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
- “Legalizing marijuana, which 50% of Americans already support according to a Gallup poll, would sharply cut into cartels’ profits and the amount the U.S. spends in tracking down, prosecuting, and jailing dealers who handle the drug. Regulation would be easier to manage and revenue could be used in education campaigns to prevent hard drug use and in the rehabilitation of addicts.”
- 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
- “Prohibitions raise supply costs because black market suppliers face legal punishments for manufacturing, distributing, and selling.”
- Prohibition increases crime rates and violence
- 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.