Legalization of Marijuana

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Legalizing Marijuana

SOC: 120

June 4th’, 2012

One of the most controversial debates in our time has been the legalization of marijuana. Legalizing marijuana in the United States can promote utilitarianism for the greater good. Political parties have argued various pros and cons of legalizing marijuana in the United States. I believe that by legalizing marijuana you can actually produce the best results, thus affecting the greatest number of people. Legalizing marijuana would allow the government to control the substance, just as they control tobacco and alcohol. If the government controls the retail market of marijuana use and the distribution it can dictate the negative outcomes that are a direct result from keeping marijuana illegal. Legalizing marijuana has many benefits; however there are four of them that can dramatically affect our country for the better. They are as follows; increased tax and private market economic growth, reduced crime, medical advancements, and safer drug use. These four categories can improve the lives of our citizens for the greater good.

In relation to alternative perspectives, I believe that emotivism best fits my opinion in regards to legalizing marijuana. Emotivism “simply says that moral claims express an emotional response, or an attitude, we may have toward a given kind of behavior.” (Mosler, 2010) Emotivism removes the facts and is strictly based off the emotion of the person. In most cases, I feel that majority of people think marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. According to balancedproducts.org marijuana isn’t has harmful as tobacco or alcohol if used in moderation. Too much of anything is bad for you such as poor dieting, smoking, drinking, and caffeine. In this paper I will discuss the reasons why legalizing marijuana is a good thing for the majority. Economically, legalizing marijuana makes a lot of sense.

If marijuana becomes legal it affects the market in three categories; drug availability, drug pricing and the deterrent effects of punishment. (MacCoun, R., Reuter, P, 2001) If marijuana were to become legal the availability would grow tremendously, suppressing prices to control the market. The supply would become greater then the demand. The U.S. wouldn’t have to rely on countries like Mexico and Colombia to get supply. We could grow our own crops here in the states and make bigger profit margins by avoiding the middleman. Establishing retail establishments across the country to sell marijuana would help with the unemployment rate too. It could provide thousands of jobs that our country needs to get the economy more stable. We are talking about a multi-billion dollar industry that is currently illegal, could you imagine the revenue that could be generated if it were legalized. When people get hired to work they pay taxes and spend money in the local economy. When a product is sold retail you also collect a sales tax, which helps local communities grow and expand. Putting money back into our local communities is highly important. “In 1997, state and local law enforcement agencies reported 695,201 marijuana arrest, of which 87 percent of them were for possession only.” (Gray, 2001) The amount of tax dollars and labor hours spent to put them through the court system is outrageous. Local government agencies are going broke trying to build, finance and staff prisons for drug offenders. “California for a long time was unable to pay the 15 million it owed Orange County for its housing of state paroles. In this situation the state government owes monies to its local counties, which makes no sense. Your leveraging money from yourself and cant pay back the debt. Housing inmates for petty offenses is wasted tax dollars that could be better spent somewhere else. By legalizing marijuana tax

payer’s dollars that would be normally spent in the court and prison systems would be used for more purposeful uses like education and...
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