PRO legalization

Pot, weed, dope, herb, joint, grass. Whatever one may call it, they all refers to the illegal substance: marijuana.

The number of people in favor for the legalization of the drug has increased dramatically over the years. The AP-NORC Center reported that as of March, approximately 61 percent of Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana. The majority of Americans are ready to see the end of marijuana prohibition, and it’s time for the government to recognize that. Contrary to popular belief, cannabis is not physically addictive like tobacco is. There are no physical withdrawal symptoms— no shaking, vomiting, or other signs of sickness that are seen in addictive drugs, such as heroin. There has also some evidence that a chemical found in marijuana, cannabinoids, can be linked to possibly reversing cancer’s effects. Tobacco and alcohol are and have long been legal, despite the harm surpassing marijuana’s. Marijuana has proven to be much safer than drink and cigarettes, which are two of the leading causes of death in the U.S.; it is impossible to overdose on marijuana, and there has been no study linking lung damage from use.

Marijuana legalization is also an economic opportunity for the government, considering the state of the national debt. By legalizing the drug, the new tax would bring in roughly $8 billion in new taxes. The U.S. currently spends billions of dollars on the “War on Drugs” to lock up drug users. Taxpayers then have to contribute to this financial burden by covering the expenses that comes with jailing someone, all simply for the possession of marijuana.

There are rapists, burglars and murderers spending less jail time than those sentenced for possession of marijuana. Perhaps instead of wasting time tracing down harmless people who like to get high, authorities can now focus on dangerous, less trivial crimes. Marijuana users will not let the law get in the way of their desire for the drug. With the law restricting marijuana users, they have no choice but to turn to dealers and cartels. Despite the fact that the drug is illegal in the majority of the country, nearly half of Americans reported that they have tried marijuana. Simply put, going through the process of attempting to keep something outlawed when prohibition is inefficient is not in anyone’s best interest.

If marijuana was legal, drug cartels and dealers would be put out of business, ultimately ceasing the violent crimes and disputes that occur in this illegal business. As of now, only four states in the U.S. have legalized recreational use of marijuana. In November, California voters, along with these in four other states, will consider legalization. It’s time for voters in our state to improve our nation and allow the recreational use marijuana.