This I Believe

robert - lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe

I am an open minded person when it comes to just about everything. I guess I can thank my parents for that, because ever since I was young my parents have instilled in me the phrase “you should at least try it before you jump to a conclusion and rule something out entirely.”

I believe the same saying needs to be applied to a very controversial issue that is still debated on today. I am one of the firm believers that marijuana should be legalized in the U.S. Marijuana is a very misunderstood drug that is often times thought of as a dangerous, no good substance, when in all actuality it is everything but. It is peoples ignorance and stubbornness that keeps the drug illegal. Society is so wrapped up in the negative propaganda that they completely miss out on the endless positive possibilities that legalizing marijuana could do for our everyday life. Marijuana is not some new drug that is created in laboratories, it is a natural herb that has been used as early as the 1600’s. I believe it should be legalized because it could be used for numerous medicinal purposes and it is in certain parts of the middle east and Asia. Some of the ailments that it used to be used for and could still be used for are; insomnia, asthma, pain, and in treatments of cancer and AIDS. It is also a much safer alternative to harsh synthetic drugs such as oxycontin, morphine, methadone, etc.. it’s safer because it is all natural and doesn’t come with the harmful side effects like those prescription drugs. There has also never been any recorded case of anyone overdosing on marijuana like people do on pills everyday.

I also believe that legalizing marijuana would help bring our country out of an extremely high debt. According to professor Jeffery A. Miron, the legalization of marijuana would save the U.S. 7.7 billion dollars per year in state and federal expenditures on prohibition enforcement which means that the government would have to release all the prisoners who were charged with marijuana alone. It costs tax payers 1.2 billion a year to house, medicate, and feed those 63,000 prisoners. Another way it would help the debt would be if the government taxed the substance similar to alcohol and tobacco; in fact, at least six billion dollars could be made annually by taxing it.

My final argument would be that legalizing marijuana would create numerous jobs throughout the nation. The university of Kentucky did a study and t showed that 771 jobs would be created and 17.6 million dollars in wages would spur in Kentucky alone. I believe that if this is not enough at sway a room of stiff shirt conservatives on capital hill than I don’t know what will.

So in conclusion I believe the government needs to take my parents advice and not go jumping to hasty conclusions, But instead to give new things a try.