Marijuana was banned by the U.S. Federal Government only few years after repealing alcohol ban (Mclaughlin) but the time has come to lift the ban and two states Washington and Colorado have already set the precedence for other states. Marijuana should be legalized because its costs have been overestimated and there will be several benefits of legalizing marijuana.
It is surprising that cigarette is legal while marijuana is illegal despite the fact that marijuana is less damaging to lungs than tobacco. A national study by University of California, San Francisco and University of Alabama at Birmingham found that low to moderate use of marijuana is less harmful to users’ lungs than tobacco even though both substances share many components (Kim). Thus, it makes no sense to ban marijuana and not cigarettes. Legalizing marijuana will also result in huge economic benefits to the economy. Legalization will encourage marijuana sellers to leave the underground economy and it is estimated that the combined economic benefit to the government due to lower enforcement as well as tax receipts will be as much as $13.7 billion annually (HuffPost). Economics teaches us that the resources are always limited in comparison to issues and challenges and federal government is no exception. Legalizing marijuana will allow the federal government to free its resources and focus on more important issues just as President Obama claimed that it doesn’t make sense to go after recreational marijuana users because we have bigger fish to fry (Gabriel).
It is clear that marijuana’s legalization will be the right thing to do because its costs have been exaggerated and legalization will not only result in valuable tax receipts but will also enable the government to allocate more resources to more important issues. Even scientific study has proven that marijuana’s health costs are not very different from tobacco, thus, it doesn’t make sense to allow one thing and ban the other.
Gabriel, Larry. Marijuana and fish fries. 19 December 2012. 9 January 2013 <http://metrotimes.com/mmj/marijuana-and-fish-fries-1.1418269>.
HuffPost. Pot Legalization Could Save U.S. $13.7 Billion Per Year, 300 Economists Say. 17 April 2012. 9 January 2013 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/economists-marijuana-legalization_n_1431840.html>.
Kim, Leland. Marijuana Shown to Be Less Damaging to Lungs Than Tobacco. 10 January 2012. 9 January 2013 <http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2012/01/11282/marijuana-shown-be-less-damaging-lungs-tobacco>.
Mclaughlin, Eliott C. Marijuana advocates hope to rise from ‘prohibition’. 4 December 2012. 9 January 2013 <http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/01/us/marijuana-legalization-and-prohibition/index.html>.