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Legalize Weed Proposal

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Submitted By kelseymadigan
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Abstract Throughout this paper, there will be an extremely debatable discussion about legalizing marijuana. Though both sides to this discussion have valid arguments, the pros outweigh the cons by a substantial amount. According to norml.org marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America. Federal law prohibits marijuana; anyone found with possession by federal law is punishable by up to one year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction. With making this “troubling substance” legal, the government would be able to reduce the national debt and easily reduce the overcrowding of prisons. I am proposing that people take a second to look past the negatives of drugs and focus on a plant that could better the nation.

Purpose
Marijuana has a negative shame involved by the government and public, but is actually a natural and successful medicine. Recently marijuana arrests have been exceeding the amount of violent crime arrests and punishments. The Marijuana Policy Project counted 872,720 pot-related arrests in the United States in 2007 alone, according to Cato. Enforcing this prohibition has put taxpayers in almost 10 billion dollars of debt annually. I believe that there are definitely more important issues that the government should be focusing on rather than throwing harmless marijuana smokers in jail.

Problem or Need According to norml.org marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America. Nearly one in eight drug prisoners in America are behind bars for marijuana-related offenses. With marijuana being illegal, more people are subject to go behind the law and hide the activity of it. It was stated that the United States government spends $10 billion dollars a year in its attempts to keep Marijuana off the street. Instead of legalizing this harmless plant, and gaining revenue from the tax of it, the government is spending billions of dollars to keep this prohibition going.

Background After the 1940’s, the U.S. cracked down on everyday drugs such as crack and opium, eventually prohibiting the use of them, but continued to be very “relaxed” with the use of marijuana. Around the 1980’s, marijuana was made illegal and the government grew very strict with the laws. As marijuana became a huge debate, scientist started doing studies. These studies were generating jaw-dropping results. It was discovered that marijuana shows significant results when prescribed to ill patients. The first state to allow the use of medical marijuana was California in 1996. As this sparked interest, other states began to follow in the footsteps of California such as Arizona and Colorado.

Solution According to forbes.com, under the taxing structure in Colorado, an excise tax of 15% would first be levied on all wholesale sales of marijuana from the grower to a retail operation. Next, a special 15% sales tax would be levied on all retail sales from stores to the ultimate consumer. Lastly, the state’s existing 2.9% sales tax would also apply on the retail sales, as would any local sales taxes. That amounts to a staggering 32.9% in excise and sales taxing. Based on an estimated total market for recreational marijuana of $605 million, the various taxes would produce over $130 million in revenue in 2014 alone.

Benefits The medical benefit of legalized cannabis is much greater than the “pros” of having this drug illegal. The principal component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is successful in treating nausea, vomiting, appetite loss and acute and chronic pain. Also, recent research has shown that marijuana can fight the effects of fibromyalgia, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The plant used in making marijuana has alternative uses which include making paper, geotextiles, dynamite, composites for autos, and insect repellent. Legalization of marijuana would free up the DEA and FBI to concentrate on more important issues like terrorism, harder drugs, rape, and murder. Not only are the medical benefits greater than the problems incurred from the use of this illegal drug, but also the tax revenue for legalizing marijuana is much greater.

Evaluation This decision is completely up to the reader to decide for their own, but I hope with my credible facts and research you were able to perceive a better understanding of the topic. Legalizing pot won’t create a problem-free country but it would help the government realize that they have better things to do than tell us what we can and cannot put into our bodies. You could compare smoking cigarettes to smoking marijuana. Many people do both, many do one or the other, but the long-term effects are a lot different. While cigarettes are legal and lead to lung cancer, marijuana is a gate way to the fridge and zero pain. Which one is technically safer?

Works Cited:

Nitti, T. (2013, September 24). Understanding The Impact Of Legalized Recreational Marijuana On State Tax Revenue. Forbes. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonynitti/2013/09/24/understanding-the-impact-of-legalized-recreational-marijuana-on-state-tax-revenue/
Pro's of Marijuana Legalization - MarijuanaToday.com. (n.d.). Pro's of Marijuana Legalization - MarijuanaToday.com. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://marijuanatoday.com/pros.php
BalancedPolitics.org. (n.d.). - Legalization of Marijuana (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages). Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://www.balancedpolitics.org/marijuana_le…...

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