The writing is on the wall: marijuana legalization can benefit society and the individual in numerous ways. With medical value in the treatment and management of diseases, disease symptoms, and the side effects of certain medications, marijuana also has a number of benefits with regard to the economy, nutrition, and the environment.
Here are some of the reasons why marijuana should be legal.
- Prohibition is a dismal failure.
In 75 years of active marijuana prohibition, the government has failed to curb marijuana use and to halt its domestic production. In fact, marijuana is now the largest cash crop in the U.S., with more than 25 million regular users all over the country.
- Law enforcement policies regarding marijuana possession affect specific racial groups disproportionately.
Most arrests for marijuana possession involve Hispanic individuals and African Americans. This would seem to suggest that anti-marijuana laws are unfairly slanted against these races, as Caucasians and non-Hispanic Americans have much less likelihood of being arrested for marijuana possession.
- Legalizing marijuana may reduce drug access for teenagers.
As long as marijuana remains illegal, selling it will continue to serve as a lucrative earning opportunity for teenagers. Legalization will also help to disassociate marijuana from other more dangerous illegal drugs, reducing teen access to them.
- Legalization will course more money into the economy and away from the hands of criminal organizations.
As long as marijuana is illegal, there is significant profit to be made by smuggling it into the United States. Most smuggling is financed and undertaken by criminal organizations, so legalization would result in less money going to them and more to the economy.
- Marijuana has considerable value as a fuel source.
Hemp is one of the most useful and versatile agricultural crops around, with tremendous potential as a fuel source. It is also a much more environmentally-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, offering the benefit of reduced carbon emissions.
- Prohibition relies on distortion of facts, disinformation, and outright lies.
As more and more evidence of marijuana’s benefits are discovered, prohibition proponents have had to become increasingly reliant on exaggeration, falsehoods, fallacies, and outright lies. In fact, many of the most prevalent arguments against legalization are based on woefully outdated and erroneous information.
- Marijuana is a much safer drug than alcohol and tobacco.
It takes an extremely large amount of marijuana to overdose; much more than any single person can reasonably consume at one time. It is also much less addictive than alcohol or tobacco.
- Marijuana prohibition is costly and uses up money that could be put to better use for government programs.
Enforcing marijuana laws costs tax payers thousands of dollars annually, and utilizes law enforcement and justice system resources that could be put to better use going after those involved with more dangerous drugs.
- Marijuana has a number of recognized medical and recreational benefits.
It can help in the treatment of certain diseases and in the management of disease symptoms and medication side effects. It is also much safer than many pharmaceutical medications.
- Legalization proponents are committed to the cause.
As long as marijuana remains illegal, there will be no shortage of informed and responsible people who are committed to educating the public and lobbying for legalization.
It really paints quite a convincing picture, doesn’t it? Fortunately, people can no longer ignore the plethora of reasons why marijuana should be legal. The times are changing.