Throughout history, Cannabis Sativa Sativa and Cannabis Sativa Indica, better known as marijuana or “weed” have been put to good use. For example, the British navy during its empire used cannabis stems to make riggings for its ships. Many civilizations have used it to alleviate pain; some claim that it can cure cancer. The oil from its seeds has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants, which purify blood, and it has been used as moisturizer.
In recent history, the plant has been antagonized to the point of being labeled evil and dangerous. The public and the government lost trust of its usefulness and made it illegal in the 70’s because of the ”war against drug.” By doing so, the government is losing millions of dollars in tax revenue and spending millions in overseeing crimes and offences related to the plant including the cost of having prisoners. Not only does the government loose money, it is fueling crimes from underground organizations. The tax money that the government looses is collected instead by criminal organizations. Selling cannabis is very profitable. More crimes equals more tax money to be wasted on policing and other fields related to criminal investigation. Legalization of cannabis will give the government the much-needed revenue, reduce crime, prevent needlessly lost opportunities for people charged with major crimes, and most importantly, stop the government from infringing on people’s constitutional right of personal freedom.
The United States government is wasting $7.7billion dollars (Miron) for the persecution, prosecution, and incarceration of marijuana related crimes. This money ($2.2billion from tax, $7.7billion saved from legalizing) can be freed up by legalizing the plant. The billions of dollars can be used for better purposes like education, infrastructure, and keeping jobs for public servants and teachers. Legalizing the plant will open up an opportunity to regulate and control the sale of the plant. After George W. Bush and his Republican party cut tax and increases spending, the U.S. was again in debt, just like during the Reagan era. President Obama received the pain-staking task of balancing out the budget and rescuing the economy. As seen through the cuts and even more cuts on everything from jobs to education, not only does the government need money, the people need it as well. It is unfair and unreasonable for the government to waste the money preventing and punishing when they can be collecting revenue and regulating marijuana.
One may be confused about how legalizing marijuana will reduce crime, but it is quite simple. By legalizing the plant, the money criminal organizations make from selling it will instead go to the government. Why would people buy marijuana illegally it they could obtain it legally? This scenario is similar to the prohibition of alcohol during the early 20th century. During Prohibition, bootleggers, gangs, and underground organizations made billions of dollars selling alcohol. After prohibition ended, these underground organizations lost much of their income; their source of money was starved. Ending prohibition lessened crime and made metropolitans safer. In the same way as alcohol, legalizing marijuana will also reduce crime.
Another benefit of legalizing marijuana is that it will prevent needlessly lost opportunity. It would prevent teens that are convicted of marijuana crimes from ruining their bright future. When a teen is caught with marijuana, he/she is putting their future in danger. Once he/she enters the criminal system he/she is less likely to be accepted into society, and much more likely to be introduced into the criminal world. Major universities and companies prefer people who have clean records so it is hard for these people to succeed in society.
Keeping cannabis illegal is infringing on the people’s right to personal freedom, therefore challenging the First Amendment. The government of the...