The Case For Canibus Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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dependent on marijuana is less than 15% of regular users are actually addicted. Most of the people are recreational users, using marijuana less than once a day to relax. Dependency rates for regular users of alcohol and cigarettes are much higher.(Legalization: A Debate p. 81) In terms of potency, marijuana is a relatively mild drug. No one is known to have died from a marijuana overdose. People have died because of using marijuana with additives like angel dust (PCP), because the angel dust, not the marijuana is lethal. Many legal substances, if abused, can result in death such as: salt, tobacco, aspirin, Tylenol, and caffeine. Alcohol is legal, is much more widely misused, and kills far more people than marijuana.(DATA: 100,000-200,000/yr compared to 6,000-30,000/yr for all

illicit drugs). Tobacco also is misused and results in 320,000-500,000/yr deaths per year. Tobacco and alcohol are some of the most addictive legal substances that are misused and they result in far more deaths than all illegal drugs combined.(Data:420,000-700,000/yr for alcohol and tobacco combined, compared to 6,000-30,000/yr for all illicit drugs) In the United States, some 200 million people over the age of twelve commonly use drugs, to wit: caffeine 178 million or 89% alcohol 106 million or 53% tobacco 57 million or 28% marijuana 12 million or 6% cocaine 3 million or 1.5% heroin 2 million or 1% US Drug deaths (per year) tobacco 320,000-500,000 alcohol 100,000-200,000 illicit drugs 6,000-30,000 (Friends Journal Feb. 1996) Over 1.1 million people each year are arrested for

drug crimes. Drug offenders include more than 60 percent of the prison population. The US Declaration of Independence states that every citizen has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Some argue their constitutional right to smoke marijuana. We also have a constitutional right to privacy. (Amendment # 2) ?There is a strong case to be made against legislating the private behavior of adults, as long as that behavior does not in turn violate the rights of others.? (Marshall, 79) To use the law to say people cannot use marijuana is an invasion of privacy, unless there is proof of harm to others. On average 30-50 thousand dollars a year are spent to keep one person in prison. More than 300 thousand people are held in US prisons. This adds up to a whopping total

of twelve billion dollars a year spent on keeping drug offenders in prison. In 1995 the United States Government spent 13.3 billion dollars on drug enforcement. In addition to the federal government, local and state governments spent an additional 15.9 billion dollars on enforcement as well. What this means for all the taxpayers is higher taxes. If marijuana were legalized, far fewer prisoners would go to jail for drugs. Legal marijuana also would reduce drug enforcement expenses, as well as give us all tremendous tax breaks. The government could use the excess money for more useful things such as education on drug use and abuse. The war against drugs is immoral in several ways. The cost to our society in terms of people imprisoned with no hope of gainful employment, interaction

with their families and friends or the greater good of society is staggering. Other casualties to society include deaths in turf fights, those killed in cross fire, robberies, and children given free drugs to addict them so they can be used as runners and dealers. Taxes used for the War on Drugs are being wasted on ineffective programs rather than improved education, housing, and medical care. Twenty five percent of children in the United States live in poverty, a situation that contributes to increased drug use and increased drug dealer profits. Dealing drugs is lucrative only because it is illegal. Making drugs illegal leads to immense profit and the corruption of political officials, police, and judges. In addition Third world economies such as Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru

depend on the drug trade to prevent financial collapse. For instance cocaine brings 600 million dollars per year to Bolivia?s economy, an amount equal to the country?s gross legal export income. When drug legalization occurs the price of drugs will plummet immediately and world drug empires will collapse. This would also cause an immediate decrease in all violent crime as occurred at the end of Prohibition in 1933. Legalization would involve quality control through the Food and Drug Administration to guarantee purity and safety and to recommend safe dosages for a given condition. The government could restrict or prohibit advertising as well as provide educational programs, rehabilitation and research. Taxes could be collected to pay for these programs, rather than prison and