Free Arguments For and Against Marijuana Legalization Essay Sample
Whether or not to legalize marijuana is a delicate and controversial subject that has generated a lot of heat in the recent past. While as at now marijuana is banned, many movements have been formed to champion for the legalization of the drug. This essay will briefly examine the arguments for those who want the drug legalized and the reasons for those who are opposing marijuana legalization.
Arguments for Legalization of Marijuana
Although it has been a controversial issue, the proponents for marijuana legalization do give several reasons why they feel the use of drug need to be legalized. They claim that although there is a ban on use of the drug, this prohibition has not stopped the use, production and trading of marijuana. These reasons include; liberty- all people deserves freedom to use marijuana. The proponents argue that the first and foremost reason for legalizing marijuana is that there is no good reason for it not to be legal. They claim that every individual has a right to make his/her own decision and the government has the only right of limiting those choices if the individual's actions endanger other people's rights or is of a significant threat to the individual. Because marijuana is known to be far less dangerous than some legalized drugs like alcohol and cigarettes, then the argument for marijuana ban does not hold. This clearly shows that the government has no business to decide what an individual does as long as his/her use of marijuana does not harm anybody (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
The other reason why marijuana should be legalized is the fact that the federal government in the US alone uses billions of dollars yearly to participate in the "war on drugs". Thus, proponents claim that the government would save lots of money on legalization alone. The money is used to chase people who by their own choice want to be high, they are then locked in jail and the taxpayers' money is used to foot prison bills on housing, food, healthcare, court costs and other expenses to lock the people who were otherwise peaceful. They claim that this is expansive and billions of dollars could be saved if the government stopped locking people for using marijuana. They further claim that if marijuana was legal, the government could collect taxes on it thus generating more income instead of wasting money chasing and locking people who want to be high (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
The other reason for marijuana legalization they claim is that prohibition does not help and in fact causes more problems instead. Although the prohibition has been there since 1915, statistics show that there is an increase in marijuana use since the turn of the century. This shows that prohibition actually increases the use of marijuana. Instead of banning marijuana, the proponents suggest that an honest and open season to educate the youth should be emphasized instead.
The other reasons for marijuana legalization include- those reasons for medical use. Marijuana is known to stimulate appetite as well as nausea reliever in cancer patients does. For religious uses, as some religions like Christianity and Judaism instruct their followers to drink wine, others instruct their followers to use marijuana and these people deserve the freedom of worship enshrined in the constitution (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
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Arguments Against Marijuana Legalization
Like the proponents for legalization, those who argue against legalization list a host of reasons for opposing marijuana legalization. These reasons include; the facts that marijuana is used as a stepping-stone to using hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. Studies have shown that marijuana users often progress to use the hard drugs among them cocaine and heroin. Marijuana use, which is a "harmless drug", is sometimes used as a recipe for experimentation to using hard drugs to get a bigger "higher". Although it is claimed that the use of marijuana does not make one to indulge in crime, it has been shown that the use of the drug can impair judgment of most drivers under the influence of the drug and they are likely to drive at high speed, as they are high on the drug. This "high driving" is hard to detect as marijuana is odorless and thus these "high" drivers can easily cause accidents without being detected. Those who are opposed to legalization of marijuana further claim that there is also the likelihood of these "higher" users coming other offences like robbery or rape due to lapse in judgment while high on the drug (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
Although the proponents for legalization claim that some religions allow the use of marijuana, in fact it is a known fact that most religions do prohibit the use of marijuana. There is also the fear that if the drug was legalized, there is a big possibility that drug will end up in the wrong hands- that of teenagers. The young ones are not fully developed and if by any chance they lay their hands on the drug, their brains can be developing a serious blow to due marijuana use at that early age (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
It is claimed by the opponents that physical damage can be done to the user. Studies have disputed the proponents' argument and they have shown that cancer, brain damage, depression, memory loss and even death can be caused by marijuana. Thus, they argue that clearly the government has a duty to protect the public from such kind of dangerous drugs. Last but not least of these arguments put forward is that if the use of marijuana is legalized, then there could be more widespread use of the drug especially in public places and this will likely increase dangers to secondhand smokers. This implies that all the above problems will be experienced by a greater number of people and this will be just but breeding a sick society (1st Marijuana Growers' page).
The legalization of marijuana has been a very controversial issue for a long time. While the proponents spell out their perceived reasons why they feel the drug should to be legalized, the opponents counter their reasons by giving a further explanation why on the same point legalization is harmful. The debate still rages on and it looks like the government will not legalize the use of marijuana soon although there is a lot of pressure from several quarters for the drug to be legalized.