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Legalization of Marijuana - Research Paper Example

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The economic feasibility of decriminalizing marijuana has become a much-discussed subject in recent years. The federal government presently spends a lot of capital on law enforcement to combat distributors and producers of drugs. By legalizing drugs this could eradicate much of the profit, bloodshed and corruption of that trade. If legalizing drugs is to have a positive effect on the crime rate, drugs must be made both inexpensive and available. Studies have repetitively suggested that prohibiting marijuana in the U.S. has not shown to be efficient or effective. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, “U.S. federal, state and local governments have spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to make America ‘drug-free.’ Yet heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other illicit drugs are cheaper, purer and easier to get than ever before. (“England,” 2006) According to a report in The Economist (Case for Legalization, 2001), concerns that a growing drug-using and dependent population would emerge if marijuana was made more available are false. Although the magazine acknowledges that the price of the drug is artificially high, it attributes this to the difficulties involved in circumventing the law. The authors of this report indicate that it is only because of the high cost and the difficulty to obtain it that more individuals have not experimented with it. Instead, they become addicted, either physically or psychologically, to other, often more harmful yet legal substances such as prescription medications or alcohol. To support their argument in favor of legalization even should the numbers of suspected users rise, the Economist article (Case for Legalization, 2001) draws on the theories of John Stuart Mill. Mill’s ideas were founded on the concept that adult citizens should have the right to make their own choices regarding whether or not to participate in activity as long as it does no harm to others. This is a founding theory that has been mostly ignored in decisions made regarding alcohol and tobacco, both of which have proven to directly cause significant harm to innocent others, but has not been ignored regarding Class C substances such as marijuana. However, the arguments that more people would become regular users of the substance are unfounded. In addition to the fallacies of the anti-legalization side regarding increased use, the damage perpetrated on those involved with marijuana far outweighs the benefits achieved by current legislation and yet continues to exist. Poor countries where the drug is produced are quickly being overrun by criminals and thugs, people who make breaking the law on numerous levels. Because production and exportation is considered a criminal activity, the actual criminals are finding success rather than defeat. Individuals within the rich countries who buy the drugs are often otherwise productive members of society. Smoking marijuana, for medical or other reasons, is often their only ‘crime’ yet they face a no tolerance policy that places them in prison, destroys their chances to continue being the productive people they were before and irreparably harms them in many other ways. Under legalization, governments would be able to standardize the quality, regulate the ages ...Show more

Summary

Legalization of Marijuana Instructor name Date Instead of eradicating drugs from the U.S. and other nations as was promised, the ‘war on drugs’ has instead amplified instances of violence, contributed to the spread of organized crime, crowded the prison system past capacity, consumed enormous amounts of money and still has had almost no impact on the availability of drugs or the numbers of persons who use them…
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Legalization of Marijuana essay example
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