The question on the legalization of marijuana remains a hot topic in the contemporary society, concerning the benefits and demerits that the society faces following the legalization. Consequently, it is better to analyze legalization of marijuana and its effects on the society collectively.
Legalization of marijuana is viable owing to the failure of the war against drugs such as marijuana, according to Matt Hevelka. This is because all prosecutors and law enforcement agencies regard marijuana as a gateway to doing other hard drugs for those found in possession of it. This is in a quest to have a share of the war against drugs, which is counterproductive as people tend to go against the law. Decriminalizing marijuana improves the levels of safety in the society by having a reduced number of users, as is the case with over the counter drugs and cigarettes. This is evident since there are fewer cigarette smokers than there are non-smokers. This owes to the fact that smoking is considered a vice, and thus the reduced number falling into the habit.
In addition, the use of drugs by black market dealers would be a thing of the past as they use drugs to perpetrate crimes. This is due to the street value attached to marijuana as an illegal drug, and its abundance to anyone who needs it. This way, it is considered fast moving merchandise for which many are willing to put their lives at risk as it is a valuable cash crop. Therefore, legalizing it removes the risk factor and rids mobsters of their criminal activities; moreover, the article states that the use of legal marijuana blocks anger resulting in fewer incidents of crimes committed in anger, such as wife battering (Havelka).
In light of the above issue, Havelka suggests that legalization could bring down the rates of domestic abuse and murder. This is in the last paragraph where he says that the country’s prisons would be less congested and people’s lives would not be ruined by possession of marijuana. Moreover, marijuana holds medicinal benefits to the society in ways that exceed the already available and legal drugs such as tobacco. This is because the toxicity of other drugs like cigarettes affects the health of an individual by causing lung cancer which, in turn, causes death. According the article, there are minimum effects in that there is no evidence of it ever, directly, causing death (Havelka). In addition, it is used to the advantage of the user in that it saves him or her from any kind of stress available, inducing a state of well-being and bringing about relaxation, which forms a basis for legalization.
Governments stand to benefit from the legalization of marijuana by spending less in incarceration of users and those found in possession in marijuana related cases (Havelka). According to the article, legalization would come in handy by implementing regulations as to who buys and buyers’ age in the consumption of marijuana just as is the case with other drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. In this light, it would keep drug dealers off children and their antics of selling their merchandise to them. This means that members of the society stand to benefit from a legal business that is highly unsaturated and with few investors, governments could make up 6.2 million dollars annually.
Havelka argues that the legalization of marijuana could be highly beneficial to the society by coming up with new means of using it other than as drug. This is by using it to make stronger paper for printing that is developed from hemp. He also goes on to argue that decriminalization of marijuana results in fewer marijuana use penalties as compared to its illegalization.
Legalization of marijuana is a step towards a dark past where the health of the nation was at risk. This is because the war against drugs, collectively, has had a positive impact on the good health of the population and the social policy. Legalization of marijuana cuts back on the benefits in regard to regulation as availability of marijuana, both legal and illegal one, is abundant despite its illegal status at the moment. Also, law enforcement at the moment has little achievement in fighting against drugs, thus legalizing it will not help in any way except reducing the work load of enforcement agencies (Evans). Since it is illegal in the first place, prevalence rates of drug related problem in terms of health have decreased substantially as compared to earlier times when there was a lack legislation or even regulation. In addition, risky behavior associated with marijuana, due to its impairing effect, may lead to unprecedented events associated with crime and other antisocial behaviors. This is in relation to the “high” feeling it has on a user and impairment to perception and logical thinking as well as social behavior. In this light, legalization increases access and legal backing to the possession and usage of marijuana, in which case, if one commits crimes, the blame would lie on the usage of marijuana, which is legal.
Therefore, for those opposing legalization, Evans claims that since most claims of legalization revolve around recreational use of marijuana, the use of marijuana is bound to increase with legalization. This, in turn, affects rehabilitation institutions that, already, are struggling to handle the high numbers of youth trapped in the abuse of marijuana, and who are heavily dependent on it. In this light, the potency of the drug is bound to increase, too, due to abuse and tolerance leading to enticement to other drugs. This attracts the youth due to the claims that marijuana is significantly safer than alcohol and other legal drugs such as tobacco. This is in spite of restrictions on controlled experiments by drug enforcement agencies and food and drug administrators. In addition, marijuana is associated with failed attempts to combat drug abuse and drug peddling. This is not the case as it is just a ploy used by legalization advocates to incite the public against the efforts by the said law enforcement agencies. The above is according to Evans in his article referring to arguments made by those who advocate the legalization of marijuana.
In conclusion, legalization of marijuana is a thing that should be done, but is taking a long time owing to counter advocates who cite unsustainable grounds that are outright biased. This is because, as compared to the demerits cited, the benefits to the society in terms of security, health and other factors remain substantial.
Evans, David. “Argument for the Legalization of Marijuana Don’t Stand Up.” U.S. News Weekly. 2012. Web. 23 July 2012. .
Havelka, Matt. “Legalizing Weed May Benefit Society, Economy.” The Daily Nebraskan. 2008. Web. 23 July 2012. .