By: Sam Montgomery
Legalization of Marijuana
Why shouldn’t marijuana legalized? Are there actually good reasons for making it legal? Critics say marijuana is a gateway drug, but honestly, everything could be considered a gateway drug. People get high off of all kinds of things, and as soon as the high is over, they look for additional things that might give them the same effect. This includes common household products such as cough medicine, bleach, air dusters, and even permanent markers (Borba, 2012). Alcohol is legal and caused 24,518 deaths as recent as 2009; while in comparison marijuana is illegal and no one has died from overdosing on marijuana. A lot of people drink alcohol to get that “buzz” or good feeling alcohol gives in drinking large amounts, especially when one’s life might be full of problems. They think it will help them feel better, but this is only a temporary solution to their problems. There is really nothing good about drinking alcohol and it is legal, but then on the other hand, marijuana does have some good aspects and is illegal! This really doesn’t make much sense at all. Drinking alcohol is a choice made by us, and that is what marijuana should be. Similar to alcohol, the government needs to leave the responsibility for using marijuana to us. In this essay one will see that legalizing marijuana will optimize our liberty by limiting corruption, eliminate the cost to keep it illegal with the added bonus of monetary gains of making it legal, and will take out the failure to keep it illegal along with helping our country and government out for the better. The first and most basic reason that marijuana should be legal is that there is no good reason for it not to be legal. Some people ask “Why should marijuana be legalized?" when the question should be "Why should marijuana be illegal?" From a philosophical point of view, individuals deserve the right to make choices for themselves. The government only has a right to limit those choices if the individual's actions endanger someone else. This does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual, but this argument does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco (Keeler, 2009). Legalizing marijuana would make free all those people in jail for possessing or smoking marijuana. Prison overcrowding is a serious, expensive, and persistent problem in our country. It makes the prison environment, violent and faceless to begin with, even more dangerous and dehumanizing. Governments at all levels keep building more prisons, but the number of prisoners keeps outpacing the capacity to hold them. Those in prison for marijuana law violations are the largest single category ("Earth protector,”). Marijuana-related police corruption takes one of two major forms. Police officers either offer marijuana dealers protection in their districts for a share of the profits (or demand a share under threat of exposure) or they seize the dealer's merchandise for sell for themselves. There are known cases where police officers were indicted on charges of falsifying records of money and marijuana confiscated from dealers. Legalizing marijuana would eliminate this inducement to corruption, and help to clean up the police's image. Eliminating marijuana law violation and corruption cases would further reduce the strain on the courts, freeing judges, and investigators to handle other cases more thoroughly and expeditiously (“Earth protector,”). Legalizing marijuana would immediately relieve the pressure on the prison system, and optimize the people’s liberty by cutting out the corruption. Now, if you are diagnosed...
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