Monday, April 13, 2009

Marijuana , A Legal Drug???

    Marijuana is a drug that has been illegal in the U.S. since the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, but recently there has been speculation that this once illegal drug could soon become legalized.  For many reasons, the legalization of marijuana would be helpful to many aspects of society medically, economically, and politically.


            Medically, marijuana is used to stop the spread of cancer. In 2007, 8 million people died of cancer; fortunately marijuana has been known to cut most tumor growth by 50% (Science Daily) and holds the promise of alleviating vomiting and nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy (Science Daily).  Marijuana has never been directly linked to lung cancer or any other type of cancer.  Medical marijuana has been used for thousands of years, and most recently it is being consumed through means of drink or pill form for medical purposes.  Marijuana is also used or prescribed by physicians for treatment of migraines, chronic pain, asthma, and to stimulate the appetite of AIDS patients.  "Federal law still prohibits medical marijuana, but every state ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana has been approved, often by wide margins," said Ethan Nadelmann of National Review.  Many states have issued their own bills to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes.        


            The economic benefits from the legalization of marijuana would be the ability to tax the sales, the ability to control the price that it is sold at, and the ability to lower government spending on federal and local law enforcement resources on their fight against the illegal use of marijuana.  "Recently the federal government has increased the taxation on cigarettes by $0.39 to make the total tax $1.00 per 20-pack," (Tax Foundation).  If marijuana were to be legalized the potential tax benefit to the government would be huge because so many Americans use this "illegal" drug.  The legalization of marijuana would give the government the ability to control the price which would take the illegal sales of marijuana off the streets and legally put it into the hands of consumers through gas stations, grocery or convenience stores. Along with controlling the price it would be made available to those who can't afford the street cost charged by drug dealers, overall lowering the price and still giving the government the benefit of the tax money.  Government tax money would also be saved by cutting back on the law enforcement resources that are being used on the attempts to catch the offenders.  This will also lower drug related gang violence and killings over drug deals gone bad.  


             "In 2007 over 83 million Americans, over the age of 12, had tried marijuana at least once," (  Look at the facts, 83 million Americans used marijuana in one year, if that many Americans used that in one year then in 4 years 332 million Americans may have used the drug.  If a presidential candidate were to propose the legalization of marijuana on their platform, they would almost be guaranteed to win the votes of all the voters who have admitted to using this drug illegally and then the candidate against the legalization of marijuana will be at a major disadvantage.  The government would still have control because they could regulate where it was grown, how much of it was grown, and they could also put restrictions on it so that there wouldn't be pandemonium over the transition from illegal to legal usage.


            The legalization of marijuana is a large and widely discussed topic.  With marijuana legalized, the American public would have more access to a drug that could help control their medical conditions and the government would be given a tool to help stabilize the economy to lead us out of the recession, and it would give political leaders a tool to help them achieve a federal office.  In this day and age the most widely used illegal drug, in the United States, is marijuana.  Why it is that cigarettes and alcohol are legal when a drug, whose effects are less dangerous than the other two, is illegal?




    Works Cited

Henchman, Joseph. "Federal Cigarette Tax Increase Signed Into Law; Raises Taxes on Families Earning Under $250,000." Tax Foundation. 5 Feb. 2009. 4 Apr. 2009.

  "Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know." Health. 18 Mar. 2003. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). 4 Apr. 2009.

Nadelmann, Ethan A. "An End to Marijuana Prohibition." National Review 12 July 2004: 28-+. SIRs. 4 Apr. 2009 <>.


1 comment:

pretty fly for a white guy said...

Just because someone used marijuana once doesnt mean they will vote to legalize it, you can't base a platform off of legalizing marijuana. However if we did make it legal we would not only eliminate the market for illegal street marijuana but we could also regulate it. We could bring in more money by taxing it and we could make sure that it is a cleaner product so that the average americans are at less of a risk for deadly toxins that can sometimes be mixed in with the marijuana.