Cannabis has been known throughout history to be relatively harmless, especially when compared to other more heavily abused and dangerous drugs. It is so harmless, in fact, that it would most likely come as a surprise to someone from another entirely different era as to why it is classified as highly dangerous and subsequently subject to serious legal penalties. In America specifically, cannabis has been credited as the ‘gateway drug’ to drugs such as Opium and Cocaine – all the while studies have proven that cannabis has in fact been beneficial in patients with a variety of diseases and disorders. This includes use as a natural painkiller, and even possibly improving the health of your lungs. So, shouldn’t we legalize marijuana?
Legalize Marijuana? Benefits Ignored by Federal Government (Infographic)
The fact of the matter is that there is no real reason to continue the rampant federal prohibition of marijuana. Ignoring marijuana’s positive aspects, each and every person has the right to use marijuana. So therefore, why is marijuana illegal? Let us examine:
- Marijuana alone brings in upwards of 36 Billion dollars in revenue. That is well above the highest yielding cash crops in the country.
- The federal governments’ prohibition of cannabis costs them (and by proxy, us) 7.7 billion dollars a year. If we were to legalize marijuana, it would save us not only that large sum but also gain somewhere between 15 and 16 billion dollars in revenue (taxes/consumer products) alone – that is above a 20 billion dollar net gain ON TOP of the illegal industry’s current net worth.
- The development of the ‘Just Say No’ message alone cost the US 33 billion dollars – and yet still yielded no results, as students of high school age in both the 1970′s and today still use the same amount of illegal drugs.
- What’s more, well over half a trillion dollars was spent fighting the War on Drugs, 450 billion dollars of which was spent to lock away these so-called criminals in a federal penitentiary. On average, about half of all offenders in federal prisons are serving for drug related charges.
- Many of today’s teens can obtain marijuana more easily than they can with alcohol or cigarettes, proving that the legalized and fully regulated substances are much more difficult to acquire than marijuana.
These are but a few logistical reasons behind the generally wrong notion that marijuana is something only to be abused – all of them proven to be beneficial to no one, least of all the federal government. There are many more reasons on the individual level that need to be addressed to legalize marijuana, particularly the many beneficial health aspects. If this truly is an age of progression, we must move past this discrimination of marijuana as an illicit substance to be abused, so that one and all may reap the benefits and enjoy freedom given upon birth.