Legalize It!

Thread starter #1
T

The420Guy

Guest
USA Student Thinks The Costs Of Marijuana Prohibition Outweigh The Benefits

The question of marijuana legalization raises many issues that affect each
of us in some way. My purpose herein is to explore some of the moral,
cultural, legal and economic issues related to marijuana legalization.

Most Americans agree that drug abuse is immoral because it distorts
perception, impairs judgment and can jeopardize one's health. As a
Christian, I agree that drug abuse is wrong and stupid and sets a bad
example. However, these criticisms apply equally to alcoholism, which
shares the exact same faults while remaining legal. Alcohol, tobacco and
obesity each kill tens of thousands of people, yet there is not a single
documented case of a marijuana overdose.

The drug trade affects our culture by destroying individuals, families and
communities. However, the harms caused by the drug trade stem from its
prohibition. The suppression of any market creates a black market that
increases the profitability of trade in the prohibited product. Naturally,
people tend to be protective of their profits and their livelihoods.
Participants in legal markets settle their disagreements in court, but
traders in black markets cannot risk exposing their illegal activities in
civil suits, so many of them use violence to settle disputes.

The solution to the problem of violence stemming from Prohibition (1920 -
1933) was to legalize and regulate alcohol, which lowered its profitability
and increased the monitoring of its distribution through licensure.
Although alcohol continued to destroy lives and relationships, the violence
around the trade in alcohol diminished greatly.

It seems reasonable to believe that regulating marijuana could produce
results similar to those of the legal trade in alcohol and tobacco. Local
governments could issue licenses to businesses so authorities may monitor
the distribution of marijuana as they do with alcohol. Furthermore,
citizens could petition licensing boards and zoning commissions to prevent
marijuana distributors from setting up shop in a particular neighborhood.
It is unlikely that one could negotiate a similar agreement with an illegal
drug dealer.

Many concerned Americans oppose marijuana legalization because they believe
it would send the message that drug use is socially acceptable. Their
argument reflects the legitimate concern that the legalization of marijuana
implies the acceptance of its use. However, most of us can agree that there
are acts we consider immoral but do not wish to make illegal. For example,
few people approve of marital infidelity or gluttony, but even fewer would
want to incarcerate anyone for these misdeeds.

I honestly feel that we send a bigger mixed message to our children by
placing our faith in so many pills to solve our problems. We live in the
most medicated society on the planet. We tend not to follow the directions
printed on the prescription bottles, we store unused pills in our medicine
cabinets to self-medicate at will or to give them away so friends and
family members can self-medicate. Moreover, we have a pill for nearly every
desire, from hair restoration to weight loss. Why wouldn't our youth think
they could find happiness in a drug?

The advertisements of pharmaceutical companies are pervasive on television
and in magazines, although only a licensed physician can prescribe them.
Pharmaceutical companies know the dirty truth about the American health
system: too many doctors tend to prescribe requested name-brand drugs just
to appease demanding patients. Most of us lack the specialized knowledge to
make an informed decision about prescription drugs, but we do not care as
long as we can pop the pills that make us happy.

Americans already pay the highest per capita medical expenses in the world,
and the trend of larger employee contributions for medical benefits only
exacerbates the concern that legalizing marijuana could increase our health
care costs. However, the economic costs of alcohol abuse, tobacco usage and
obesity vastly exceed the cost of treating marijuana users. Furthermore,
the legality of marijuana usage does not affect whether insurance companies
can continue to refuse coverage of employees who have had accidents while
testing positive for drugs in their systems. Consequently, there is no
reason to believe that insurance premiums would increase merely from
marijuana legalization.

Taxation of legalized marijuana can raise revenue to expand drug education
and rehabilitation programs, which are far more cost-effective than
incarceration. The United States already has the largest prison population
(about 2 million inmates) and the highest rate of incarceration in the
world, but a whopping 55.5 percent of the prison population serves time for
nonviolent drug offenses! That figures out to about 1.11 million offenders,
each costing taxpayers about $25,000 annually. That is $27.75 billion each
year we spend keeping them locked up, but does not include the other costs
of law enforcement for the "war on drugs."

Wouldn't it be nice to have billions of dollars to spend on programs that
keep our youth off drugs voluntarily and still have more than enough money
left to rehabilitate everyone whom our wrongheaded policies have let down?


Pubdate: Mon, 29 Sep 2003
Source: Vanguard, The (AL Edu)
Webpage:
Carsshow – Dubai – UAE
Copyright: 2003 USA Vanguard
Contact: vanlandingham@usavanguard.com
Website: Carsshow – Dubai – UAE
 
ha

The United States already has the largest prison population
(about 2 million inmates) and the highest rate of incarceration in the
world, but a whopping 55.5 percent of the prison population serves time for
nonviolent drug offenses! That figures out to about 1.11 million offenders,
each costing taxpayers about $25,000 annually. That is $27.75 billion each
year we spend keeping them locked up, but does not include the other costs
of law enforcement for the "war on drugs."


Well over here in CALIFORNIA the inmates pay the state money, so thats why alot of people get arrested for no reason, the more inmates the higher state tax pay, california is " in debt " if i am correct..

They wouldnt legalize becuase THEY cannot make money off of it.

They want prisoners, it pays. YOU are just a number!

Let the man work independently! LEGALIZE!!!
 
MeeKLo said:
They wouldnt legalize becuase THEY cannot make money off of it.
That is not true. I've heard this argument often enough to be annoyed by it. Just because drugs are sold through a black market now doesn't mean that they would continue to do so. In fact, dealers would find it much more cost-effective to sell it legally, and they would have the benefit of not hiding from police or competitors. We as consumers would also find it cost-effective to buy from commercial dealers instead of illegal ones. Our pot would be cheaper, of higher quality, and guaranteed safe. We would not buy from illegal dealers, and those dealers would be forced out of business in the marijuana market. The same thing happened with the abolishment of alcohol prohibition. Legal dealers got licenses and paid the taxes due to the government. Other countries have also proven this to be true.

The government WOULD make money if we legalized.

Besides, they aren't making money off it now. What do they have to lose?