Benefits and Drawbacks of Legalizing Marijuana

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Compared with harder drugs as cocaine and heroin, marijuana, also named as cannabis or hemp, is considered as a soft drug with less addiction and harm. In the 19th century, it was one of the most important crops in the American continent to the common wealth (Newton, 2013, p.32), but it has been banned to grow in most countries since the 20th century (Newton, 2013, p.45). Given the clamour for “decriminalization” of the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana is growing (Single, 2013, p.456) and the problem of pushing drugs is exacerbated in sight, the proposal of legalizing this illicit drug has been disputed among the governments. This essay tries to weigh up the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana from the perspective of the economic interest and the decrease in crime rate as well as the facet of menace to human’s health and the impediment to the youth’s development, so that a rational and justifiable evaluation can be finally carried out. Legalizing marijuana is beneficial to the increase of government revenue and the reduction of its expenditure. Motivated by the huge profits, adventurers have smuggled marijuana through customs. As a result, customs tax, as an important contributor to the national revenue, has been evaded by them. Supposing that the marijuana is legalized, enterprises should pay tax in accordance with the law, which will undoubtedly bring the additional interests to the government. Take the Netherlands as an example, the proportion of marijuana and its related products or services contributing to the GDP reached 2% in 2007(Babor et al.,2010,p.213). In addition, legalizing marijuana can reduce the public expenditure from the government, for instance, financial costs on law enforcement, prison management and public security. Thus, the extra income and the reduced costs can be devoted to the education, public health and sanitation. Moreover, legalizing marijuana will be conductive to decreasing the rate of drug-related crimes....
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