On this blog I really try to give all perspectives. Therefore, today I have written two exactly opposite posts to let my readers decide who to agree with. Please see 10 Reasons Parents Should Not Encourage Legalizing Marijuana today–you decide which you agree with.
10 Reasons Why Marijuana Should Be Legal…and Parents Should Encourage It
Marijuana is a Personal Choice Not a Governmental One
“The government only has a right to limit those choices if the individual’s actions endanger someone else. This does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual. But this argument does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco. Individuals deserve the right to decide whether or not they should use marijuana. The government should not tell individuals what to do as long as they do not harm others.” (http://www.mjlegal.org)
Keeping Marijuana Illegal is Very Expensive.
We currently spend billions of dollars every year to tracking down marijuana users. Taxpayers “have to pay for food, housing, health care, attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses to lock these people up. This is extremely expensive! In addition, if marijuana were legal, the government would be able to collect taxes on it, and would have a lot more money to pay for effective drug education programs and other important causes.” (http://www.mjlegal.org)
Prohibition is Failing
“There is no good evidence that prohibition decreases drug use, and there are several theories that suggest prohibition might actually increase drug use (i.e. the “forbidden fruit” effect, and easier accessibility for youth)…It is actually easier for many high school students to obtain marijuana than it is for them to obtain alcohol, because alcohol is legal and therefore regulated to keep it away from kids.” (http://www.mjlegal.org) “The government has tried to use criminal penalties to prevent marijuana use for over 75 years and yet: marijuana is now used by over 25 million people annually, cannabis is currently the largest cash crop in the United States, and marijuana is grown all over the planet.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Illegality Makes Marijuana Treatment Programs Impossible
“If our goal is to reduce drug consumption, then we should focus on open and honest programs to educate youth, regulation to keep drugs away from kids, and treatment programs for people with drug problems. But the current prohibition scheme does not allow such reasonable approaches to marijuana. Policies that result in jail time rather than treatment for people with drug problems.” (http://www.mjlegal.org)
Illegality Encourages Dealing
“A regulated, legal market in marijuana would reduce marijuana sales and use among teenagers, as well as reduce their exposure to other drugs in the illegal market. The illegality of marijuana makes it more valuable than if it were legal, providing opportunities for teenagers to make easy money selling it to their friends. If the excessive profits for marijuana sales were ended through legalization there would be less incentive for teens to sell it to one another.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Less Money for Gangs
“Legalized marijuana would reduce the flow of money from the American economy to international criminal gangs. Marijuana’s illegality makes foreign cultivation and smuggling to the United States extremely profitable, sending billions of dollars overseas in an underground economy while diverting funds from productive economic development.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Hemp is a Sustainable Crop
“Marijuana’s legalization would simplify the development of hemp as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the United States, including its development as a new bio-fuel to reduce carbon emissions. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legal marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity. As US energy policy continues to embrace and promote the development of bio-fuels as an alternative to oil dependency and a way to reduce carbon emissions, it is all the more important to develop industrial hemp as a bio-fuel source.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Research is Unclear
“Justification of marijuana’s illegality increasingly requires distortions and selective uses of the scientific record, causing harm to the credibility of teachers, law enforcement officials, and scientists throughout the country. Many claims of marijuana’s danger are based on old 20th century prejudices that originated in a time when science was uncertain how marijuana produced its characteristic effects. Since the cannabinoid receptor system was discovered in the late 1980s these hysterical concerns about marijuana’s dangerousness have not been confirmed with modern research. Everyone agrees that marijuana, or any other drug use such as alcohol or tobacco use, is not for children. Nonetheless, adults have demonstrated over the last several decades that marijuana can be used moderately without harmful impacts to the individual or society.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Marijuana is Not Lethal and Safer than Other Legal Substances
“Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. It is established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. It is unfair and unjust to treat marijuana users more harshly under the law than the users of alcohol or tobacco.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Marijuana Has Positive Uses
“Marijuana use has positive attributes, such as its medical value and use as a recreational drug with relatively mild side effects. Many people use marijuana because they have made an informed decision that it is good for them, especially Americans suffering from a variety of serious ailments. Marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea, spasticity, and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with conventional medications. Marijuana use is the result of informed consent in which individuals have decided that the benefits of use outweigh the risk.” (http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/60959/)
Please see 10 Reasons Parents Should Not Encourage Legalizing Marijuana today–you decide which you agree with.
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