OPINION: Legalize Weed, Stimulate The Economy

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They say desperate times call for desperate measures and we are definitely in desperate times. The biggest problem about the US economy is that we don’t make anything anymore. We closed the textile mills and now get our clothes from China, we get our electronic goods from Japan, our food from God knows where.

America was sent into a depression 80 years ago after the US made alcohol illegal . During that time organized crime flourished while the economy suffered. America did not bounce out of that depression til after they made alchohol legal again in 1933.

If there is anything Americans know how to make, market and distribute, its marijuana. America has been marketing marijuana for years through music, movies, comedy and t-shirts. Illegal botanists have been making various high powered strands of marijuana while the US hasn’t had an agricultural innovation since the peanut.

Already many states have big problems with overcrowded prisons that they cannot afford to fund. Wouldn’t it be better to let out the marijuana smokers then the rapists, thieves and killers.

America has not had a cash crop in years. Sugar and the rum trade gave the Americas its first economic boom. Tobacco gave it its second. America has a long history of making money of drugs.

People have reported that marijuana is the nation’s biggest cash crop, more than corn and soy combined. It is said that marijuana is responsible for $36 billion annually in the USA, none of which is taxed.

Today we are paying farmers not to grow crops. If farmers were allowed to grow marijuana, they would not need anymore subsidies and also be able to create badly needed jobs in the agricultural industries.

If weed were legalized, farmers would also be able to grow hemp which can be used to make clothes, fuel food and many other things. It would be nice for America to have a product to export rather than importing everything, hemp could fill that role.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin all grew hemp our last three presidents have smoked marijuana. One third of all Americans have smoked marijuana. Half of all 18 year old in America have smoked marijuana.

Almost 1 million people are arrested for marijuana in a year 90% for simple possession. How many police man hours goes into arresting, incarcerating and processing these smokers?

A lot of marijuana smoked in the states comes directly from Mexico or Canada. So the sucking sound from the bong is actually American money and jobs going to Mexico and Canada.. Many agricultural, packaging and distribution jobs are all being outsourced to
Mexico and Canada due to our strict marijuana laws.

Marijuana smokers are used to paying blackmarket prices for weed. If marijuana was to be legally cultivated, it could be produced and distributed legally and cheaply. The government could then tax marijuana heavily as marijuana smokers are already used to paying marked up prices. If the USA were to legalize marijuana, many other countries would follow and America could begin importing and exporting marijuana all over the world.

Making marijuana illegal does not stop people who want to smoke it from purchasing it only makes it more of a hassle, wasting time and money on behalf of both the government and marijuana smokers.

For those concerned about the affect marijuana on the American public, I don’t have a survey or statistics on the affects marijuana have on people but I do know that many doctors, lawyers, politicians, police officers and good decent functioning people have smoke marijuana. When I was at Columbia one of the nation’s most prestigious institutions as well as our President’s Alma Mater it was harder to find someone who didn’t smoke marijuana than it was someone who did.

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