• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

Is Legalization a Realistic Alternative to the War on Marijuana?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Schmitt 1 Mike Schmitt English 321 Mrs. Charbonneau 1 April 2003 Is Legalization a Realistic Alternative to the War on Marijuana? Thesis: The legalization of marijuana would drastically reduce unnecessary government spending and in turn serve as alternative sources of revenue, thus making it a realistic alternative to the war on marijuana. For the past century, an enormous amount of controversy has surrounded the cannabis plant. The plant itself has a multitude of uses because of the hemp contained within. However, it is the bud from this plant that attracts the most controversy. The United States government has made their stance on the coveted buds clear, no one is to possess them or use them. Bugliosi affirms their position as he states that over 100 billion dollars have been spent fighting the war on marijuana in the past ten years (46). The government supports their costly prohibition of marijuana by classifying it as a harmful drug. The alleged effects of marijuana cause quite a bit of controversy as well, as both sides seem to have endless supplies of evidence to support their hypothesis. Much of the opposition to the war feel that the effects are but a minute detail; the real debate is whether or not the government can constitutionally tell a person what he or she can put into his or her own body. Moreover, there is the notion that the war on marijuana is useless. People who choose to smoke marijuana are obviously not deterred by the possible legal ramifications, thus making the costly war nothing but a waste of money. Due to these trains of thought, the prohibition of marijuana has been questioned since it was passed. Many believe that legalization is indeed a realistic alternative to the war on marijuana. A common misconception about marijuana usage is put to rest by Torr who states that over 40 million Americans have smoked Marijuana at some point in their lives (140). ...read more.

Middle

If the government were to control marijuana, there would be at least an extra one Schmitt 6 hundred billion dollars at their disposal. The naysayers are quick to object to this fact, feeling that marijuana can never be successfully controlled. They feel as if the effects of legalized marijuana would be tremendously detrimental to society. Unfortunately, they can never provide any proof that this would indeed happen. In fact, several countries in Europe, such as the Netherlands, have completely legalized marijuana. Others, such as Great Britain, have decriminalized the possession of minute amounts. Nadelman has observed Europe and his conclusion is very inconsistent with the naysayers argument. He asserts that in Europe the ability to sell marijuana without advertising and the addition of tax has done wonders to decrease violence and corruption (122). There is absolutely no doubt that if European countries are able to do it, then the United States would successfully be able to do it as well. Economics, however, should not be the only motive behind the legalization of marijuana. The cannabis plant's senseless illegality has many other dire consequences. First of all, there is a misconception that marijuana causes violence. It is not the marijuana, or any other drug for that matter, that actually causes the violence. "It is the necessity for illegal drugs [that] creates an unsafe atmosphere" (Milhorn 19). Drug related violence only occurs because the entire market is an underground market which features deception and corruption. Torr concurs with Milhorn. He feels that the prohibition of marijuana causes crime. By driving up the price of drugs, prohibition forces drug users to commit crimes to pay for a habit that would easily be affordable if it were legal (105). This fact is supported by the law of supply and demand. Since marijuana is illegal, there is a very small supply. Thus, the unsatisfied demand for marijuana is extremely high. ...read more.

Conclusion

Since the inception of the prohibition of marijuana, many government officials have swayed from stance to stance. Most of them publicly denounce marijuana to appease the masses, but their real feelings remain unknown. Murdock asserts that Schmitt 11 Jimmy Carter was the first president to endorse legalization (8). Many other presidents' campaign trails have been marred by rumors of drug usage, which brings to mind a simple notion. They used drugs and still went on to lead a very successful life; something some people do not understand is possible. Maybe the American government will follow the Canadian government's suit. Fizli asserts that Canadian senators issues a six hundred page report on marijuana and concluded that it is not harmful to health and should be legal for any Canadian over the age of 16 (18). Granted the age may be debatable, but large governing bodies such as the Canadian senators are setting precedents that should be considered. What makes legalization a realistic alternative is not the fact that marijuana is not harmful. Although the understanding of that concept would decrease a lot of anti-marijuana propaganda, it really is not relevant as the government truly does not have any power to say that one cannot smoke marijuana. The said ruling is unconstitutional; the government should have no say in what goes into someone's body. What makes it a realistic alternative is the fact that the United States is spending over fifty billion dollars a year to insure that no one uses marijuana, and that those who do are punished. There is absolutely no reason to waste fifty billion dollars of the taxpayers' money on such a petty matter. Marijuana usage does not pose a threat to society. Furthermore, the government could receive in excess sixty billion dollars in revenue from taxing marijuana, thus giving them well over one hundred billion dollars more at their disposal. There are an abundance of concerns in the United States that one hundred billion dollars a year could provide. However, they would rather spend it restricting the peoples' God-given rights: life, liberty, and by and large, the pursuit of happiness. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Free essay

    Reforms of Turkey under Mustafa Ataturk, with regards to the revelutions from above

    It is held that it is Ataturk's work and policies that placed Turkey on the correct path in joining the United Nations in 1945 and NATO membership in 1952. these are both great examples of Ataturk's success of his goals as Turkey has progressed to westernization.

  2. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    Another problem was also that of the growing population and the finances. The British wanted to find new sources of income. The commission was careful and cautious. They realised that they had to introduce the Income tax, however the commission was afraid that she would anger the people.

  1. World war one propaganda

    Perhaps, patriotism was used to intend or imply other factors too. Source G is a patriotic song, sung by wives and children at the home front. The propaganda by the government made women also part of the war effort. As censorship was enforced, many did not remain in contact with

  2. COMBATING CORRUPTION IN BANGLADESH: SOME STRATEGIES

    The changeover from an authoritarian to a democratic system of government in the 1990s has not had any effect on the nature and dimensions of corruption. Information obtained from the Finance Division of the Ministry of Finance show that over a period of twenty-two years, i.e.

  1. The Drug Policy in the United States

    When it comes to the drug policy in the United States, it seems this great country stands a tad bit divided. Though it is true that just about everyone is looking out for the well being of the country, it seems that there are two completely different views on how to solve the drug problems in this country.

  2. The debate over immigration and French identity is one of the most controversial questions ...

    As Pierre Amidieu du Clos stated: "Nous ne souffrons pas d'une crise de ch�mage national, mais d' une crise d' invasion �trang�re". Ideas like these were very easily implanted in the mind of french society andsoon they became a popular subject of banal conversations (in pub, metro,.....).

  1. Section 1 of this report provides an introduction, which deals with the issue of ...

    The government believes that the country should bring trained immigrants into the country that can help the NHS as the numbers for doctors are very low and need improving this is really important to improve the health service of the country.

  2. Britain in the Age of Total War.

    This is exceptionally useful as evidence, as it illustrates how daily life was interrupted by the Blitz, for example children were killed while they were trying to get on with their everyday lives at school. There is also evidence from the photograph that wardens, policemen, and what appeared to be

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work