End the Prohibition on Marijuana

2096 Words Jan 26th, 2012 9 Pages
Thesis Statement: Legalization of industrialized hemp and marijuana benefits our economy, decriminalizes a 35 billion dollar a year industry, creates jobs, and makes sense for the environment. I. Marijuana has been illegal in the United States since the Marihuana Stamp Tax Act was enacted by congress in 1937
A. A Brief History
B. Marijuana Cash Crop

II. The prohibition of marijuana contributes to a black market system, which increases violent crime, and contributes finances to the criminal element. A. Violent Crime B. Underground Drug Trade’s Negative Contributions C. The Marijuana Policy Project

III. Marijuana prohibition is costing the Federal
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The Marijuana Policy Project states:
“Because of marijuana prohibition, America’s largest cash crop is grown exclusively by unregulated criminals, often in environmentally damaging locations such as national parks and wilderness areas. Such problems are virtually unknown with legal, regulated crops such as tobacco or wine grapes.” (Marijuana Prohibition Facts, 2008)
Legalization’s Effect on The Economy
The legalization of marijuana could possibly create annual tax revenue of 2.4 billion if taxed normally, and 6.2 billion if the government used similar tax rates that are currently used for alcohol and tobacco sales. (Miron, 2005)
“Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The arrest total is the second highest ever reported by the FBI.” (Armentano, 2010)
This one statistic alone is absolute proof that current drug enforcement programs and policies are not effective. Marijuana is widely available to the masses, arrests are at an all-time high, and there is a potential to make billions of dollars through taxation. Marijuana is accepted all over the world, and is by far the most popular illegal drug. A recent Gallup poll showed that 50% of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. (Newport, 2011)
Through the legalization of marijuana tax revenue is increased, drug dealers
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