Legalization, Regulate, Medicate, Educate

6

October 15, 2012 by cvansick20

Should marijuana be legalized? This blog looks at the implications of legalizing marijuana and argues that marijuana should be not only decriminalized, but legalized and regulated by the government.

Major Benefits to the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

1. Economic Advantages 

  • Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron explains the importance of the legalization of marijuana and how large the marijuana market is, “Jeffrey Miron conservatively sizes the market at about $14 billion, and his February 2010 paper on “The Budgetary Implications of Drug Prohibition” states that legalization of marijuana could yield over $20 billion in tax revenues and enforcement cost savings.”
  • 500 Economists recently signed a petition against Congress for why the decriminalization of marijuana would benefit the economy

2. Drug Cartels would lose profits

  • Another report by, “the Global Commission on Drug Policy last year, including former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, recommended that governments consider new policies for legalizing and regulating drugs as a way to deny profits to drug cartels.
  • Mass production of marijuana would cause the price of the drug to decrease, which in turn decreases the profits of the drug cartels. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition said, “If it’s regulated and controlled, there’s going to be a severe cut in criminal income and, hopefully, a reduction in marijuana-related violence.”

3. Prohibition is NOT the answer

  • Prohibition’s end “was very much a tax issue”. “It’s very similar to where we are today” with marijuana.” (The Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition)
  • Marijuana has also been compared to tobacco and the potential revenue for marijuana has been calculated by different economists who believe that it would benefit the U.S. immensely. If prohibition continues, then competitive corporate production will lead to low costs.

State’s Actions to the Legalization and Decriminalization of Marijuana

  • In a 2012 Huffington Post article titled, ‘Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know’ Authors Discuss Risks and Rewards Of Legal Weed’, it comments on states like Colorado, Washington and Oregon who have already considered legalization ballots for November to end prohibition on marijuana in their respected state. Both Democrats and Republicans have supported the issue, along with 100 professors from Colorado as well.

 

6 thoughts on “Legalization, Regulate, Medicate, Educate

  1. Jerusalem says:

    I like this post however it is very repetitive, I understand you are arguing about the amount of money the nation can profit from regulating weed but HOW? How is law enforcement going to go about “regulating” something as like meruhjan, a substance that can/is produced at home? Is the government going to have the power to regulate my garden?

    Also, who is the senetor? what power does he have to legalize meruhijna? who cares if he wants to legalize it, what is his relevance?

    Lastly, you make a lot of generalizations like “more than half of Americans” and “Most people” who is making these surveys? pots head?

    check this out:

    http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/86/cedelson.html

  2. Jerusalem says:

    * Senator
    *marijuana

    Sorry I miss spelled those words

  3. tallymeyer says:

    You say that “Marijuana has also been compared to tobacco” and talk about its potential tax revenue benefits, but you completely ignore the fact that “sin taxes” are regressive taxes that disproportionately affect the poor, who are the population of Americans least able to have the education and resources to be fully aware of the dangers of marijuana. Such a tax would be a predatory burden on society, targeting the most vulnerable members of society.

    You also cite the violence that cartels enact on Americans, but you fail to consider the violence that the widespread legalization of marijuana would have. A paper published in a medical science journal examined a group of criminals who regularly used cannabis and determined “Our data suggests that cannabis could have a specific role in the development of violent behaviour patterns and that detection of its adverse effects should be systematic in criminal responsibility evaluation.” Legalizing cannabis could increase the number of violent offenders in the United States. Likewise, “heavy marijuana users” were found to have 30 times more likely chance to escalate to crack cocaine. Considering this data, if we legalized marijuana, we would most certainly have an increase in the number of hard drug users in the US, which would cause a host of social problems.

    (regressive taxes and cigarettes–a case study of Nebraskans) http://nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/reports/research/2012_cigtax.pdf
    (source for medical journal article)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12741654
    (source for other drug use)
    http://www.drugfree.org/newsroom/pats-2011

  4. myanhtta says:

    Hey, guys! I thought that this post was very well organized and gave me a lot to think about regarding legalizing (our group’s stance is decriminalize). I look forward to future posts.
    One of the points you made was about how profitable legalizing would be if we could tax marijuana.
    This article–http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/pot-could-be-tax-windfall_0_n_1897910.html
    talks about how cheap marijuana would be if it were legal (a couple cents per joint). Should we legalize, wouldn’t the tax create marginal revenue, if any? Growing pot seems like it would be pretty easy–http://www.growweedeasy.com/
    This website talks about the costs, and they seem about the same costs as an industrial wheat farmer. And our government currently has to subsidize a lot of our farmers to not overproduce. My point is, how profitable can weed be when I doubt the demand will be as high (it might be, i don’t know) as basic food (wheat)?
    Also, if we plan on legalizing, wouldn’t it cost money to set up institutions to regulate it? Or would we use the same institutions to regulate that we do alcohol and cigarettes?

