• This society has problems. The economy, the prison system, and other such things. Finally, there is a potential cure for our issues. Marijuana could easily fix us up. If all else fails, marijuana could give our country the boost it needs to get back on track. Weed would be helpful in pulling the U.S. out of its current predicament.
    Many who oppose the legalization of marijuana say it’s evil or deadly. I have no doubts it can be harmful, but deadly is a bit of an overstatement. In Dr. Stephan Sidney’s words, “I don’t think it [Marijuana] contributes very much to people dying.” (How deadly is Marijuana, 1). This is not the only source I could find that doubts the deadliness of pot, but the most credible. Actually, weed can actually be used medically. Pot can actually be used to alleviate pain or symptoms of a neurological condition (Medical uses for Marijuana, 1). Something that can be used for healing generally doesn’t turn around and kill them. It is important to note that I feel marijuana should be legalized in general, not just for medical purposes. Weed’s medical usefulness magnificently outweighs it’s so called “deadliness.”
    Drug-busts and raids turn potential members of society into demonized life-long criminals. As of 2007, the number of arrests for marijuana-related crimes was 872,720. Many of these are young men and women who would have been functioning members of society, if they hadn’t been arrested. In any case, one incident with marijuana causes a harmless young man to become a hardened jail-bird. Also, approximately sixty-nine million Americans over twelve years of age have tried marijuana. If they are already doing it, why not allow it. They are going to continue using it, even while it’s illegal, so are we going to persecute them? People that are using marijuana are young and mostly good citizens, so we must accept them, unless we are to completely ostracize them.
    If the U.S. were to legalize marijuana as a “pleasure” drug, such as cigarettes or alcohol, the economy would go up from the taxes and sales of this new commodity. One who agrees with my point is California assemblyman, Tom Ammiano, who’s proposing a bill that will legalize weed in his state. There would be a fifty dollar tax for every ounce, and it would be regulated for those over 21 years old, much like alcohol. Additionally, the drug money would go into circulation. Also, small businesses could start popping up dealing marijuana and boosting the economy. With the current situation, more states should be trying out bills like that of Mr. Ammiano. Plus, look at what happened under prohibition. Crime was more organized, prisons were full to the brim, and the consumption of alcohol actually increased. When prohibition was repealed, most of this stopped. The government should be willing to at least try to get us out of a rut. Weed could, under the right circumstances and regulation, help to save the economy.
    One of the most concrete reasons to allow marijuana is that it is not as harmful as either alcohol or cigarettes. In fact, in a 2007 study, marijuana came in eleventh (Kim, 1)! It was not even in the top ten. This list was ranked on three things; harmfulness, addictiveness, and its impact on society. Not only did weed come in eleventh, but alcohol weighed in at five and cigarettes at nine. If we are going to allow people to use dangerous and addictive drugs, why not allow them a little harmless dope now and then? Sure, eleven is a low number, but the list only included twenty substances and herbs, so pot was in the safer half. The United States allows alcohol and tobacco, so why not weed? Marijuana is proven to be safer than booze and cigarettes, so it is fair to say we should have no problems with it.
    America is kind of in the toilet in current times, and I believe marijuana can help get her out. It’s nearly harmless, but the media has seriously demonized it. It rarely harms, much less kills, it causes many good people to go to jail, and it is safer than other legal drugs. I am not sure that I would use the drug if it became legal, but I am absolutely certain it would be beneficial to this country.