It's Time For Marijuana Legalization

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Marijuana’s legalization could earn billions of dollars for the government that could be used to lower the national debt, improve schools, or other major projects that need funding.
The handling of drugs is not safe, whether it is the back alley deals, or the people killed in drug heists. Since 2006 more than seventy thousand people have been estimated to have died in the drug war. This all comes from the lack of supervision in handling of drugs with their distribution, and use. Problems most people illegal drug users face are the quality of the drugs they purchase. Often people lace drugs with other ingredients to either improve or alter their effects. Sometimes suppliers lace drugs with substitute products to spread out into more units of that drug to sell, like filler products in today’s overly processed foods. A substance usually found in laced marijuana is Viagra, or lead. Rarely, and generally in the United States weed has been laced with Phencyclidine. In other extreme cases weed has been found laced with rat poison and plastic. When suppliers try to improve their product they lace weed with harder drugs typically heroin or cocaine. Heroin and Cocaine have much stronger addictive properties so often people have addiction to laced weed more than regular causing them to become repeat customers, or branch off into harder more pure drugs. These are just a few of the problems when using the drug, there are even more problems in trafficking and distribution. First off, since marijuana is illegal it is almost always handled by untrustworthy people. This become problematic when a deal goes wrong, and either someone was sold a drug they did not want, or it was laced. Violence erupts and someone is usually killed between the dealer, and the client. Another scenario is when a drug bust occurs from law enforcement officers who were tipped off about a future distribution. A shooting can erupt between police and suppliers. A scenario often portrayed in movies or television is a territory dispute between gangs. Gangs will fight over specific areas that are prime targets for drug sales. Once situation that is a major cause for concern is the underground dealings between drug lords and law enforcement, this may include bribes. This is not a perfect world, and law enforcement officers are not saints. They can be bribed and in situations where a drug cartel has a major influence in that region, the law enforcement has most likely been paid off.

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There is no scenario worse for a citizen in that area than lack of protection against drug lords. Racism plays a major role in the drug war as well. “Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial lines, people of color are far more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for drug law violations than are whites .“ “Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison that are black or Hispanic, 61 percent” (“Drug War Statistics”). This alarming statistic is an issue that must be dealt with. Minorities are being mistreated with regards to drug law violations, and this is not acceptable in today’s society. It should be noted the main concern over marijuana legalization are ethics and morals. Many people against legalization fear marijuana will corrupt youth, some feel it may be too large to enforce. One proposed idea to combat this problem is to enact the legalization for individuals over the age of twenty one, similar to alcohol. They would purchase marijuana using their state identification, however unlike alcohol, every purchase would be recorded. This record would serve to help predict an addiction or someone who may be buying large quantities and selling to those who are unable to, like students. A concern that currently does not have an answer to is driving under the influence. Unlike alcohol, which can be measured using a breathalyzer, marijuana has no device to measure the intoxication levels. Marijuana is usually measured through blood work, unless there is a measurement device invented highway patrol will have trouble deciding if someone is unfit to continue driving. The current method used in Colorado is a modified version of the field sobriety test used for alcohol. In this test they measure focus, reaction time, and basic motor skills. Safety is a top priority when legalizing marijuana; it will reduce drug violation charges, ensure quality products, and enable a safer environment for drug distribution.
Legalizing marijuana needs to happen, its medical benefits alone are crucial. The amount of revenue it may generate could be the saving grace this country needs to remedy years of national deficits. Legislations are put into power to safe guard the public; this ongoing drug war is not the solution. People are needlessly dying to the aftermath of drug related violent crimes that could easily be avoided. Marijuana has lived throughout history as a medical miracle, yet only in recent years has it been misrepresented as a lethal substance. History repeats itself and this entire situation is comparable to the prohibition of alcohol in the nineteen twenties. When alcohol was initially banned people did the same thing they are doing today. Producing the product themselves, beer breweries, marijuana farms. Illegally trafficking and distributing, known as rum running and drug trades. During that time crime rates soared similar to today. The government spent millions supporting law enforcement officers and expanding federal prisons. In the end, this was all for naught as the prohibition was repealed and society stabilized. One major difference between marijuana now and alcohol then is that alcohol does not have nearly as many health benefits versus its detriments as marijuana does. Just like the repeal of prohibition eventually the Marijuana tax act will be repealed. A Harris poll taken in 2011 showed that Americans are ready for the legalization of medical marijuana by a seventy four percent vote in favor of its legalization. The president of the United States of America has even voiced his favorable opinion on the matter to interviewer David Remnick “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid… I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.” Studies have estimated full medical marijuana legalization by 2015; it may just be possible, only time will tell



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