The canabis controversy

by theonewhoknocks on February 9, 2015 - 3:28pm

2012 was a monumental year for the legalization of marijuana. Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis on a recreational level, and while there is much debate and many people on either side of the fence whether more states should continue on this path and legalize recreational use of the popular propaganda plant, no matter how you slice it, money is money, and there is always going to be a deficit somewhere that needs to be filled. The medical benefits of marijuana have been coming to light and growing substantially throughout the last few years as it becomes more accepted and recognized as an alternative method of increasing appetite for cancer patients, reducing anxiety, reducing stress and reducing the chronic pain of a plethora of illness. Many people can live with the regulation of medical marijuana for patients that have a prescription from a doctor; however the legalization on a recreational basis is crossing the line for others. One prominent figure that holds this anti-recreational mindset is Colorado’s own governor John Hickenlooper who said "his state’s decision to legalize marijuana was a bad idea and that he wishes he could go back in time and reverse the 2012 ballot".

There is obviously some degree of difficulty in creating a regulatory structure from scratch let alone without any help from the federal government. Essentially the individual states were on their own with this aspect as on a federal level there is still opposition to recreational and even medical marijuana. The monetary revenue generated by this legalization has been substantial to say the least. In an article from The Washington Post it is shown that marijuana sales are climbing continually “New figures from the Colorado Department of Revenue show that recreational marijuana sales continued to climb in August, the most recent month for which data are available. Recreational sales totaled approximately $34.1 million in August, up from $29.3 million the previous month." When taking these figures into consideration, it must be noted that this enormous amount of money was generated in a singular month alone and in only one singular state. How is it then justifiable for the United States government to allow the war on drugs to continue year after year with abysmal results to show for it? The prison system is being flooded with convictions related to marijuana and is quickly becoming over populated. $25.6 Billion dollars is the price that tax payers donated to fight the war on drugs in the year 2013 according to the Office of National Drug Control.

 With national debt at an all time high and continuously increasing, it would stand to reason that the government would be looking for ways to reduce debt and not spend more fighting a losing fight. The movement towards the legalization and regulation of marijuana has been a long time in the making and is making progress towards realizing this goal on a much larger scale. It is now a case of playing the waiting game for paperwork to process and mindsets to change as more states will likely follow suit to generate much needed revenue and work towards removing the criminal counterpart to the growing and distribution of cannabis.

 

Works Cited:

The National Drug Control Budget: FY 2013 Funding Highlights." The White House.gov. Office of National Drug Control. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/the-national-drug-control-budget-fy-2013...

Desiderio, Andrew. "Colorado Governor: Legalizing Marijuana Was a ‘Bad Idea’." Media ITE. 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http://www.mediaite.com/tv/colorado-governor-legalizing-marijuana-was-a-...

Ingraham, Christopher. "Colorado Marijuana Revenues Hit a New High." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/14/colorado-mari...

Comments

Your article on marijuana legalization impact is elaborated and assessed many important topic on the issue such as the medical benefits, the money made out of it and the different vision of politicians and citizens in Colorado. I also like the way you end your article by mentioning the debt problem in the United States and the impact of the war on drugs regarding this issue. Equally, I think it is important to talk about the non-increase of crime in Colorado as an important factor in the process of legalizing marijuana. The fact that the crime rate did not really change in Colorado greatly discredits activist against legalization as it is one of their main arguments. It shows that the governor worries were found inaccurate and legalization does not pose any threat to public security in the states who voted for the decriminalization.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/17/marijuana-crime-denver_n_559574...

I feel you took an interesting stance on this position, neither arguing for or against the morality of the issue but more about the financial side of things. I do not deny that governments could both be making and saving money by legalizing marijuana but I do believe it is a bad idea. Whether something is legal or not does not justify whether it is moral or not. Many young people begin their route into drugs through marijuana. It is a known gateway drug that leads people into harsher more dangerous substance abuse. In fact, the large majority, 99%, of cocaine users started their drug use with a gateway drug such as marijuana. This is a known fact and you can read about it more if you follow this link: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/marijuana/on-the-road-to-drug-abu...
I feel as though its legalization would make it more popular among youth and incite them to try it more. This inevitably would lead to an increase of other drug use in the long run. However, I do concede your point that maybe the governments need not crack down on this issue so hard. Instead, police should maybe focus their efforts on drugs that are more dangerous to public health. It is definitely something to think about in our changing world.

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