In recent years the fight for legalizing marijuana seems to be gaining some momentum. Many states have legalized the drug for medicinal use and every year there are state and federal bills proposed to decriminalize the drug completely. Thanks to the poor economy and overcrowded prisons, the idea of taxing and legalizing this drug is becoming more widely accepted. The problems associated with these outdated drug laws are becoming more obvious to a vast majority of Americans. What once was an impossible weed fantasy may soon become a reality in our lifetime.
One of the most appealing benefits of legalizing weed would be money. The financial benefit of legal weed would come from tax revenue and the savings created by ending the drug war on marijuana. The fight against marijuana costs the government billions of dollars per year that it no longer has. The days of being able to lock up anyone who grows, sells, or uses marijuana are long gone. Marijuana legalization would cause an economic boom that would spread throughout the country. States that have legalized cannabis for medical reasons have seen the benefits of taxing marijuana first hand. If the drug was legalized it could be regulated and taxed to whatever extent the government chose. Currently medical marijuana providers are taxed on their gross income and not their net. Because of what their income is based on they are not allowed to claim any business related expenses. This puts millions of dollars into state budgets and gives sick people easy access to medical marijuana.
There are several pros and cons of legalizing weed, but opponents of legalization tend to use outdated weed myths as evidence in their argument. They suggest that legal weed will increase crime rates, create more drug users, and lead society down a hopeless path of drug addiction. All of these claims have been proven false again and again, but nobody on the other side of the issue seems to be concerned with facts. Countries that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana have seen crime rates and drug use drop dramatically. Instead of people using cannabis as a gateway to harder drugs, they have found that easy access to legal marijuana actually stops people from doing other drugs. Legal cannabis shops only sell weed products, unlike a drug dealer who may sell a variety of harder drugs. Regulating marijuana has been proven to lower crime by putting drug dealers out of business. Marijuana is the number one drug on the black market. If people can purchase it legally at a fair price they have no reason to associate with an illegal drug dealer. Legal marijuana has been proven to lower crime and addiction rates despite the misguided claims of the opposition.
The fight for legalizing marijuana has come a long way but it’s clear there are still a lot of misconceptions about the controversial plant. Although the arguments against legalization are proven wrong time and time again, these myths continue to muddle the issue. The best defense against this problem is to educate the people and encourage them to vote.