  5. Sebastien says:

    “The debate of whether or not to legalize marijuana in the United States is one of the most highly talked about issues each year.” is it really? You make the claim but don’t back it up with anything. What one could do is google ‘Legalization of Marijuana’, then hit the news tab and that might demonstrate the amount of interest in the topic.
    Here’s the link to the news ticker: http://www.google.com/search?q=is+legalization+of+marijuana+higly+talked+about%3F&rlz=1C1MACD_enUS484US487&oq=is+legalization+of+marijuana+higly+talked+about%3F&sugexp=chrome,mod=0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#hl=en&rlz=1C1MACD_enUS484US487&tbm=nws&sclient=psy-ab&q=legalization+of+marijuana&oq=legalization+of+marijuana&gs_l=serp.3…2255.4916.1.4975.27.17.1.6.6.0.107.1016.13j2.15.0…0.0…1c.1.rRw0ygY3nTE&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=fb223c6d894887c7&bpcl=35277026&biw=1745&bih=792

    “Legalizing marijuana, which 50% of Americans already support according to a Gallup poll,…” do 50% of Americans actually support legalization? I’d want to see more support for that claim than one poll. With a small amount of digging i came up with http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/22/legalize-marijuana-56-percent-rasmussen-poll_n_1537706.html which talks about another poll of 1,000 people where 56% support it.

    “If prohibition continues, then competitive corporate production will lead to low costs (a pack of 20 cigarettes at about $5, even with taxes included). If marijuana is mass produced because of prohibition the prices of the drug would plummet, which would completely cut cartels’ business and ruin the highly profitable, violent drug trade.” I understand what you’re trying to say, but how much percentage of cartels is marijuana related? From what I understand the money is in Coke primarily, hence the drug wards in Mexico. Not to say that Cartels don’t deal with Weed, but they’d just start putting more money into other drugs, so would you support eradicating all form of prohibition, even of cocaine and heroin?
    Here’s a quote from the article http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2011/October/illicit-money_-how-much-is-out-there.html : “Traffickers’ gross profits from the cocaine trade stood at around $84 billion in 2009.”

  6. You state: “The decriminalization of marijuana frees law enforcement to concentrate on criminals who intend harm.” Do you mean to imply that drug bosses should not be a focus for law enforcement officers in our nation? 50,000 people dead in a matter of six years due to drug wars across the border in Mexico blatantly show just how much harm is intended by leaders of drug cartels. This article powerfully describes the struggle of the Mexican people as their law enforcement officials focus on other matters leaving them stranded in the middle of this crime without protection: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/05/mexicos-drug-war-50-000-dead-in-6-years/100299/#
    Is this the future of the U.S. if we decriminalize drugs like marijuana? Mexico has done this in hopes to decrease the adverse effects of the drug war but it has only further alienated it’s citizens from receiving help and protection from the government.
    You also state: “Marijuana has also been compared to tobacco” in reference to revenue for our nation but how do you respond to this argument of a police officer who also compares cigarettes and marijuana: “The average marijuana joint contains nearly 50% more of the chemical benzopyrene (cancer causing) than the average tobacco cigarette. Marijuana has been proven to cause bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, and lung cancer. It is also been proven that marijuana is the second most common drug, after alcohol, present in the blood of fatally injured persons.” http://policelink.monster.com/training/articles/133663-top-ten-stupid-things-an-ex-cop-turned-pro-drugs-has-said If this fact is true for our nation’s future after marijuana is legalized then couldn’t it be argued that all the benefits of this increased revenue would have to be used in the healthcare system as more individuals would experience negative repercussions from recreational marijuana use?
    How do you respond to this statistic from the American College of Pediatricians: “Cannabis use in adolescence is a predictor of depression in later life. Cannabis induces psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment in some individuals. Numerous mechanisms have been postulated for the link between cannabis use and attention deficits, psychotic symptoms, and neural desynchronization. Studies indicate that it impairs driving performance in the same way alcohol does, with users displaying the same lack of coordination on standard sobriety tests.” http://www.acpeds.org/Marijuana-Use-Legalization-Not-a-Good-Idea.html If marijuana was legalized and regulated in the same way alcohol is, then our nation would be at risk for more teen deaths due to impaired driving. It is not hard for under-aged individuals to obtain alcohol and because of their inexperience with these substances, they often lose control or make ill informed decisions that put the public at large in danger. Should our nation really consider legalizing something that could put so many innocent lives in danger?

    Sincerely,
    http://whatsthejoint.blogspot.com/

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