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If legalizing marijuana is what it takes to have a positive effect on a life, then it is well worth it to change the laws of this land. For instance, here is just something to think about:
…[T]hanks to mandatory minimum sentences, the system is overloaded with non-violent drug users and dealers, who now often receive harsher penalties than murderers, rapists, and serious white-collar criminals. Solicited by an undercover DEA agent to find a cocaine supplier, Gary Fannon facilitated the deal and received a sentence of life without parole. Larry Singleton raped a teenager, hacked off her arms between the wrists and elbow, and left her for dead in the desert. He received the 14-year maximum sentence and served only eight years (Shenk 5).
How could this country compare such crimes? Drug abuse is far less serious of a crime than rape. It is an individual choice to abuse drugs; however, being raped is not an individual choice. Marijuana can positively affect this nation in many ways, yet there is no way that rape could affect anyone positively. First, legalizing marijuana would make neighborhoods safer. Secondly, marijuana should be legalized because the government could tax the drug and use the profits to benefit the nation. Finally, marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes.
Neighborhoods being safer are reason enough to legalize marijuana. Dealers are on the street everyday selling to people of all ages. When you legalize the drug, the black markets will start to cripple, putting dealers out of jobs. For example, when alcohol was illegal, the crime lords used to smuggle alcohol to anyone that would buy it. Since alcohol has been legalized, bootlegging has decreased dramatically, and alternative black markets have not established new higher potencies of alcohol. Also, drugs, especially alcohol, are heavily linked to crimes of all kinds. “Being high off marijuana creates a state of mind in which it is much easier to control one’s actions than while being drunk. Alcohol also steals away your condition in a more extreme way than does marijuana does”(Legalize It). This fact is proven by more car accidents being related to alcohol rather than marijuana. “Alcohol is associated with 40 percent of all traffic deaths”(Wink 541). When drugs are on the streets, the streets are not safe for children, or anyone for that matter. The more drugs that are on the streets, the more crime rates rise. There are several reasons why crime rates rise. First, when a drug is highly expensive, many addicts turn to crime to support their habits. If marijuana was legalized, then the government could regulate the price. As a result of the high prices of drugs, dealers drape themselves in valuable items, and become an attractive target for assault. Lastly, drugs are a main cause of gangs. The neighborhoods become a battlefield. Dealers fight dealers for control of the grounds. Marijuana being legalized would decrease such crime. People would feel safer walking the streets in their neighborhood anytime of the day, and people would be able to sleep and feel safe. “’Law abiding citizens will be able to enjoy not living in fear of assault and burglary’”(Poeta 2).
Another reason that the government should legalize marijuana is because they could tax the drug and get profits. Taxes will help decrease the nations’ debt. This country pays too much for the consequences of drugs. When taxing the drug, the government could start to gain profits, and work for the education of this nation about drugs. People, who are more educated about a subject, tend to handle the subject better, just like they learned to do with alcohol and AIDS. For example, take Holland, a country where marijuana is legal. “By decriminalizing marijuana and hashish and making the business visible, Holland not only collects a lot of taxed it would otherwise never see, but also keeps a lot of drug money inside the country”(Morais 3). And with more government funds, more officers could be on the streets looking out for white-collar criminals. This too would help in the decline of crime in this country. As Dennis states, “Once the drug war is considered in rational terms, the solution becomes obvious: declare peace. Legalize the stuff. Tax it and regulate its distribution, as liquor is
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Cannabis, Drugs in the United States, Legality of cannabis, Neuropsychology, Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States, Colorado Amendment 64
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