Pros for Legalizing Marijuana:
- Prohibition must be weighed against the loss of personal freedom. Countries have a responsibility to respect individual free will and the right of self-determination.
- The immorality of marijuana use can only be based on one set of moral beliefs. By taking a “moral” stand against recreational drugs, or fighting the evils caused by the illegal drug trade they increase their popularity amongst constituents.
- The War on Drugs serves the immediate interests of politicians. By taking a “moral” stand against recreational drugs, or fighting the evils caused by the illegal drug trade they increase their popularity amongst constituents.
- Legal prohibition does not stop consumers from consuming drugs, it does not stop trafficers from producing and selling it. The price of the final product increases to abnormally high values because of the black market status, which together with the powerful effects of drug addiction causes users to commit crimes in order to fund their addiction.
- Critics of the War on Drugs advocate the partial or complete decriminalization of illegal drugs, combined with a system of regulation, as happens with alcohol and prescription drugs. By providing legal supplies of currently illegal drugs the price will fall, leading to a collapse in the illegal drug industry, and a reduction in crimes committed by both drug suppliers and users. They also argue that the reduction in the price will lead to little, if any, growth in drug addiction, due to the inelasticity of demand. Some even state that in a strictly regulated market, drug use may fall overall, by removing the marketing activities of the illegal drug industry.
- It is not worthwhile for a law to forbid people from willingly exposing their own bodies to harm by using drugs, any more than by overeating or bungee-jumping. Obesity is a national epidemic, killing millions every year, but the government has no right to regulate how much citizens eat.
- Drug users exercise free will when they chose to use drugs; a person has the right to give up his or her own freedom. A Government does not have the right to dictate them. No drug eliminates free will. It is possible to quit using any drug. Many banned drugs are significantly less deleterious to free will than legal alcohol or tobacco. Severe physiological addiction has been demonstrated for tobacco (stronger than cocaine), but no strong physiological addiction has been shown for marijuana.
- Illegal Drug dealers will sell to anyone, including children. Merchants who legally sell alcohol and tobacco are not allowed to sell to children. Many high school students report that it is easier to obtain illegal drugs than alcohol and tobacco.
Cons for Legalizing Marijuana:
- A State cannot be involved with the distribution of substances considered immoral by relevant lots of the population. A substance considered unhealthy cannot be produced and distributed with the help of the state, because the goal of the state is to protect citizens’ health and not to expose them to risk.
- The easy availability of drugs would create new consumers rather than rescuing current ones.
- Drugs are addictive. They rob the user of free will. A drug user cannot make an informed and rational decision to continue using drugs because the use of the drug eliminates that user’s ability to think logically. Nor can they disseminate themselves from drug taking.
- Drug use is dangerous to persons besides the user. In the rise of health care costs, violence associated with the use of drugs, neglect of children by drug-addicted parents, and other third party effects.
- The use of soft drugs, such as marijuana, leads to the use of hard drugs (the Gateway Theory).
- Legalizing drugs will send a message to children that drug use is acceptable.
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