Why Marijuana Should be Legalized

For the last forty years, there's been an abundance of debate on the issue of legalizing marijuana. While I've never been a user, I do believe that the case can be made that the government can legalize and closely restrict this substance. While it is illegal, it should not be used unless under doctor's strict permission.

But first, some faulty arguments I've heard why it should be legalized:

1. It's natural. Sure it is. But so's hemlock, coca, and tobacco. Just cause it grows from the ground doesn't mean that we need to ingest it.

2. It's a victimless crime. Yes, often the act of ingesting drugs is a "victimless" crime. But to think of the growing and transport business that is behind it-- competition, gang wars, and drug-running. Not all of this is marijuana, but enough people die because of it, even if none do directly.

3. Cigarettes are worse. Pound for pound, smoking marijuana is worse for the human body. Inhaling deep into the lungs causes more damage to the air sacs and could lead to more respiratory problems.

So in the light of this, why should it be legalized? Because the benefits far outweigh the risks.

1. By reducing the funding needed for anti-drug enforcement, hundreds of millions of dollars can be saved each year. In addition, not keeping people in jail for small possessions will save millions in incarceration costs.

2. By making only a certain, genetically-altered strain legal, the government can ban all "non-allowed" marijuana, making it easier to lock up those selling the non-legal sub-species.

3. By allowing corporations to sell the substance under regulation, government (state and federal) can tax it. Under these circumstance, billions of dollars can be added to the treasury rolls each year.