This paper focuses on the exorbant cost to society in regards to the criminal justice system of law enforcement, prosecution and incarceration of citizens in regards to marijuana. The actual monetary cost of not only lost revenue in the form of taxation and regulation but the inherent benefits that both state and federal government overlook will be taken into account. Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America (behind only alcohol and tobacco), and has been used by nearly 100 million Americans ("About marijuana," 2010). I hope to convince the reader as to why the legalization of marijuana would benefit society instead of criminalizing a natural substance that has been in use for hundreds if not thousands of years with few negative side affects. If nothing more then at least the reader will be informed on the overwhelming benefit vs. con. Keywords: Marijuana
THE COST OF MARIJUANA IN TODAYS SOCIETY
Prohibition, a word that invokes memories of past events where speakeasies and rum runners were the “accepted” illegal activities of the day. An era of the federal government which eventually gave way to the wants and cries of the people and became legal again. While marijuana hasn’t made it’s impression in writing on the bill of rights to the likes of alcohol, it certainly has made its impression on the legal system. According to NORML , the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, marijuana prohibition causes more problems than it solves, and ruins thousands more lives than it supposedly tries to save (2010).