Well as we all well know there has been a lot of debate over whether we should legalize marijuana. Now there are a lot of supporters and people who oppose the legalization of marijuana.
Well supporters have won a victory of sorts in their fight to get it legalized. Voters in Oakland, California voted on and a passed a bill that would increase the sales tax on medical marijuana. The money raised will be used to fill a budget hole.
Now this is a small victory but a victory none the less. There is also a fight ragging on whether to allow marijuana dispensaries in San Bernardino county. Opponents of the dispensaries say these so called “pot shops” make millions of dollars a year on their sales and are funded by pro-legalization groups. They say there are as many a four on a corner in some parts of Los Angeles, that’s more than both Starbucks and Mcdonalds combined and there are many as 800 “pot shops” in operation in Los Angeles. They say that “pot shops” are fronts for illegal business and would increase the crime rate.
OK, so lets take a look at what can be gained by legalizing marijuana. Think about how much money the states would make from collecting sales tax. A recent study was done about this very same subject in Canada. They found that if they legalize marijuana in Canada, they would collect an estimated $2 billion dollars in sales tax. That’s a lot of money, Canada who has a population of 33 million people would collect $2 billion, how much would America who has a population of 300 million people see. Well America has 9 times the amount of people as Canada does, so that would be an estimated $18 billion dollars. Now this does not take into account how much marijuana each person smokes and how many times they would buy marijuana in a day or week. So the actual total would be in the tens of billions of dollars, if not hundreds of billions of dollars.
Again the sheer monetary value of legalizing marijuana is huge, talk about budget crisis, underfunded education, all those problems would be solved practically over night. Now opponents say marijuana is a drug and as such is dangerous. Well let’s look at this argument too, how many people has marijuana killed honestly? Let’s compare that to the number of people who die each year from say tobacco and alcohol, it is no comparison. Tobacco and alcohol kill way more people in a year, then marijuana has killed in history. Yet both tobacco and alcohol are legal and marijuana is not, why?
Let’s also not only consider the amount of money we would collect on sales tax but the money we would save by no longer having to devote so much of law enforcements resources to catching, prosecuting and the housing of people who are caught with marijuana. Again that would be a huge amount of much needed money that could other wise be better spent on other things. We could use those law enforcement officials to make are streets even safer, by having them not waste their valuable time on arresting people with marijuana. Prosecutors could prosecute more murder cases and such then ever before.
I personally believe we should legalize marijuana, the benefits far out weigh the few the down sides to it. Bottom line is that tobacco and alcohol alone are more costly and far more dangerous than marijuana is and they are legal. An estimated $100,000,000,000 a year is spent to treat people with lung cancer, how much money is spent to treat people with a disease or illness marijuana causes? We of course would not be the first country to do so, countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands have done it all ready. Now in the Netherlands the production, sale and transportation of marijuana on a large scale is still illegal. Possessing marijuana for personal use is still illegal as well but is rarely enforced and when it is, only results in a very small fine. They even have marijuana coffee shops, the funny thing is cigarettes are illegal too and that is enforced. Maybe the enforcement of cigarettes in the Netherlands and not of marijuana is do to the fact that being able to carry and use marijuana in the Netherlands has resulted in $500,000,000 in tourism. Just another thing to consider when pondering the legalization of marijuana.
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