Should marijuana be legalized? (Crime and Revenue)


The results of a poll conducted recently by Gallop showed for the first time Americans now favor legalization of marijuana by a majority of 58% compared to 39% opposing. This shows how over the last few decades, Americans views on marijuana have been changing. Now with this change in place, it is time to rethink the laws in effect criminalizing marijuana usage.

It is important to note that nearly a year ago, Washington and Colorado both made it legal for recreational marijuana sales. This was a major precedent taken by these two states, which could allow for other states down the line to further implement legalization of marijuana. Through legalizing marijuana, these states have the ability to collect massive amounts of taxable revenue. It is estimated that revenue from taxation on marijuana could lead to an increase of $67 million dollars in both states. This increased revenue could be used on programs in need of funding, on state education, infrastructure, or even paying down the state debt. These are just some of the avenues that can be explored through decriminalization of marijuana within Colorado and Washington.

Also, it is important to understand that the structure for marijuana usage is different within both of these states. Within Washington, there are more restrictions in place, with limits on the amount of sellers and plants for personal usage being restricted. Within Colorado, legislation is more open to allow for an unlimited number of sellers and allowing users to grow plants at home. If legalization occurred at the federal level, it would allow each state to determine different regulations on how marijuana is distributed. This would truly be a step in the direction for freedom of choice because after all, isn’t that what freedom is all about?

When legalization occurs, the area of crime takes a massive hit. Specifically in 2010, combined states spent almost $3.6 billion dollars on enforcing crimes against those who use marijuana. Instead of spending billions on monitoring those who choose to use the substance, money within law enforcement could be saved and spent on more pressing matters. Legalization would allow for police officers to focus on more important criminal matters, rather than worrying about citizens  just attempting to use marijuana on a recreational basis. Also, the illegal criminal market associated with marijuana would be eliminated. This is similar to how prohibition of alcohol occurred in the 1920s which made it illegal to consume alcohol. This gave birth to massive amounts of crime across America. However, once alcohol was legalized again, crime levels were subdued due to the fact that there was simply no need for a black market when something was legally obtainable. The same effect would most likely occur if marijuana was legalized.

All in all, by just examining the categories of crime and potential revenue shows the unlimited benefits that can occur if marijuana legalized. This will allow for the people, not the government, to determine what they are allowed to put into their bodies as a free and prosperous society.




After receiving a comment about the validity of the quote by Thomas Jefferson, we did some research and could not find concrete evidence that this quote can be attributed to him.  We apologize for the misunderstanding