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Economical Argument for the Legalization of Marijuana

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There is no feasible way to completely abolish drug use in the United States. As with Prohibition of Alcohol in the earlier part of this century, the fight against drugs has backfired. The United States is spending billions of dollars a year to fight a war, which over the last 60 years, has shown that it cannot be won. So let's use a little reverse psychology on the subject. What would happen if marijuana or other illegal drugs were legalized?

First, the billions of dollars that the government is spending trying to abolish illegal drugs would be put to better use and the government would be able to tax the "new drugs" just as they do alcohol and tobacco. These monies could then be spent to provide better education on the affects of drugs and drug abuse, better healthcare, and research on medical uses of drugs such as marijuana. Also, the government would be able to regulate the quality of "products" on the market, resulting in fewer deaths caused by overdosing and by "junk" drugs.

Second, with government regulation, including sale and distribution, the big drug dealers would no longer be in control. The drugs would be made affordable or free to those who are addicted, thus decreasing crimes such as petty theft. The streets would be much safer to walk on, because the crack dealer on the corner would no longer be pushing drugs to young children. Since the drug dealers would no longer have "areas of distribution" (turf), there would be a decline in gang war crimes such as murder and accidental shootings.

Third, if legalized, hemp and marijuana crops could take the place of part, or all, of the small farmers regular crops. They are both good rotational crops that need little tending, and it has been shown that they replace nutrients back into the soil that are lost in the growth of normal crops such as wheat and corn. This would bring in additional revenue to the farmers, keeping them in business, and provide even more tax revenue to the government. Also, a new retail market would emerge since hemp can be manufactured into clothing, paper products, oils, and fuels, and marijuana has medicinal purposes.

As Adam Smith said, "the market is regulated by an invisible hand" this statement is as true with an illegal market product as with a legal market product. As was seen with the Prohibition, just because it was illegal to drink doesn't mean that it didn't



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