In a society where menaces like alcohol and tobacco- that lead to nothing but a grim death- are legal, the prohibition of marijuana is absurd and infringes people’s right to liberty. Marijuana, a plant which has no obnoxious health or physical side effects, has been used for medical purposes for ages. Prohibition of marijuana has caused adverse effects on American society than its legalization or decriminalization ever will. The criterion to impose a ban on something, or to illegalize it, is that its cons must outweigh its pros, and that it will have adverse long term negative societal impacts.
The prohibition of marijuana by the federal government is unconstitutional; and there are no societal consequences that might overshadow the pros of marijuana legalization. Legalization of marijuana can solve the problem of overcrowded prisons, and alleviate the economy to generate a revenue which can in turn be used for the rehabilitation purposes. Marijuana legalization can be a good response to the failure on war on drugs which has cost the US a big fortune. Marijuana legalization can reduce racial disparities in society caused by marijuana possession arrests. Moreover marijuana legalization doesn’t mean marijuana commercialization. By legalizing marijuana government can control its commercialization by putting restrictions to the degrees to which it is commercialized.
The use of marijuana as a medicine is not a new course and has been in practice for years now around many parts of the world. The use of marijuana in China for medical practices dates back to 2700 BC, and was used as a medication for gout, absent mindedness, rheumatism and
malaria. According to Martin et al., there are many natural chemical compounds in marijuana which possess psychoactive and therapeutic properties that positively aid healing (13). Marijuana has psychoactive properties which help in self-healing. Cannabinoid is pharmacologically active, and attaches to the cannabinoid receptor in our body, which provoke the feeling of euphoria and relieves the medical condition. Cannabinoid has anti-inflammatory properties which can help arthritis patients by reducing inflammation in joints. It helps in digestive problems by increasing nerve muscle coordination. Marijuana has been proven to promote individual healing, and is also used to treat mental health, chronic pain, nausea and vomiting, spasms, convulsions and to control the symptoms of congenital disorders, gastrointestinal conditions and glaucoma. Thus, marijuana can be a gateway medicine towards better health for patients suffering with such conditions. Federal laws classifying marijuana as Schedule 1 drug bars many patients suffering from medical conditions to get access to proper medicine.
Marijuana can elevate the declining economy of the United States, and can be a main cash crop for many states. The government is already squandering a shed load of money on incarcerating marijuana users and against its use. The government already spends a huge load of money to obstruct marijuana use. The legalization of marijuana can develop a large scale tax-paying business yielding a large revenue for the state and the federal government. The cultivation of marijuana crop can yield a large revenue, but while the prohibition laws are enacted the potential revenue goes under the black market label generating no profit to the economy. Marijuana can be used as a main cash crop in many of the US states, just as it was in the early 1800’s when the governmental policies regarding marijuana were used to equitable. Nonetheless, the marijuana industry can blossom a number of jobs and the thriving new industry will make a positive impact on the local economies
US has one of the most crowded prisons in the world. About 30% of the prison population are incarcerated due to marijuana charges. If we take away the federal law that criminalized marijuana, then we will have less overcrowded prisons, which will subsequently save the taxpayers money. It will also give space and time to the police officers to tackle and concentrate on much more serious crimes that inflict damage to the society such as sex offenders, burglaries, child abuse, domestic violence and rape. It will also reduce the stress on courts dealing with marijuana cases. Marijuana is labelled as a “gateway drug”, albeit this isn’t the case. Marijuana itself isn’t related to any violent criminal activity and moreover people who use marijuana are less likely to drink, because they seek recreation through marijuana.
War on drugs has long been considered a failure by public opinion, and has cost the government a hefty amount of valuable resources. Marijuana legalization in California is a blow to the abstinent policies of war on drugs. In California, some local level governments are taking measures to repair the damage done by the criminalization of marijuana by proposing equity programs. Such programs would help the victims of marijuana criminalization by giving them application priority for marijuana business licensing process (Ferner). California is a set example for positive societal and economic effects of marijuana legalization.
Federal marijuana criminalization laws have created racial disparities. Blacks are four times more likely to be arrested in marijuana cases than the whites (“The war on marijuana”, 17). Although the whites are as likely involved in marijuana usage as the blacks, the racial profiling towards the people of color creates racial disparities in society which can lead to other vices. The argument that legalizing marijuana will increase its usage among the youth is void. The legalization of marijuana will help the government to form effective marketing policy restricting the commercialization of marijuana. Any toxin, for instance tobacco and alcohol, becomes
popular among the youths when it is advertised extensively. Restricting its commercialization and business licensing policies will give less space to marijuana business owners to enhance their customer base through advertising.
Criminalization of marijuana under the federal law affects the states who have already legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana. For instance, many legal marijuana businesses may operate as cash only enterprises, since the banks would be hesitant dealing with businesses that are breaking the federal law. This way such businesses won’t be able to apply for many sort of deductions and their income tax rates would be soaring high (Lopez). The tenth amendment renders the matters, which aren’t explicitly explained under the federal law, to the states. The subject of criminalization of marijuana doesn’t comes under federal jurisdiction by the constitution. Thus states shall have the complete right over the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana.
In view of the above stated facts and arguments, the interdict of marijuana is just an example of legislative inanity. Marijuana has a number of medical benefits and stands out as one of best way to achieve euphoria, and the overdose of it causes no physical or mental damage. There are medicines that have menacing side-effects but are rarely the topic of debate in congress or legislation. The argument that marijuana leads to other drugs is an old wive’s tale, and is in vain. The government can be relieved of overcrowded prisons just by legalizing marijuana, and the economic benefits of it are multitudinous. I believe that there are no legitimate grounds to ban marijuana, and the proscription of marijuana is the evidence of political absurdity and ignorance.
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