Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana

Smoke Weed Everyday- Dr. Dre

Don't Knock it Til you Try it

There are a lot of misconceptions out their about cannabis. In order to really know about it you have to know where ideas and rumors about it really started. The big one is that it kills brain cells. This isn't true. In the 1960's when smoking started to become more popular in the U.S. the government founded scientists to experiment on monkeys to understand its affects. When doing this they forced the monkeys to breathe in the smoke through tubes. However when the fed the smoke through they never put any oxygen with it and suffocated the monkeys. The first reaction your brain has to suffocating is the rapid killing of your brain cells. With today's modern science we have finally been able to start doing safe experiments. These started in 2010 and the real outcomes are outstanding. We have learned that smoking this plant once a month, because of the strength building and expansion of your lungs, actually helps your lungs. Whereas smoking once a week has a neutral effect and everyday can be harmful.

The Benefits on the Economy

Taking marijuana out of the black market and into the public light also provides clear savings for the government on top of net tax gains. The drug war costs the U.S. government a tremendous amount annually, and while this failing initiative covers a range of Schedule I drugs (including not just marijuana but cocaine, heroin, and meth), spending would certainly decline without marijuana in the picture. Instead of wasting $1 trillion dollars on direct law enforcement initiatives yearly to investigate suspected growers, traffickers, and dealers, the government could focus on more pressing initiatives.

Legalization would also cut prison spending, rather dramatically. An estimated one in four people are in prison solely because of non-violent drug offenses, including possession, sales, and repeat offenses related to marijuana. Notably, marijuana-related arrests make up a significant percentage of law enforcement actions involving drugs. The vast majority of these individuals are black and Latino, reflecting racial imbalances in the justice system—people of color are more likely to be profiled, more likely to be caught, and less likely to be able to bring an adequate defense to court. This combination of factors leads to gross overrepresentation of members of these communities in prisons and jails across the nation.

The most obvious economic aspect of the case for legalization lies in tax revenues. Average annual trade in marijuana is estimated at $113 billion, which represents nearly $45 billion in taxes slipping through our fingers, according to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron. Without being able to regulate and monitor the sale of marijuana, tax authorities miss out on municipal, state, and federal taxes that could fund a broad assortment of initiatives—including, of course, assistance programs for drug users, a measure supported in lieu of incarceration by over two thirds of Americans.

S.E. Smith Nov 6, 2014, 8:00am CT | Last updated Nov 6, 2014, 12:10pm CT

Weed isn't addictive.

"For some users, perhaps as many as 10 per cent, cannabis leads to psychological dependence, but there is scant evidence that it carries a risk of true addiction. Unlike cigarette smokers, most users do not take the drug on a daily basis, and usually abandon it in their twenties or thirties.

Unlike for nicotine, alcohol and hard drugs, there is no clearly defined withdrawal syndrome, the hallmark of true addiction, when use is stopped."

-- Colin Blakemore, PhD
Chair, Dept. of Physiology, University of Oxford (U.K.), and
Leslie Iversen, PhD
Professor of Pharmacology, Oxford University
Editorial, The Times (U.K.)