In most states and nations world wide, the possession and trafficking of marijuana is deemed illegal and strongly prohibited by law. The perpetrators have ended up behind bars with years of jail term slapped on them. This has sparked arguments both academic and casual of whether the drug that is looked at as the least harmful of all the illegal drugs should be illegal in the first place. For starters, there is justification to include marijuana in medical use under the controlled substance act.
This is evident in the Marinol drug which is a brand name of a legal oral prescription that has dronabinol, the main psychoactive marijuana ingredient (Levinson, 42). Therefore, marijuana should not only be legalized but be sold like any other commodity for whoever is willing to buy. Marijuana is by far the most widely used illegal drug not only in America but all over the world. Its use has risen over the years especially among the youth and teenagers despite the fact that it remains illegal.
This is ironical especially on the law enforcers because its prohibition has not caused an impact on marijuana’s continued use and production which has reached the domestic level (Rosenthal, 20). I strongly believe that it is a high time each and every one of us stopped playing dumb and faced the fact that marijuana use is here to stay so we can as well make it legal and save everyone the trouble of hiding from the law. Smoking marijuana that is commonly referred to as smoking pot is an individual’s own choice.
Freedom of choice is every person’s God given and constitutional right. The government through the law has the right to put limitations to that right only when the choice made endangers another person’s life. Marijuana has never been reported to put any person’s life in danger. Cigarette on the other hand has tobacco which puts everyone around the smoker at risk of lung cancer and it is legal. The law is also allowed to limit the right of choice if the substance used posse’s danger to the individual.
Marijuana unlike other illegal and legal substances like beer and cigars has less harm and in other cases it’s beneficial to the user. In this respect, the government should exercise democracy and give its citizens their freedom of choice in relation to smoking pot, an individual should be left to decide whether to smoke marijuana or not and not be told by the government what to do as long as they do not pose danger or harm to others (Rudolph, 47). Prohibition and making marijuana illegal has proved not to be helpful to the nation in any way; in fact it has caused a lot more problems.
There is no viable proof that making marijuana illegal reduces the use, in fact it actually might be the reason behind its increased use (Earleywine, 34). Some arguments to this base it on the ‘forbidden fruit’ theory where people actually do what they are forbidden to. As an effect, most of the marijuana users are high school students who are below the legal age of even taking alcohol. Their access to marijuana is so easy mainly because it is not legal. Why is this so? This is because marijuana is made available to them.
The dealers and sellers of marijuana do not have an age limit for the buyers, their priority is money, so if a 15 year old has enough money, the drug is as good as his. It is actually very easy for an under age high school kid to get marijuana than it is for the same kid to get alcohol because alcohol is legal and therefore has an age limit for users (Mack, 66). Prohibition does not play much of a role in reducing drug consumption. If the government is serious about reducing drug consumption especially among the underage kids, a reasonable approach should be used and prohibition is not one of them.
Rather, education on drugs, regulation by legalizing marijuana and putting an age limit on it together with treatment programs for people with drug problems should be the approaches to be used. The problem is that the current system of governance is obsessed with threatening people with jail term if caught using or selling marijuana instead of dealing with the problem rationally. In the end, people with drug problem end up in jail instead of rehabilitation centers while marijuana is still being sold and manufactured every single minute.
The government uses a lot of money to the tune of billions of dollars each and every year in the so called ‘war on drugs’ (Hochman, 79). If marijuana is legalized, it would actually save the government a lot of money and in turn improve the economy. In the US, the fight on drugs involves most if not all organs of government. They spend millions of dollars chasing Americans who are actually peaceful people enjoying the pleasure brought by smoking pot (getting high). Once apprehended, they are taken behind bars.
As a result the taxpayers, other innocent Americans, have to foot the bill that comes with maintaining the jails and jail birds. This is very unfair and damn expensive to the people. The government would in fact be saving the billions of dollars they use every year if they legalize marijuana and stop locking up its users. The overcrowded jails would be decongested making room for real criminal like murderers. This money would otherwise be used on other important projects like health care and education (Levinson, 47).
