My Position of Legalizing Marijuana
In American marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug with alcohol being first and tobacco being second. "In a government survey, 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the last year with more than 14 million that use it on a regular basis". (Normal, 2014) As one can see by the numbers of regular users, there is no need to solicit support for legalizing marijuana among Americans as the majority of the population all ready supports this legalization with me being one of them.
Even though I am not a user of this drug, I believe that it would benefit many in society if the drug were legalized. The benefit would come from the taxes that marijuana would produce if legalized. "In Washington State where marijuana is legal they have estimated with the 25% excise tax that's been placed on the marijuana it will generate more than $575 million in new state revenue annually". "$182 million of the funds will go the state's general fund, $34 million to local governments and $366 million to healthcare, education, and prevention". (Faulk, 2012)
In addition to the taxes that would be, collected state and local governments would save billions of dollars, as they would no longer be spending money enforcing the use of marijuana (Fairchild, 2013). In Washington State, it was estimated that the state spent $211 million dollars over the past decade enforcing marijuana laws and in Clark County, alone the American Civil Liberties Union found that the county spent $10 million dollars enforcing marijuana laws from 2000 to 2010. This cost includes $2.8 million in defense cost and $2.7 million in prosecution cost (McClatchy - Tribune Business News, 2012).
There is also the medical benefit of legalizing marijuana. It has been found that marijuana helps with pain management and nausea in patients with HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and chronic or severe pain that cannot be treated with other medications. For instance, patients with multiple sclerosis have reported that it reduces the pain in their arms and legs when they contract and improves their overall attitude and AIDS patients reported that it reduces nausea and vomiting and increases their appetite.
Lastly, the reason that I believe marijuana should be legalized is that it is much safer than prescription drugs. Prescription drugs kill about 100,000 annually in the world; however, there has never been a single death that has been caused by smoking marijuana. "One would have to smoke 15,000 joints in 20 minutes to receive any kind of lethal dose of tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) which is not likely to happen". (Smith, 2012)
Opposing View on Legalizing Marijuana
Most Americans that oppose legalizing marijuana would agree that it does not pose the public health problems that other harder drugs and alcohol do, but worry that with the legalization of marijuana the potency of marijuana will increase leading to increased addiction rates and may be more...