The Benefit of Legalizing Marijuana

When most people think about legalizing marijuana they envision a bunch of college kids laying around stoned and watching an old Cheech and Chong movie talking about how cool it would be.

The reality is that adults of all ages use it. The first issue some bring up when they discuss legalizing marijuana is the health risks of using. There are health risks due to the usage of course, but not any worse than other vices this country decided to make legal like alcohol, cigarettes, fast food and soda.

This is in no way a moral stance. The bottom line is that people will find a way to get it and why doesn’t the federal government realize it is a vice and not a hard narcotic and jump in there to legalize marijuana and reap the economic benefits in the form of taxes and regulation.

The tax structure in legalizing marijuana should be similar to the way they apply it to alcohol and cigarettes. In most places taxes make up more than 50% of the total cost of buying these two items. The base of people to realize this tax benefit is there with the utmost certainty. In a 2016 survey it was discovered that 40.3% of people ages 12 to 50+ have tried marijuana at least once.

That number climbs to over 50% in the 18 to 49 range. The number for regular users is considerably lower. Depending on the persons age and their frequency of using marijuana the number are anywhere from 1% to 12% which is still a lot of people. Of course it could be said that people are not always so honest in a survey like this because marijuana is illegal so the numbers could be higher.

One of the main arguments opponents of legalizing marijuana like to bring up is the fact that it is a gate way drug. In contrast statistics show that it is rare for marijuana to lead to the use of hard narcotics. There is also the economic burden to talk about in fighting the use of marijuana.

The cost of law enforcement and the price of housing all of the prisoners who are incarcerated due to marijuana related offenses is staggering and it all comes out of our tax money. Think if that whole cost went away and the government was actually making money in the form of tax revenue. Also if marijuana would be completely legalized then drug testing would stop and we wouldn’t have to use various detox drinks and nasty stuff like fake pee for drug test.

Nobody is talking about making it a free for all. After the tax is established there should be regulations and restrictions like those imposed on alcohol. Walking around on the streets buying it and using it whenever and wherever you want is not the aim here. Street marijuana would now become illegal and unnecessary.

There would be specific places to purchase it where identification would be required and the proprietor would have to be licensed and regulated. The use of this would be restricted to private property and tickets would be given to violations of this.

There would also be places of consumption set up like a local pub or bar. Again proof of age would be required and there would be controlled regulated usage within the establishment.

Like any other vice there are people for and against it. So forget the moral issue and if you don’t like it stay away from it.

Someone who doesn’t drink would not hang out in a bar all day. If it is taxed appropriately and regulated forcefully I really do not see a problem. It has worked in other countries. Hopefully one day the government will come to the same conclusions that so many other people have and realize the upside of legalizing marijuana.