By Jordan Finger
We the People of the United States are endowed with an unalienable right to pursue happiness. Laws prescribed by the federal and state governments limit this pursuit as they both seek to maintain and protect the well-being of the American citizenry, to some extent. Governmental systems operating in such a way face the opposing, subjective perceptions of what well-being is. How is the government’s interpretation of “well-being” applicable to a citizen concluding otherwise about the subject? Alas, laws do not cater to the individual’s vision or version of the world, but to the American Machine. Ideally, if every American obeyed every law, their world would function fluidly, efficiently and happily (but enough Americans would need to break the law, so state/federal agencies could generally maintain their financial balance or imbalance). Federal laws will certainly produce warranted dismay because citizens cannot agree on every premise propping up their united lives. The debate over the legalization of marijuana in the United States exemplifies both inconsistent and consistent application of standards by the U.S. federal government. Careful analysis reveals complexities indicative of a drug legalization dispute not as simple as being “for” or “against,” but a dispute entailing multiple, considerable opportunities.
Our government claims to serve in our best interest, yet harmful substances, without medicinal properties, are permitted above statistically less harmful substances with evidently medicinal properties. Alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical drugs kill more people a year than marijuana ever has. Why is marijuana illegal? Alcohol and tobacco are legal because the industries for both are too large for the government to halt, and both products are highly profitable through taxation. Pharmaceutical drugs are legal because the ends of restored health justify the means of consuming potentially dangerous substances, and the pharmaceutical market is enormous. Marijuana can be taxed and can be financially beneficial for the United States, but its legalization may imply the legal commercialization of hemp (minimally psychoactive cannabis) for manufacturing dozens of different products, including paper, clothing, rope and fuel. Naysayers of marijuana legalization insist a new hemp industry would cause economic distress by creating a more effective and efficient line of products to compete with those already in place, whereas competing industries of hemp products may suffer upon legalization of marijuana. On the other hand, a large hemp industry may take enough time to develop for other industries to innovate. One does not have to sit and watch as hemp hypothetically takes over. Adjustment is our nature. Still, the government has remained consistent in its quest to maintain the well-being of the citizenry by inconsistently defining illegality of drugs to supposedly sustain American economic stability.
The question of marijuana legalization is not one of consistency or justifiability, but of assumed convenience. The government may be unjustified in claiming control of our action (not absolute or directly) or they may be justified in maintaining a “stable” environment for us. Notably, legalizing marijuana may seem more difficult than managing its forbidden status. The prospect of translating a traditionally rejected action to legal acceptability boasts an intimidating figure. Marijuana users should not be incriminated, according to the standards of their fellow Section 812 Schedules of Controlled Substances Schedule I (C ) members, amphetamines and dimethyltryptamine, by the DEA. Beware, one cannot use “less expenditure to maintain imprisonment will follow legalization” as a support of this argument for legalization. Cutting off incoming convicts of marijuana-related charges may imply more money to allocate for other prisoners, or outside of prison, but the assumed economic jitter of marijuana legalization would shatter more than less prisoners could fix. One can, however, decriminalize marijuana, the adapted system in Amsterdam, to rid its usage and possession of criminality.
The U.S. government would consistently allow profitable, taxable drugs by legalizing marijuana, but its commercialization threatens American stability. Certain states are taking action to decriminalize marijuana, so users are not criminals like users of deadlier tobacco or alcohol are also not. Other states grant potential patients the option of medicinal marijuana because of its comparatively lesser side effects and effective benefits. The government has granted states regulation jurisdiction of marijuana to their own settlements. The United States realized marijuana is not evil and can be used advantageously and responsibly, without legalizing it. Each state can take different paths, but, as exhibited, lenient marijuana laws will not cue rapture, just as it will not bring about world peace, because the government would not risk our general stability of functioning to legalize pot.