Prohibition of any kind doesn’t work, and that is because prohibition is a regulation of morality. It isn’t finding justice, saving money or even keeping people from hurting themselves. Prohibition is the censorship of morality and any government body cannot be successful in that pursuit. The Temperance Movement was a religious movement to drive out the evils of America. At the time that evil was alcohol — people weren’t just opposed to alcohol but also to apples — which were almost exclusively grown to make alcohol. People started taking axes to apple trees all over the country and a campaign was waged against the “devil’s fruit.” Luckily the war against apples was never taken as far as the war against marijuana. I am going to cover the reasons given why marijuana is illegal.
Marijuana is bad for your health, that’s why it is illegal.
Dr. Leslie Iversen has published a new book titled The Science of Marijuana. Dr. Iversen, from Oxford University’s department of pharmacology, said in his book, “Cannabis is a safer drug than aspirin and can be used long term without serious side effects.”
In his book he said he found that many of the “myths” that surround marijuana use — such as links to mental illness or infertility and extreme addictiveness — are not scientifically supported. In fact, Iversen found cannabis was far less toxic than other drugs like heroin, tobacco, cocaine and even alcohol. Iversen writes, “By any standard, THC must be considered a very safe drug both acutely and on long-term exposure.”
He also found that “stoned” drivers posed less of a danger than drunk ones. Iversen said the side effects of cannabis are as follows, “cannabis does not cause structural damage to the brains of animals as some reports had claimed, nor is there evidence of long-term damage to the human brain or other, than slight residual impairments in cognitive function after drug use is stopped.” He also said the notion that long-term cannabis use is harmful should finally be put to rest.
He said that a lot of the negative effects that come from marijuana are a result of smoking the drug. Cannabis itself does not appear to cause cancer and poses almost no threat of mortality. Even compared with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory compounds, otherwise known as aspirin — which reportedly kills upwards of 16,000 people annually according to the American Journal of Gastroenterology — marijuana kills zero annually — according to the Department of Justice.
Iversen is a member of the prestigious Royal Society, or the UK’s national academy of science, and his book is more than certainly going to force the British government to reconsider the legal classification of cannabis.
Marijuana is an evil that must be vanquished at any price.
Most people don’t know how much that fight really costs America. The 2008 FBI Uniform Crime Report stated that 44 percent of all funding for the war on drugs is devoted to possession of marijuana and 6 percent is devoted to cannabis cultivation and sale. The total cost of the war on drugs for 2008 was $13.7 billion, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The current request for funding the war on drugs for this fiscal year has increased by 3.4 percent, or $459 million. So about half of all funding for the war on drugs, or about $6.85 billion, increases every year and is devoted to stopping marijuana possession, cultivation and sale.
In contrast the Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman has led a group of 500 economists from Cornell, Stanford, and Yale in a combined effort of calculation. They have estimated that legalization of marijuana would generate about $6.2 billion a year in revenue even in the current economic recession.
Marijuana legalization is only favored by drugged-out hippies and nonfunctioning members of society.
Support of legalization of marijuana is no longer favored by a small minority. A new Gallup poll shows that approval of the legalization of marijuana is at an all-time high, with 44 percent of America in favor of legalization. In the last 10 years, approval has steadily climbed by more than 13 points. The poll also detailed that people who would self-describe themselves as liberal favored legalization by 78 percent.
The government has made marijuana illegal for a reason; it was a thought out and well-researched decision.
This may not be as true as once, thought. Richard Nixon started the war on drugs. He commissioned a report on the dangers of cannabis to give scientific data in support of making marijuana illegal. This report was called the “The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse.” The commission, which was published March 22, 1972, concluded, “Neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety.” The commission’s official recommendation was that the possession of marijuana for personal use should no longer be considered an offense and that distribution in small amounts should no longer be considered illegal. Even though Nixon had commissioned the report, the president and Congress completely ignored the report.
Later, voice recordings came out of Nixon talking with former Gov. Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania, who chaired the 1972 marijuana study. The recordings indicate that the president tried to “convince” the governor to reject the commission’s findings, saying, “You’re enough of a pro to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what Congress feels … and what we’re planning to do would make your commission just look bad as hell.” Nixon in other conversations had linked cannabis to the downfall of society.
The total cost of cannabis, staying classified as illegal, is increasing annually. So why have we decided to spend so much time and money on a plant? The more you start to research the prohibition of pot the less things make sense, that is, until you look at other things that have faced prohibition in America. Alcohol was drunk in the form of hard apple cider in early colonial times because the fermentation made it safer to drink than potentially dangerous well water. Cider was consumed not just in the afternoon but also with breakfast. In early America, there wasn’t much that was more American than a pint of hard cider. But through the process of prohibition of alcohol we see why marijuana is illegal. Because someone decided it should be, and a few politicians have made careers of attacking this “threat.” Like Nixon and those after him, when evidence surfaced that cannabis use has no real negative effects they spent money to fight it. We are now using an extensive amount of our tax dollars on a war to fight a new “devil’s fruit,” in a war that doesn’t make much more sense than one against apples.
By Zach Gould