AC 101 B
February 28th, 2012
Since marijuana's first recorded use dating back five thousand years ago, it has never gained much popularity until the last century with prohibition and antiwar movements. Now, more than ever, propositions to legalize the plant have risen and been subject to controversy and heated debate. Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the United States and considered to be the most harmful by the government with its anti-marijuana stance and laws aimed at curtailing its use. With marijuana use rapidly growing, the United States national debt has never been so high, and the search for seemingly 'incurable’ ...view middle of the document...
.. however the companies can not make any profit because the raw herb cannot be patented." (Rosenthal, 2004, p.x)
Basic research will show that legalizing this plant can benefit our country whether you smoke it or not. A simple lesson in supply and demand will show that legalizing marijuana would create a significant drop in price due to the elimination of the risk factors of growing and also selling paraphernalia. When the alcohol prohibition ended, the price dropped to a third of its prohibition cost. A study done by the Task Force on Cannabis Regulation to the Center for the Study of Drug Policy-Regulation and Taxation of Cannabis Commerce reveals that legalization could open up a tax revenue stream for governments. Licensing, taxing, and fees could generate up to 7 billion dollars a year not including the taxes on sales of paraphernalia, recreational establishments and new industries according to a study by the Congressional Budget Office with state sales tax being the factor in determining basic revenue. (Drug Policy Task Force, 1996, para. VIII)
Marijuana prosecution and defense lawyers profit the most on marijuana laws; some earning as much as $5,000 for a simple possession bust and up to $20,000 for being caught with intent to distribute according to an interview with your average lawyer. If you are caught with any amount of marijuana in a plastic bag you could be labeled a distributor. According to one Wisconsin flower grower, "A few marijuana plants can double my income and increase my net several times. It would seem that allowing farmers to grow marijuana would not only help save many small farms but also provide many new jobs, since marijuana farming and preparation are very labor intensive." Rosenthal adds, "A marijuana garden of one-hundred square feet can earn $30,000-$50,000 because a single 1,000-watt lamp garden can produce an average of 6 pounds of pot per year, which is worth $12,000-$16,000."(Rosenthal, 2003, p.27) .The United States could greatly benefit from the sales of hemp which it spends billions on importing; in fact, the United States is the number one importer of hemp products. In 2001, the Government enforcing marijuana laws spent estimated 7.7 billion dollars; the cost to taxpayers for persons imprisoned for marijuana charges was $1.3 billion (Marijuana Policy Project, 2000.
The Fourth Amendment gives people the right to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized". Under marijuana laws and the relatively new Patriot Act, we are not safe against unreasonable search and seizure any more.
According to attorney Glen Bloire: "In addition to taking your cash and your car, the state and federal governments can take your home and real property. Under federal...