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Legalizing Marijuana Is Beneficial to the U.S.

Essay by   •  October 6, 2011  •  Essay  •  709 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,924 Views

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Legal Cannabis: Beneficial to the U.S.

Forty-two billion dollars are spent each year in the war against marijuana. If the ability to consume cannabis recreationally was legalized the amount saved would be tremendous. Not only would the government save billions of dollars, they would also earn much money through taxation. Also, the U.S. prison population would decrease drastically. Yet, the most important reason is medical purposes, cannabis is an extremely versatile medicine used by many and considered the best option for some. Legalizing marijuana will benefit the economy and many citizens of the U.S.

Legal recreational use of marijuana would substantially boost the U.S. economy. The multi-billion dollar industry profits drug dealers, killers, and criminals (legalize.org). If the government took a hold of this opportunity they could produce high revenues all while severely decreasing the profits of dangerous organizations. Medical marijuana alone in California creates a $14 billion revenue(money.cnn.com). If recreational cannabis were legal in California there would be an estimated 1.3 billion dollars created (money.cnn.com). The federal government will save 7.7 billion dollars a year if they didn't have to prosecute marijuana users (money.cnn.com). In addition, another 6.2 billion dollars would be made by taxation from the federal government. These methods will prove profitable as will the amount of money saved from not imprisoning users.

Prison population would also significantly decrease. The amount of people imprisoned in 2001 for possession of marijuana made up fifty-five percent of the prison population (skeptically.org/recdrugs/id8.html). This made it the largest group in state and federal prisons throughout the United States. There was an eighty percent increase of cannabis related imprisonment from 1985 to 1995, a drastic increase for only a small period of ten years. The economy would experience a substantial boost with only the few billion dollars saved by not imprisoning those who posses marijuana.

Next, cannabis is an extremely versatile medicine. It has a broad spectrum of efficiency according to scientists. Many of the "side effects" caused by marijuana consumption can prove useful in a vast amount of different cases. Burton Aldrich states "I...don't know if I would be around if it weren't for marijuana". Aldrich is a quadriplegic who suffers from spasms and excruciating pain. He explains that five minutes after smoking marijuana the spasms go away, and the neuropathic pains have all but disappeared. Also, Dr. Kevin Smith, a forensic psychiatrist, experienced relief from his painful genetic condition through the use of medical marijuana. He explains, "To have a day without pain, to be able to sleep is just

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