, poverty and corruption.
The questions associated with legalizing marijuana still remain: Should we legalize marijuana? Will we be better off if pot were made legal? Would the legalization of marijuana take a burden off law enforcement in the United States? And, would the Mexican Drug Cartel be diminished by such action?
If these questions were to find their way to the ballot in your community, how would you vote?