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Opinion: Marijuana Should Be Legalized

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
According to a study by Harvard professor Jeffrey Miron, the government will spend approximately $8.61 billion in 2007 on marijuana prohibition enforcement. Despite such robust government spending, current strategies have failed to curb marijuana consumption. In 2005, 16.9 percent of Americans surveyed in National Household Surveys on Drug Use and Health admitted to using marijuana in the last year compared with 13.2 percent in 2000. Data from drug treatment facilities indicate that marijuana abuse is also increasing.

According to a Drug and Alcohol Information System study, admission rates to drug treatment for primary marijuana users have increased by more than 162 percent since 1992.

Based on correspondence with University professors in the economics department, my personal analysis of the marijuana prohibition law is that its flawed economic policy will continue to lead to unaccomplished initiatives. Police target sellers of marijuana because each dealer distributes to numerous consumers.

But this policy is ignorant to economic agents: every time a drug dealer is arrested, supply decreases and price goes up, which only limits consumption by raising prices to consumers.

However, a study by Mert Daryal reveals marijuana, like all drugs, has price inelastic demand, meaning that consumers are relatively insensitive to price change - thus the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on enforcement have minimal effect on consumption.

As an economics major and the center director for domestic issues in the Roosevelt Institute, the University's think tank organization, I've done some research in this field. I believe decriminalizing marijuana will allow the United States to most effectively attack marijuana use and abuse through education and health care.

These health care and educational programs can be funded through a tax placed on the sale of marijuana in conjunction with reduced enforcement costs, which I estimate to increase government revenue by $6 to $13 billion.

I feel increased marijuana education more effectively will decrease consumption through increasing the public's perceived risk of marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that students exposed to anti-drug messages are 25 percent less likely to use the drug, a much greater reduction than has been observed through marijuana prohibition.

Preferences and perceived risk determine drug use, not the law. A study by Daryal found that only 0.3 percent of the college students he surveyed, whom had never tried marijuana, would begin to use marijuana if it were decriminalized.

The danger with marijuana, as with alcohol, is when people use the drug irresponsibly.

While proper education will help to eliminate some of this risk, I feel it is important to fund programs and clinics to help cure marijuana abusers of their addiction.

According to the National Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, "Treatment appears to be cost effective, particularly when compared to incarceration," meaning health care reduces marijuana abuse better than marijuana enforcement laws can.

While most people may be willing to agree with the logic above, there are still many people who feel that the government should not enact policies that support drug use.

I would argue there are plenty of legal activities, such as flag burning, which the government does not condone, but permits because of an essential over arching value, such as the importance of free speech.

I feel the U.S. government should permit the decriminalization of marijuana, if they truly wish to fulfill their over arching initiative of creating a safer America by reducing marijuana use and abuse.

News Hawk- User http://www.420Magazine.com
Source: Red and Black
Author: Patrick Dever
Contact: webmaster@randb.com
Copyright: 2007 The Red and Black Publishing Company Inc
Website: Marijuana should be legalized - Opinions


New Member
This article was published in the Red and Black. Its the student-run newspaper at the University of Georgia. Haha, it was the only article I read from the paper yesterday.


New Member
EXACTLY!! If its legalized and sold in stores like cigs for at least 50% less than ud pay for coppin on the "black market" NO ONE in there right minds gonna buy from there local neighborhood deeler for double the amount, So,1. Black market eventually dries up and 2. The Gov can now tax Mary Jane! Of course the arguement would be made about drivin around smokin herb...WELL Hmmmm how long has drunk driving been a prob?? Riiiiight,still legal right? Then Of course ya got the Age limit reqrmnts and MAYBE easier acces for kids....AGAIN ya can argue that kids already have the acces and jus like alch and tobacco its up to the clerk to keep that from happning...Besides has the drunk driving accdent rate and cancer/liverocis /heart disease rate caused Alchahol and tobacco to be banned??!! HEEEELLL NO! HYPOCRISY TO THE FULLEST! The way I see it...Is Ganj 100% safe NO,But what in this crazy ass mixed up world were living in now is?
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