One of the smartest moves the government could make is to legalize marijuana and have it taxed. The government would give corporations permits to produce and sell marijuana. This could end up creating a multi-billion dollar industry that would most certainly generate a lot of money and funds for government projects and employment for American people. The money that now flows into the hands of criminal gangs that have roots to the international level would be reduced and with time completely cut siphoning all the benefits to the government.
The taxes and heavy revenue on marijuana would stabilize the economy for years to come and help the government meet its goals that would have otherwise taken years to achieve. In turn, the legal marijuana that would be sold to people would be the ones that meet the standards of a body such as food and drug administration, for consumption unlike buying off street venders whose commodities have questionable quality and you can never know what the marijuana you are buying is mixed with.
That way, the safety of the people is guaranteed. The current illegality on marijuana makes smuggling of foreign cultivated marijuana into the US a very profitable venture. Those who participate in these underground deals make billions of tax free dollars denying the government funds that would have otherwise been used in a more productive ways in aid of the country’s economic growth. If all the other reasons are not enough, why then not legalize marijuana for its medicinal benefits?
Marijuana is one illegal drug that has more medicinal use and minimal to none toxic side effects than many legal and illegal drugs. One of the diseases that marijuana is a beneficial treatment to be glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease characterized by progressive loses of vision and it is credited for about 14% of all blindness. Marijuana smoking has been scientifically proven to be 2-3 times more effective on glaucoma patients than any of its current medications. It has benefited up to 90% of patients suffering from glaucoma.
Marijuana has turned out to be very effective in curing this medical condition in that, apart from the fact that it does not have any toxic side effects on the kidney and liver, the patient using marijuana treatment is not at risk of sudden death syndrome that is otherwise associated with the other legal glaucoma drugs. Marijuana is also the best bronchial dilator for most people. Smoke emanating from marijuana dilates the lungs’ airways effectively therefore allowing the lungs access more oxygen, hence very helpful for lung cancer patients.
In addition to its many medical uses, marijuana is a very effective appetite stimulus. Give a person who has been having eating difficulties a puff of marijuana and you will have that person eating like never before. This is worthy compared to other appetite stimulating drugs that take ages to bring forth results or even never. Marijuana is proving to be a very beneficial substance to human beings than it is being given credit for especially by the law enforcers, therefore deserves to be legalized (Mack, 69-70). The mention of the word marijuana sparks a lot of things one of them being illegal and prohibited.
Well, that should not be the case. As a matter of fact, many of our fore founders and leaders were against prohibition. In 1840, Abraham Lincoln, the first president of America said “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principle upon which our very government was founded. ” Another prominent man who was even declared man of the century, Albert Einstein, had this to say about law enforcement, “For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws that cannot be enforced”.
These two statements are enough reasons to legalize marijuana. This is because, to Lincoln, democracy is the basic principle that forms the government. A democratic government gives the people liberty to make choices as long as they do not affect others. Prohibited marijuana use is an infringement of the essential principle of a democratic state. The law on prohibiting marijuana use by making it illegal is the one law that the government has not been able to enforce.
Research shows that there are millions of marijuana smokers who smoke it on a regular basis and millions more occasional smokers walking free in the streets of America. The government has failed on this battle and could as well give in to legalizing the already popularly used drug, marijuana (Earleywine, 36). Let’s all be realistic here, marijuana was, is and will continue to be used legalized or not. This is a substance that is grown world wide, whether for medical purposes or ‘the getting high’ pleasure; it is around us and is here to stay.
I strongly believe that marijuana should be legalized because whichever way we look at it, marijuana’s benefits are countless leaving the reasons for making it illegal baseless. Look at the big picture. By making marijuana illegal, you are denying loyal citizens health, money, employment and pleasure. The government is its people’s servant, it should serve its people by giving them what they rightfully desire at least making it possible for them to make a choice of either using marijuana or not without the fear of being pursued by the police and face a jail term.