I would like to discuss certain issues of why marijuana should not be illegal in the United States. In this country, marijuana prohibition has greatly failed as a policy. People are being arrested for possessing only small amounts of marijuana, which leaves permanent criminal records, causing the following:
- The withdrawal of a professional license
- The suspension of a driver’s license
- The inability to obtain insurance, a mortgage or further bank loans
- The denial of access to public housing
- The loss of student financial aid
Aside from these excessively and permanently being on your criminal record, there is a much bigger problem is occurring: overcrowding of prisons. Many people are not aware that drug-related offenders make up almost half of all inmates in these overcrowded prisons. Also, minorities (particularly those of color) are being arrested and imprisoned at nearly 10 times the rate that white people are. This is in despite of the fact that both smoke marijuana at almost equal rates.
It is a common belief and now a fact that marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, and has been proven to have many medicinal benefits. Few of the many examples include:
- Decreasing anxiety
- Treating glaucoma
- Reducing/stopping the spread of cancer
- Easing pain
- Boosts appetite for cancer patients going through chemo
It is almost impossible to overdose on marijuana, as there is no deadly limit. Some studies suggest that in order for marijuana to be fatal, it would take smoking nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana in one sitting to simply ingest enough THC.
Lastly, Colorado and Washington no longer face the issue of prison overcrowding, as people are not being arrested and imprisoned for smoking marijuana. Also, Colorado has made around $70 million in tax revenue in the last year. This money is being used towards helping people in need, such as our schools. Education receives a large amount of this revenue.
It is now the job of the United States lawmakers to put an end to the failed prohibition on marijuana. It is the job of the states to make the decision of whether or not they should make marijuana recreationally accessible. I believe it should be treated at the same level as alcohol, leading to an increase in taxpayer money. Legalizing marijuana will only benefit the United States in helping the patients who have been suffering, the children who deserve better education, and will end all prohibition issues.