"In any civilized society, it is every citizen's responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen's responsibility to disobey unjust laws." Martin Luther King Jr. Many people ask “why should marijuana be legalized”? when the real question that we should be asking is “why shouldn’t marijuana be legalized”?. Marijuana also known as hemp is a naturally grown plant that has been around for decades dating back to around 2697 B.C., when the Egyptians would use it to cure many common ailments, and the Chinese would use it for therapeutics. Using marijuana not only to cure common illnesses but for your pleasure as well should be up to you the free citizens of California and not to the government. The first major reason why marijuana should be legalized is because the cost to keep it illegal is too expensive. Another major reason why it should be legal is because the hemp plant is a valuable natural resource. Legalizing marijuana would eliminate the confusion surrounding hemp and allow us to take advantage of hemp's agricultural and industrial uses. Thirdly the punishment for possessing or intent to sale marijuana shows no hard evidence of stopping dealers from dealing, buyers from buying, or even users from using. Last but not least the use of marijuana should be legalized because individuals deserve the right to decide whether or not they should or want to use marijuana. We are all granted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and if using marijuana is what makes people happy then we should have the right to use as we please.
In the United States, all levels of government being federal, state, and even the local authorities participate in the "War on Drugs." We are currently spending billions and billions of dollars every single year to chase and punish people who happen to like to use marijuana because they enjoy effects from smoking the plant. These people get locked up in prison and the taxpayers have to foot the bill. We not only have to pay for food but, housing, health care, attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses as well just to lock these people up, and for what we ask? all because they were doing something harmless that they enjoyed using marijuana. This is extremely expensive! We could save billions of dollars every year as a nation if we stop wasting money locking people up for having or even using marijuana. In addition, if marijuana were legal, the government would have a lot more money to pay for effective drug education programs on the more serious drugs such as cocaine, crack cocaine, or even meth and other important causes. Law enforcement has more important responsibilities than arresting 750,000 individuals a year for marijuana possession, especially given the additional justice costs of disposing of each of these cases. Marijuana arrests make justice more expensive and less efficient in the United States.
The legalization of marijuana would simplify the development of hemp plant as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States. Hemp products offer environmentally friendly alternatives for a variety of everyday applications. Hemp fibers cannot only be used to make rope but, clothing, and paper as well. Hemp foods, such as Hemp Nut, contain beneficial nutrients, including essential fatty acids. Hemp oils have many applications, such as bio-fuels, industrial lubricants, and soaps. With the hemp plant we can use it as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legalize marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural crop. As the US energy policy continues to embrace and to promote the development of bio-fuels as an alternative to oil dependency and a way to reduce carbon emissions, it is all the more important to develop industrial hemp as a bio-fuel source,...
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* Zion, Sidney. "ARM YOURSELF AGAINST THE "WAR ON DRUGS"" Lycæum - Entheogenic Database & Community. Fall 2009. 13 Feb. 2011 <http://www.lycaeum.org/drugwar/>.
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* Robinson, Rowan The Hemp Manifesto: 101 Ways Hemp Can Save Our World. Park Street Press July 1, 1997
* Thomas, Chuck Marijuana Arrests and Incarceration in the United States Issue 7, June 1999
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