In Defense of Marijuana | Teen Ink

In Defense of Marijuana

November 16, 2014
By Cormac Dacker BRONZE, Salem, Oregon
Cormac Dacker BRONZE, Salem, Oregon
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Drug abuse severely affects most aspects of our lives and lead to the majority of arrests and incarcerations. Abuse of drugs heavily impacts the user, their families, children, business, the criminal justice system, and national productivity, increasing the already heavy burden on local, state, and federal government resources. The current marijuana situation has been compared to prohibition. It being illegal hasn’t stopped people from using it, and our jails are full of people who were caught with marijuana and thus we are finding it difficult to find room for rapists and pedophiles. The most rational course of action is to legalize lower level drugs such as marijuana, and place a substantial tax on it. This would relieve a significant burden of the criminal justice department, increase our national productivity, and allow us to put the real criminals away.

Many harder drugs slowly erode the user’s health, increasing the likelihood of sickness and diseases in users. In many cases these illicit drugs can lead to the user’s death, potentially leaving their children and family on their own. Cannabis does not have any of these affects. The worst thing that could happen to a family in which a parent uses weed is they are arrested and imprisoned. With only one person to support the family, the remaining parent often has to seek financial aid and take multiple jobs. The children would not receive the attention they would previously have gotten, and thus not develop properly. In extreme cases there is a potential for these children of neglect to grow up into crime and be a menace to society.

The illegalization of marijuana impacts the entire criminal justice system, straining resources at every stage of the arrest, incarceration, and the parole/ probation process.  In 2008 more than 12 percent of 14 million arrests were due to some form of drug violation. In an annual data report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 53 percent of federally incarcerated prisoners are in for a drug offense.  Most of these people are in for using a harmless substance that has less of an impact on someone’s health then cigarettes do, and don’t cause nearly as much damage as alcohol abusers do.

Economically it is daft, to have such a large portion using an illegal substance and not taxing and regulating it, and have so many people sitting behind bars not contributing to the national production but draining national resources to maintain overcrowded prisons. The financial resources that we are committing though our tax dollars go toward a misguided criminal justice system, and would be significantly better spent on rehabilitation for those who need it. We as a country suffer for not releasing the 650,000+ low level drug violators back into the workforce to help contribute to our GDP.
The most common argument against marijuana is: it is addictive. This is true…of almost everything. Marijuana is significantly less addictive then nicotine and alcohol and is much less harmful than either of them. “But for some people it’s extremely addictive” [3]. Some people are genetically predisposed to have an increased risk of addiction to certain substances. I have a significantly increased risk to become an alcoholic, but I wouldn’t blame an IPA for that.  The only viable workaround is to just be cautious with the substance, and watch for addictive behaviors.

By legalizing cannabis we decrease the already immense burden on the criminal justice system, allowing our tax dollars to be funneled into better policies. We have the ability to regulate and tax the substance as we see fit. We increase the national production, therefore economically leveling the playing field. We return the absent parent back home, so they can raise their children into a better world. By legalizing marijuana we end the modern prohibition.



[1]Boehlke, Julie. "How Would Marijuana Addiction Affect a Family?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. .
[2]Ferner, Matt. "Just Say No To These 11 Outrageous Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana." The Huffington Post., 25 Feb. 2014. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. .
[3]Hawkins, John. "5 Reasons Marijuana Should Remain Illegal." N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. .
[4]"The Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2006." The Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2006. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. .
[5]"Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2010 (UNCLASSIFIED)." (U) Impact of Drugs on Society - National Drug Threat Assessment 2010 (UNCLASSIFIED). N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. .
[6]"Marijuana Should Not Be Legalized." N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2014. .

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.