The legalization of drugs and substances which are classified as illegal at the moment has been one of the prominent debates in America today. Persons from all walks of life have voiced their opinion on this matter, opting to either support or oppose the legalization of the drugs (Merino 40). The political class has also been vocal about this issue, with several politicians expressing their inclination in the debates and their reasons (Berlatsky 12). The impact of the politicians’ views has been of great influence to the American citizens with most of them siding with the views of their preferred politicians and parties. Among the prominent subjects of the debates has been the legalization of marijuana, with proponents of its ratification mainly pointing to its medicinal value.
Persons opposing the legalization of marijuana have based their argument on an allegation that the drug would cause people to be delinquent and criminal-like in the society. They state that by smoking marijuana, individuals were driven to perform several criminal acts leading to widespread insecurity in the country (Berlatsky 12). This claim is disputed by the fact that the approximately 650,000 marijuana related arrests in the US from 2012-2013 involved just possession of the drug without any of the purported criminal acts. Persons who were caught in the possession upon further interrogation also revealed that they did not intend to sell or peddle the marijuana (Merino 42).
Proponents of the legalization of marijuana by the US government mention the drug’s medicinal benefits as the basis of their argument. Over the years, marijuana has been used to treat mental related illnesses or ailments such as dementia (Merino 44). Cannabis (marijuana) has also been used successfully to ensure the containment of Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and, gradual loss of intellect. In the medical field, marijuana has also been used to help ease pain in patients (Berlatsky 12). Glaucoma, an ailment involving the damage of optic nerves located in the eye is also treated successfully and in an effective manner using marijuana. The medical and supervised administration of cannabis in patients suffering from glaucoma is known to reverse the destruction of the eye by the ailment or illness.
Persons arguing for the legalization of marijuana in the United States of America (USA) also point out that in its illegal state, marijuana is an expensive drug for the country. With an average of 650,000 arrests every year concerning this drug, a lot of court space and time is used while prosecuting the cases (Merino 46). More money is lost in form of the taxes, which could have been charged for the drug if its production and sale was legal in the US. The government is continuing to lose more money in the failing war against drugs (Berlatsky 12).
The legalization of marijuana has also been supported by activists who state that most of the arrests related to the drug are based on racial prejudice and bias. An analysis of the state of Colorado indicates that 76% of the arrests made in 2013 concerning the drug, involved persons of African-American descent (Berlatsky 12). The bias is shown clearly by the fact that the African-American people comprise just about 11% of the state’s population. The research also established that both the white and black people in the state used the drugs with similar prevalence rates but racial discrimination had led to the targeting of persons of African-Americans (Merino 48). The legalization of the drug in the US would end this menace in the American society.
In summary, the government should legalize the use and sale of marijuana in the US. The medical benefits related to the drug underline its benefits to the society. The government would also be able to earn revenue from the taxation of marijuana once its use and trade is legalized. Funds which are currently being used to discourage and prohibit the use of this drug in the United States of America (USA) can be redirected to more pressing needs such as education and health care. Therefore, legislators and government officials should ensure the regulated legalization of marijuana in America.
Berlatsky, Noah. Marijuana. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Print.
Merino, Noël. Drug Legalization. Revised ed. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Print.
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