In 1620, the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock bringing with them thousands of gallons of beer and other types of liquor. This was believed to be enough for them to sell or trade with the natives in return for products like a body relaxer. The Native Americans introduced the Pilgrims to tobacco and other forms of drugs such as Marijuana. By the 1900s, the country noticed marijuana, a psychoactive drug, was dangerous and needed to be controlled. Later, between the 1960s and 1970s, the United States found itself in another period of drug intolerance. From then on the government started to crack down and began to embrace drug enforcement.
The government spends an average of 2.3 billion dollars each year on drug enforcement. Also each year over 400,000 people die in the United States through drug crime and over doses. So many people talk about Marijuana like it is not even a drug. In my opinion, I think that more people smoke weed then smoke cigarettes. The government says that it is a gateway drug , but most of the people that I know that do it have never tried another drug other then marijuana. Throughout this report I will give you different views from different people on the legalization of Marijuana.
The Youths Point of View
I interviewed ten people for this report and they mostly all had the same opinion on this subject. Nine out of the ten people I interviewed said that the government should legalize marijuana. Most of them had an attitude of Why not legalize it? You can get it anywhere at any time. It is not like you have to go far to find it. Just ask a few people and sooner or later you will either find some or be pointed in the right direction to find some. They also made a good point that if it is legalized it might actually turn some people away from using it. If it were legal, there would be no more adventure or fun in breaking the law to try to get some, which some people like more than actually doing the drug.
The one person that said the government should not legalize it also had a few good points. She said that if it were legalized, there would be a lot more cases of cancer each year. There will also be some people that if they do legalize it, they will use it excessively. Those people may use all their money to buy marijuana and become burn-outs. She also said that the government would not legalize it because they tend to make more money off of it illegally. When the police make the drug busts most of the money goes to the government anyway.
The Governments Point of View
According to the recent Gallup Poll, almost one-half of Americans report that either they, someone in their family, or a close friend has used illegal drugs. Twenty-eight percent of the one half characterized the drug use as moderate, while twenty-nine percent described it as a serious addiction. More than half of those who reported knowing someone with a moderate or serious drug problem were living in a household with incomes of $35,000 or more and almost all were white. The drugs are not a problem to just the inner city kids, it effects the poor, rich, suburban, and most minority groups. Every American is affected by drug problems.
Also if marijuana is legalized there will be new tax revenue. The government would get a lot of money from sales of marijuana. The government would also make more money because they could charge any amount of money for it, and knowing them there will be a lot of impurities like they did with cigarettes.
The Police Point of View
The police look at it from a lot of different perspectives. One of their perspectives has to do with money. They spend millions and millions of dollars each year in drug enforcement. Perhaps they have not considered that when they make drug busts, a percent of that money goes to their department. So in a way the money is evened out from spending the money on enforcement, they get their money back when they make their busts.
Another one of their views relates to drug crime. If the drug is legalized there will be no drug deals gone bad, no prostitution in order to get a fix, and no people getting rich off of other peoples blood. There will be a lot fewer deaths in the ghetto each year, not to mention good neighborhoods.
Another point relates to the purity of drugs. If the government legalized and regulated marijuana, it would be more likely to be pure, and if not there would be a good legal recourse. There would be no ODs not that an OD from marijuana is likely anyway. But if marijuana would be pure, with no other drugs combined, there would be fewer headaches involved in doing it.
The Doctors Point of View
Doctor Benson B. Roe, a heart surgeon at the University of California at San Francisco says illegal drugs cannot be eradicated from society. Since such drugs are no more harmful then most legal substances, he says that most illegal drugs should be legalized. As a heart surgeon Roe saw the harmful effects drugs left on the body. He believes that illegal drugs are not the evil, addictive, and poisonous substances that many people believe they are. The benefits of legalization would include drug purity assurance, reduction of drug crime, savings in law enforcement costs, plus new tax revenue. The Nixon administration studied Marijuana and found it was no worse then cigarettes.
An opposing opinion is from William J. Olson, a former deputy assistant at the Department of State and now a senior fellow at the National Strategy Information Center. His opinion states that drugs create significant health problems and that use and abuse of drugs would definitely increase under legalization, resulting in an increase in the nations health care costs. Olson states the doing drugs has the same risk as playing dangerous sports, sooner or later you will get hurt.
The Medical Purposes
In November 1996, California and Arizona had the opportunity to debate the merits of marijuana for medical purposes when the issue was presented to voters in the form of statewide ballot propositions. In both states, voters agree that medical marijuana should be allowed. As of 1998, the Arizona legislature had effectively rescinded the proposition in that states, while law enforcement officials in California have adopted a range of innovative strategies to deal with their new law. All the ramifications of the new law have yet to become clear, but the debate continues about its merit, and other states are watching Californias experiment carefully.
Nick Gillespie, a senior editor of Reason magazine, believes that the passage of medical marijuana initiated in California and Arizona in 1996 challenges the extreme antidrug tone of the current war on drugs. Since marijuana will no longer be seen simplistically as a purely evil substance, national leaders of the war on drugs will be forced to adopt new strategies and acknowledge the misleading nature of their rhetoric, according to Gillespie. He thinks that the legalization of marijuana as medicine may lead to wider rejection of the war on drugs.
The Elders Point of View
For this point of view I interviewed my grandmothers. My grandma Sophie stated that there was a lot of drug back in her time too. The thing was that the drugs werent as publicized as they are to day so many people didnt know about them. She said that people would do it so openly to the extent that they were walking in the streets rolling or smoking in the parks. The cops wouldnt do anything to you if they saw you do that. She said that she would not like to see marijuana legalized. She said that if it was legal that some people would use it to a much higher extent then they do now, since they would think that it would be O.K. to do. She also states that the only reason that the government would legalize it is to make there own money from it. They wouldnt care if it were harmful to us, just like what theyre doing with cigarettes. They are killing us but all the government cares about is the money.
My other grandma Marge said that she couldnt remember anything about drugs in her times. She had no opinion on the legalization of marijuana. The only thin she said was that you are still able to get drugs anywhere you want, so why not have them legalize it so they could make money off of it.
Throughout this report I gave you many different opinions and views on the legalization of marijuana. They all were good views but they all counteracted their selves. In my opinion, the medical, doctors point of view, and the governments point of view really got me. They all state that they for it in some way, even Doctor Roe states that it is not proven that it is harmful to the body. Even the Nixon administration studied it and found it no worse then cigarettes. Some of the youths points were good also. They said that if it was legalized that most kids would stop doing it since most of all the fun is in the risk of getting caught doing it.
My view on it is that if people in the government, in the police force, and in the field of medicine say that it should be legalized, how could it be so harmful to us. I think that if the government and the MOB didnt have so much money to lose, then it would have been legalized a long time ago.
Legal Issues Essays