Medical marijuana is a joke. Not the argument for it, but the reality of it. The same people who promote medical marijuana promote the decriminalization of it. The biggest promoters of medical marijuana make a living off of marijuana or want to make a living off of marijuana, and would benefit greatly if marijuana were legalized completely. Other promoters of medical marijuana are doing it partly as a marketing stunt to attract their target market; I’m talking about politicians, businesses, and celebrities who want to reach out to liberal young adults. So now we talk about the real question: should marijuana be legalized?
There are some common arguments that support the legalization of marijuana. It could generate billions of dollars for the government (California Board of Equalization). It would decrease hundreds of millions in revenue for gangs and foreign cartels. Marijuana isn’t going anywhere – people still get a hold of Heroine, do you really think marijuana could dissappear? Regulated legal markets would reduce availability for minors. Marijuana is never lethal, or at least there are no recorded cases of deaths by overdose.
Then, there are the common and less strong counter arguments. Marijuana is bad for you. Marijuana is a gateway drug. The legalization of marijuana could make it less cool, pushing teenagers to harder drugs. The cigarette industry and alcohol industry are staples of American culture, and the legalization of marijuana would harm them. Driving high is dangerous (although no marijuana supporter would argue that driving under the influence should be legal). Second hand smoke is not a joke (again, marijuana supporters would be fine on limitations on where they can smoke).
However, there is one counter-argument I always make when I suggest that marijuana be kept illegal. This topic alone convinces me that marijuana should be kept illegal: Human Capital.
Anybody who knows anything about marijuana knows it makes people lazy and move slower. Sure, smoking on the job should definitely not be allowed, but if marijuana is legalized, people will do it. How about after work? Instead of cleaning the house, managing the bills, or building a tree house, some people will sit around and watch television or read a book. Some might even sit outside on a hammock and count the stars. The legalization will affect each individual differently, but as a society and as a whole, we will get less done.
This brings me to the reason marijuana should be legalized. It should be legalized because of the reason I think it should stay illegal, and that many people would agree with me. Is it so important that we get so many things done every day? Why can’t we be like the Greek? Maybe as a society, what we need is a drug that helps us relax and enjoy nature, art, and music. What coffee did to our society, marijuana may be able to reverse.
But then again, maybe it doesn’t have to be marijuana.