Ah… weed. It makes you super chill, man.
In all seriousness, legalization of marijuana is a hot topic here in America. I personally believe that marijuana should be legalized, for a number of economic, political, and social reasons that I discuss below.
Let’s see why America should legalize marijuana, shall we?
Most people want it legalized
I live in a conservative county of New York, and I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t want to legalize marijuana. Look at the Pew Research data and you’ll find the majority of people in America want it legalized as well.
The economic incentive
If we legalized marijuana, we could:
- Regulate it
- Make sure it’s safe
- Tax the f*&% out of it
Not to mention, it could out compete drug lords and reduce illegal drugs. More money, safer drugs, less drug lords.
It costs a lot to keep an inmate: anywhere from $14,000 to $60,000 a year. Average that out and it’s about $37,000 dollars per year. In 2015, 640,000 people were arrested for marijuana violation, most of them for possession. Add on to that the money spent each year on the War on Drugs…
That could’ve been $24 billion dollars for some other useful institution. Not to mention, that’s a lot of people who could’ve been contributing to the workforce.
Fun fact: marijuana was legal back in the 1890’s. You could buy it like over-the-counter medicine. However, it was banned starting from the 1930’s so that the U.S. government could target Mexicans. It was continued with the disastrous War on Drugs during the Nixon Administration.
Nixon was advised to legalize the drug, but he didn’t. Why? Well, according to Nixon’s Domestic Affairs advisor, John Ehrlichman, it was to associate blacks and Vietnam protesters with drugs, then criminalize those drugs, so that those communities could be oppressed. (Wow…) For more info, look here and here.
Okay, so I’ve given you the reasons. I’m 100% sure you’re convinced.
Still not convinced?! Man, you guys are tough! Well, here are some rebuttals to common arguments:
- It’s still dangerous: I will concede, it can damage the lungs and such. However, no one has ever overdosed on marijuana. Furthermore, many legal drugs, such as alcohol and tobacco, kill many more each year.
- It’s addictive: Actually, a very small percentage of those who take marijuana actually become addicted. Furthermore, most people who take marijuana don’t move on to harder substances.
- It’s just BAD: No. it’s not. The only real problem is that marijuana may cause developmental problems for those under 25 if taken. No problem, though, just use a little magic trick I like to call “regulations.” Prohibit sales to those who may be at risk of addiction. Sell it in reasonable amounts, to people over 25.
So there you have it. There’s a lot of economic incentive to be gained, people in jail to be freed, and business to grow. What’s not to love? It’s time to move on from these racist laws and begin a new era of prosperity and freedom.
Your move, U.S. government.