Marijuana has been illegalized in the United States for the past well over eight decades. However, a drug has experienced a fair share of resistance on its illegality within the United States and beyond (Bonnie, Whitebread, and Farnsworth, 100). A naturally occurring drug is known all over the world and known for giving its users an effect commonly referred to as being “high.” It is, however, illegal in almost every corner of the world. Some countries are stricter about its use and sale than others are, but it has not deterred the use of the drug. In fact, it is a drug that almost every youth tries at some point in their, lives. Even some famous and influential people in society have admitted having used it at least once. Such examples are Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Barrack Obama among others. The recent past has witnessed an upsurge in the number of people that support the legalization of marijuana campaigns that have rocked some States such as Arizona. Those in support of legalization cite the positive effects of the drug while those that oppose it take a more conservative approach. Marijuana has had a significant backing with the New York Times one of the most influential Newspaper Company in the United States support its legalization (Ford, 65). Arizona is a state that has witnessed the widespread debate on whether the drug should be legalized and the bill is yet to be voted on in the next year. Therefore, the proposal below offers the reasons to the public in support of legalization of Marijuana in Arizona.
Marijuana should be legalized in Arizona because, its illegalization leads to more social costs than the benefits that result from the laws. The effects of prohibiting the drug lead to wastage of resources and ruining of law-abiding citizens whose problem is the only use of the drug at times for its medicinal value. The police officers use many resources and huge cost implications on the taxpayers spending time in arresting, booking and prosecuting the Marijuana users. Arresting a person that has marijuana for personal use may result in the individual's imprisonment for years or even spending days in police custody meaning that the state spends more keeping them in remanded instead of such a person being productive towards the economy (Bonnie, Whitebread, and Farnsworth, 100). The FBI national figures for the arrests made on Marijuana alone are an average of 658,000 by 2012 as compared to 256,000 arrests made of the most destructive drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and their derivatives (Poindexter). Moreover, the officers and resources spent on arresting Marijuana users can be spent on handling other issues that face the nation and the state such as terrorism and ensuring security.
Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona also offers an opportunity for making the community safer. It is because, if the Marijuana is legal, then it will replace the underground business characterized by the drug. It will mean that there will be no need for cartels that are mostly violent, but it will open up a chance to control its sale by licensing the sellers. Moreover, the sale of Marijuana to underage individuals and minors will also be curbed since its legalization can enable its control and setting up of restrictions on the legal age of those that can buy it just as is the case with alcohol (Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart, 130).
Another important reason Marijuana should be made legal in Arizona and beyond is that prohibition of the drug is ineffective and does not help but only cause problems. No evidence prohibit the drug leads to its decreased use. Moreover, several theories suggest that prohibiting the drug increases the curiosity of the youth who want to test and know why it is forbidden (Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart, 145). The unintended consequence of prohibiting the drug is that it has become very popular among the schools in Arizona. Besides, its illegalization leads to its ease of accessibility since it is not regulated on who should be sold to and at what point or time. If it were regulated like alcohol while legal, then its access to the minors would also decrease considerably.
Marijuana prohibition may also hinder religious freedom among some individuals and contradicts the liberty and freedom of the people (Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart, 100). Every individual has a right to do anything they so wish as long as they do not cause any harm to others. The use of Marijuana has not been linked to any form of effect on the non-users and hence it should be left as a case of personal choice just as alcohol and tobacco use. In fact, marijuana use has less adverse effects as compared to alcohol. Moreover, marijuana is used for religious purposes among some religions. Just as the Christians and Judaism advocate for taking wine on some occasions so does Hindus, Rastafarians, Buddhists and other religions use Marijuana as part of their religious ceremonies (Rosenthal, Kubby, and Newhart, 101).
Marijuana prohibition does not make sense if at all alcohol is legal and its legalization would lead to increased revenue for the economy just as alcohol contributes to economic growth. Marijuana is objectively less harmful as compared to alcohol to the individual and the society, and hence it beats logic why it is illegal while alcohol remains legal (Berman). It is less likely to result in violence, less addictive, and less, less damaging to the human body. Moreover, legalizing the drug would translate to a lot of revenue in sales and taxes that would significantly bolster the economy of the state instead of remaining underground and coming in as dirty money that affect the economy.
In conclusion, legalization of Marijuana leads to more benefits than the detriments to the people of Arizona. It would substantially reduce the social costs while at the same time contribute to the economy. It is because, its legalization would mean it is in controlled, and hence the government would collect taxes and other revenues from its production and sale. Furthermore, it has fewer adverse effects on an individual as compared to alcohol (Berman). Hence, it is illogical to keep it illegal while alcohol remains illegal. Moreover, it has some religious advantage and use to some religions and therefore, it denies the fundamental freedom of worship to such believers. Therefore, the citizens of Arizona should push for the legalization of Marijuana within the state.
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