Should Marijuana Be Legalized In The United States?

2142 words - 9 pages

The topic of legalizing recreational marijuana in the United States has been a very controversial one. States such as Colorado and Washington have gone on the offensive and have legalized recreational marijuana and have enjoyed the high revenues brought in from cannabis sale. On the other hand other states have kept low profiles because they are wary of the possible negative outcomes of legalizing recreational marijuana and are using the states of Colorado and Washington as guinea pigs to see what their next course of action on this controversial topic should be. This is not only a highly debated topic among politicians, but also by the people. According to a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, 52% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana and 72% of Americans believe anti-marijuana laws have costlier than benefit. Recreational marijuana will sooner or later be legalized in the United States on a nationwide level because of its popularity and its many benefits. It will be legalized because the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, prescription drugs, and other illicit drugs by teenagers has gone down drastically as they have switched to marijuana which doesn’t carry as many dangers as these other drugs. Legalizing marijuana would hurt drug cartels profits and also help the U.S. economy in a couple of different ways; we could tax it , we would make revenue from marijuana, and the amount of money we would put in anti-drug efforts and locking up prisoners on marijuana possession would drastically reduce. Finally, legalizing marijuana would allow us to use it for its many commercial and industrial purposes.
Due to the media and the rise of medical marijuana teenagers have the perception marijuana is safer than other illicit drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and prescription drugs. As Gwynne stated, "Teens are using cigarettes and alcohol less, but they are smoking more marijuana ... because they do not perceive it to be as harmful as did teens in the past." This perception they have received is true to a certain extent as alcohol has caused many car accidents leading to injuries and even death, and illicit drugs, cigarettes, and prescription and have been proven to be highly addictive and fatal if overdosed on. Meanwhile marijuana has not accounted for a single death in the United States. This has led many teenagers to switch over to marijuana and by legalizing it the switch to a safer drug would continue and it would also make it cheaper than other illicit drugs. This correlation can be seen by the statistics provided by the NIDA (National Institute of Drug Abuse) 2011 study. About 25% of teens surveyed said they tried marijuana at least once last year, a statistically significant rise of about 4% since 2007. Additionally, 6.6% of 12th graders also admitted to smoking weed daily (Gwynne). The study has also shown historic lows of use of alcohol and cigarettes since 1981.Over the past 20 years, from 1991 to 2011, the proportion of 8th...

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