The War on Marijuana Costs Essay

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Marijuana is a drug that can be consumed by either smoking or eating; this drug is typically used for medicinal or recreational use, however, in the United States it is the most popular illegal drug used on a daily basis by many users. Under federal law marijuana is classified as a schedule one controlled substance, also in this category includes heroin, LSD, and PCP. Marijuana has many street names such as Pot, herb, weed, Mary Jane, grass, and reefer just to name a few. Marijuana is considered a gateway drug and may lead to potential use of other hardcore illicit drugs. American’s spend roughly 100 billion dollars worth of marijuana a year, which is about thirty-two million pounds of weed, annually. Regardless if marijuana is legal or illegal people are going to continue using it. Legalizing marijuana brings much controversy; there isn’t much research available on marijuana to prove whether it would be beneficial to legalize. However, the government makes it very difficult for researchers to investigate the affects marijuana would have on our society, because it is prohibited. If American’s were educated on the use of weed, they would understand it isn’t any more dangerous than consuming alcohol. Marijuana prohibition creates an illegal economy, allows easy access to youth, and is costly to tax payers.
An illegal economy, underground economy, or the black markets are very difficult for the government to regulate. According to Eric Scholosser, author of Reefer Madness he explains the black market as “where economic activities remain off book, where they are unrecorded, unreported, and in violation of the law” (Reefer Madness). Originally, the war on drugs was to help alleviate this black market. However, Jon Gettman states “...

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Morgan, Scott. "If the Drug War Works, Why Did Teen Access to Marijuana Increase this Year?"Drug Trade in School, Marijuana Policy 20 Mar. 2011. 14 Aug. 2008 .Web
Morgan, Scott. "The Politics of Incarceration Will Have to Change When Money Runs Out."Stop the Drug War 26 Mar. 2011. 22 Feb. 2011. .Web
Ravenel, Thomas. "Drug Prohibition violates Logic and Civil Rights." Post and Courier 26 Mar. 2011. 5 Feb. 2011 .Web
Schlosser, Eric. Reefer Madness. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.Print
"Teens Report Easy Access to Marijuana." Join together 20 Mar. 2011. 22 Aug. 2002 .Web

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