Imagine this: one day, you found out your mother was very sick. She was suffering and in an incredible amount of pain. Your doctor told you there was a drug that could stop her pain, but for political reasons, he couldn’t prescribe it. This drug is marijuana.
Since the 1930s, marijuana has been illegal in the eyes of the U.S. government. Its classification is a Schedule I drug, which is said to have a high potential for abuse, no medical use, and not safe to use under medical supervision. In this day and age, it’s being prescribed to patients with severe health problems to treat their pains, nausea, etc. Compared to logical reasoning, the government takes a very different stance on marijuana. Some say prohibition serves no purpose, and others say it is a violation of our liberty to ban something harmless to others. As you can see, misconceptions on marijuana are plentiful and reformation is necessary.
First and foremost, the classification marijuana is under is completely inaccurate. Schedule I classification describes a drug with no medical use and not safe to use under medical supervision. Research has been shown that marijuana aids cancer patients and plenty of other terminally ill patients. Even recreational use has never been directly linked to any deaths (from smoking itself) and when you compare marijuana to alcohol and cigarettes, both of which are legal, it’s completely harmless.
Another reason for legalization is because prohibition has never been reliably shown to reduce drug use. If prohibition accomplished anything, it created an underground black market, created a new drug ring, and wasted valuable time for law enforcement. There is also the effect prohibition has on whether or not a person will even try it. When something’s illegal, it creates something called the “forbidden fruit effect,” provoking people to try it. Another unintended effect of prohibition is that it destroys all possible ways to regulate the substance since it’s illegal. It’s easier for high schools student to illegally obtain marijuana from drug dealers than it is for high school students to illegally get their hands on alcohol because alcohol is regulated. Sadly, our current agenda for unlawful users is to put them in jail (not get them help) and to use programs like DARE to spread lies about it in our schools like stating its a gate way drug which is only true for some people. Proper education and treatment are much better ways to address the problem.
The price of keeping marijuana illegal is may main focus. Every year, federal, state, and local governments participate in “The War on Drugs,” spending billions to imprison peaceful people who enjoy smoking marijuana. These people get put in prison, letting taxpayers pay for their food, housing, health insurance, court costs, etc. As a nation, we could save billions by letting people smoke marijuana without fear of arrest. If it were to become completely legal, the government could even tax it and make money off of it, using it towards schools and other essentials. With all of this saved money, perhaps we could even implement better drug education courses for our schools. Unfortunately, to this day it remains a pit for taxpayers’ money.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why marijuana should be legal and even more reasons as to why it shouldn’t be illegal. I mean sure, if the government really wants to continue putting innocent people in jail, bankrupting U.S. Citizens in the process, in a futile attempt to eliminate drug use, then we’re doing the right thing. But if as a nation, we want to move forward and continue to allow ourselves the God-given right of liberty, then the decriminalization of marijuana should be our next step.