I have often wondered why the “War on Drugs” has not been very effective, in fact, it really has done nothing. Take for example marijuana. It is banned in any form of growth and use everywhere in the United States. Yet, this drug gets just as much use as alcohol. I probably know just about as many “potheads” as I do alcoholics, yet the persistence of the government to waste countless billions of dollars to try and wipe out the use of this drug is pathetic.
Take for example a part of our history. The year is 1920, the government decides on the idea of the prohibition of alcohol, and the Eighteenth Amendment, and the prohibition era began. What did this era in our history accomplish, nothing. Organized crime rose, criminal influence rose, many people died from poor imported illegal products, and yet the prohibition period ended, and alcohol was allowed once again in our society. A new trend, similar to this one has already begun a long time ago. This is the prohibition of marijuana in all forms.
Let’s take in to account all of the uses of marijuana, or “hemp,” not just the use to get high. The fibers from hemp can be used to make all kinds of things, from paper to fibers, and oils, medicines, and even food. Take paper, if we had another source in which to make paper from, we could stop the destruction of forests which deplete our air of oxygen. More trees also mean more natural beauty in our environment, which is constantly being destroyed. Less pollution from logging will also be seen. If hemp was allowed ti be grown for these reasons, think of all the money struggling farmers could make. With the tobacco industry going under more every day, these farmers are going to be homeless because they will not have any source of income. States which once received most of there income from the growth of tobacco can now flourish with the growth of hemp.
Medicinal marijuana has been a popular debate for a long time. People with painful diseases, in which medical officials agree that medicinal marijuana would help these people out, have to do without this treatment because the government thinks that it is bad to smoke marijuana.
So, I propose that we legalize marijuana and end this prohibition. Look at how much better the country ran after the ending of the alcohol prohibition, crime dropped, as well as murders and other horrific acts of violence from man to fellow man. Also, the prison population, which is filled with inmates charged with minor possession or selling charges, would be opened up to the criminals who really deserve to be there. I would much rather have a pot smoker walking down the street next to me than a murderer who was given a lighter sentence due to prison overcrowding. I read a quote for Abraham Lincoln recently, and it read, “Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. …for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Granted, there will still be a select few who will take advantage of this if it were to be made into a law, but I feel that it is a risk worth taking. With legalization, crime will drop so greatly that a few criminals will not affect as many people as would if this prohibition still stood. So take a second and picture the country with legalization, less crime, more forests, more jobs for farmers, more income for states, medicine for the sick, cheaper clothing and fabrics, and many more practical uses of hemp that the country would benefit from if legalization were to take place, I would be satisfied.
Peterson, Dave. Hemp Legalization 16 Nov. 2001 *http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Rapids/2098/Hemp/*.
Poholek, Catherine H. Prohibition in the 1920’s 15 Nov. 2001 *http://www.geocities.com/athens/troy/4399/*.
Bill Pushes Decriminalizaion of Marijuana National Oganization for the Legalization of Marijuana *http://www.mapinc.org/norml/v01/n1926/a10.htm*