10 Reasons to Legalize Marijuana

1. Prohibition has failed to control the use and domestic production of marijuana. The government has tried to use criminal penalties to prevent marijuana use for over 75 years and yet: marijuana is now used by over 25 million people annually, cannabis is currently the largest cash crop (more than corn, cotton and wheat combined). The idea that marijuana will be eliminated from America and the rest of the world is a ridiculous fantasy.

2. A regulated, legal market in marijuana would reduce exposure to other drugs in the illegal market. This point is crucial. The whole “gateway” theory has much more to do with the fact that you can often get your herb from the same guy who knows where to get heroin and other drugs that are legitimately addicting, and that drug education classes teach us that all “drugs” are “drugs.” When a kid gets stoned a few times a week and realizes his life isn’t wrecked and he’s still tearing it up on the field, he may logically conclude that the whole “drugs are bad” idea is bogus. Other countries (see: Portugal and the Netherlands) that have legalized marijuana do not have a problem with increased use of narcotics; in fact, they’ve seen decreased use of other drugs including opiates.

3. Just like with alcohol prohibition, marijuana prohibition fuels organized crime. Legalized marijuana would reduce the flow of money from the American economy to international criminal gangs. Marijuana’s illegality makes foreign cultivation and smuggling to the United States extremely profitable, sending billions of dollars overseas in an underground economy while diverting funds from productive economic development.

4. Marijuana’s legalization would simplify the development of hemp as a valuable and diverse agricultural crop in the U.S., including its development as a new bio-fuel. Canada and European countries have managed to support legal hemp cultivation without legalizing marijuana, but in the United States opposition to legal marijuana remains the biggest obstacle to development of industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity.

5. Prohibition is based on lies and disinformation. Justification of marijuana’s illegality increasingly requires distortions and selective uses of the scientific record, causing harm to the credibility of teachers, law enforcement officials, and scientists throughout the country. The dangers of marijuana use have been exaggerated for almost a century and the modern scientific record does not support the reefer madness predictions of the past and present. Since the cannabinoid receptor system was discovered in the late 1980s, these hysterical concerns about marijuana’s dangerousness have not been confirmed with modern research. Americans have demonstrated that marijuana can be used moderately without harmful impacts to the individual or society. It’s about freedom.

6. Marijuana is not a lethal drug and is safer than alcohol. It is established scientific fact that marijuana is not toxic to humans; marijuana overdoses are nearly impossible, and marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or tobacco. It is unfair and unjust to treat marijuana users more harshly under the law than the users of alcohol or tobacco. It’s the one drug that never killed anyone.

7. Arrests for marijuana possession disproportionately affect blacks and Hispanics and reinforce the perception that law enforcement is biased and prejudiced against minorities. Blacks account for approximately 13% of the population of the United States and about 13.5% of annual marijuana users, however, blacks also account for 26% of marijuana arrests. This undermines the entire legal system and gives credence to affirmative action policies–Fuck That.

8. Marijuana is too expensive for our justice system and should instead be taxed to support beneficial government programs. Law enforcement has more important responsibilities than arresting 750,000 individuals a year for marijuana possession, especially given the additional justice costs of disposing of each of these cases. Marijuana arrests make justice more expensive and less efficient in the United States, wasting jail space, clogging up court systems, and diverting time of police, attorneys, judges, and corrections officials away from violent crime. Furthermore, taxation of marijuana could provide needed and generous funding of many important criminal justice and deficit reduction programs.

9. Marijuana use has positive attributes, such as its medical value and use as a recreational drug with relatively mild side effects. Marijuana provides relief from pain, nausea, spasticity, and other symptoms for many individuals who have not been treated successfully with conventional medications–ESPECIALLY HANGOVERS. Many American adults prefer marijuana to the use of alcohol as a mild and moderate way to relax. Most marijuana users develop tolerance to many of marijuana’s side effects, and those who do not, choose to stop using the drug. Marijuana use is the result of informed consent in which individuals have decided that the benefits of use outweigh the risks, especially since, for most Americans, the greatest risk of using marijuana is the relatively low risk of arrest. Again, it’s about freedom.

10. Marijuana users are determined to stand up to the injustice of marijuana probation and accomplish legalization, no matter how long or what it takes to succeed. Despite the threat of arrests and a variety of other punishments and sanctions marijuana users have persisted in their support for legalization for over a generation. They refuse to give up their long quest for justice because they believe in the fundamental values of American society. Prohibition has failed to silence marijuana users despite its best attempts over the last generation. The issue of marijuana’s legalization is a persistent issue that, like marijuana, will simply not go away. Marijuana will be legalized because marijuana users will continue to fight for it until they succeed.


4 Responses to “10 Reasons to Legalize Marijuana”

  1. I think almost any substance can be abused and that it’s ridiculous that marijuana is illegal when it is much less dangerous when it is abused than when alcohol is. http://stonerdiary.wordpress.com

  2. damn straight

  3. Hey I am promoting an information graphic to support the legalization of Marijuana. We were wondering if you would like to put it on your website. There are three sizes to choose from and you can get the code to paste on your website by going to http://www.rehab-programs.org/infographics/marijuana/ All the images are hosted on our server so you don’t need to worry about losing bandwidth.

    We all support the US House Bill HR 2306 as I am sure you guys are too!



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