English 120 o
April 4, 2012
Legalization of Marijuana
The debate over the legalization of Marijuana is one that has been argued for decades. Since it’s total prohibition in 1961, marijuana has continued to be the most used black market drug. The fact of the matter is that the prohibition of cannabis may be hurting our country more than it is helping it. The benefits of legal cannabis outweigh the costs. One of the huge consequences of marijuana prohibition is that it contributes significantly to the overcrowding of prisons. “The U.S. prison population is six to ten times as high as most Western European nations,” (legalizationofmarijuana.com). United States prisons are faced with a huge overcrowding problem, which is being highly impacted by the 750,000 marijuana-related arrests per year. About 650,000 of these people were arrested simply for possession, and the remaining 100,000 was for the sale and manufacturing of marijuana (which includes marijuana grown for personal use or medical purposes.) New FBI statistics indicate that somebody is arrested for a marijuana-related crime every 45 seconds. For the year 2000, the number of marijuana-related arrests far exceeded the combined number of arrests for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault (Legalizationofmarijuana.com). Overcrowding of prisons has a number of negative consequences. It causes administrative problems since there are too many inmates for the prison guards to adequately handle. Also, there are fewer resources to go around for the amount of inmates. Because of this, one of two things will happen. Either the resources such as food and rehabilitative services will be insufficient, or more tax dollars will have to go towards maintaining prison conditions. This can cost American taxpayers billions of dollars that could instead be used for funding healthcare, education, etc. (mjlegal.com). If marijuana were legalized, the overcrowding prison problem...
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