There are over 700,000 annual arrests for marijuana charges in the United States each year. Eighty seven percent of marijuana charges are for simple possession. This is a charge which is costing the government billions of dollars each year in its enforcement and findings have shown that many Americans have had criminal records due to this charge. THC the active ingredient in marijuana is a natural substance that has far less side effects than its legal counterparts. However, the DEA has kept marijuana as a I substance for years. Other drugs included in this label are: heroin and LSD. This is one of the reasons that there can be harsh penalties resulting from marijuana arrests and prosecutions. Such penalties can include: deportation, suspension of driving privileges, prison, and the loss of federal educational loans. Stiff penalties can be issued for possession of marijuana.
The Mexican economy is tanking and so much of its law enforcement is corrupt due to the prohibition. “Demand for marijuana is a key factor in the Mexican drug war. (Stone,2009) U.S. law enforcement has seen corruption due to the marijuana prohibition as well. There has been a strengthening in the drug cartels and a weakening in the law enforcement field.
The government and its national anti-drug campaign have spent billions of dollars labeling marijuana as a gateway drug. The definition of a gateway drug wound indicates that those individuals using marijuana inevitably go on to use more powerful drugs. The drug campaign indicates that the marijuana smoker is more likely to experiment with harder drugs and continue to progress toward more dangerous substances. It demonstrates the drugs increased potency and its responsibility for many social and physical diseases.
However, these claims are not statistically based and there is available evidence to back up the contrary. According to the1988 findings of the Drug Enforcement Administrations own judicial official ” marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.” (Nadelman, 2004)
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug aside from alcohol and tobacco in the United States. Over 100,000,000 Americans have experimented with marijuana and according to a government survey over 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past twelve months. Of the 25 million users in the past years there have been no marijuana overdoses. “Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is nontoxic and cannot cause death by overdose.” (Stone, 2009) the decision to use marijuana is often a conscious and intellectual decision made by an adult who prefers the use of natural remedies.
The financial, medical, and social benefits of the elimination of the prohibition of marijuana in the United States far outweigh the possible disadvantages.
Dickenson, T. (June,2009) a Drug War Truce? Rolling Stone (1081) 45-48.
Miron, J. (2005) the Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. Harvard University.
Nadelman, E. (2004, July 12). An End to Marijuana Prohibition. National Review.
Reinarman, C. (2000)the Dutch Example Shows that Liberal Drug laws Can Be Beneficial. Current Controversies: Drug Legalization.
Roleff, T. (2005) Marijuana Use May Not Lead to the Use of Other Drugs. Drug Policy Research Center.
Slaughter, J. (1987)Marijuana Prohibition in the United States: History and.