The question of whether to legalize marijuana or not in America has continued to draw mixed reactions from various people, while some agree, others disagree. Though Congress passed a law in 1937 to outlaw smoking and possession of marijuana in America, millions of Americans still smoke marijuana. There are a number of reasons that marijuana smokers’ site as to why they continue to smoke marijuana. Yet, the government when outlawing marijuana also gave its own reasons, but it seems to have failed. As observed by Gettman despite of a lot of efforts to eradicate domestic marijuana, “production of marijuana has been on a steady increase over time”. Since outlawing marijuana has not achieved its desired objectives, time has come to change this law. This research paper thus seeks to review this issue by proposing that marijuana should be legalized.
The first reason why marijuana should be should be legalized is because of the economic benefits that will occur. As noted by Nadelmann (42) legalizing marijuana will clearly increase revenues collected, which will in turn boost the economy of America. During the period when alcohol was outlawed, people still ended up drinking, though from illegal outlets. Nevertheless, the government heard the people demands and repealed the law and legalized alcohol though it increased taxes on alcoholic drinks. Today, the government collects billions of dollars from alcohol in terms of revenue; this can also be done to marijuana.
Stephen Easton and others who oppose illegalization of marijuana argue that if marijuana was made legal, these high profits created by high risks involved could be transferred from these underground criminal to the government. Supposing the government substitutes the high profits with a tax enforced on marijuana cigars, this means that the government is the one that will benefit from the tax collection and not the criminals Nadelmann (43) explains that, if for instance, the government taxed $6 per each 0.5 gram of marijuana cigars; it could end up collecting over 3 billion on American sales and a lot more on exports made to other countries. at the same time, government will be in a position to save on huge amounts it uses fighting marijuana smokers, in terms of law enforces, court proceedings, keeping marijuana offenders in jail, and more important human resource wasted in jail. What is saved and the revenue collected can them be used to improve the health care, education and other vital services.