Would the Legalization of Marijuana Help Law Enforcement?

Essay #1

Would the Legalization of Marijuana Help Law Enforcement?

The complete legalization of marijuana is always questioned on whether if is safe for the country and for the people using it. Marijuana seems to be somewhat illegal still but substances such as tobacco and alcohol are completely legal to buy, at a certain age that is. The idea that marijuana has no recorded deaths of use questions why alcohol and tobacco are completely legal even though there are thousands of recorded deaths through those two substances. Marijuana should not be illegal, in some cases, since it does not harm anyone but it helps the individual using it. Marijuana could help solve many issues in the United States especially with the amount of profit it can make and marijuana could help with treating patients who are sick are just a couple of issues that the country has to face. Having marijuana legalized could also solve the issue with drug trafficking and cartels that are smuggling marijuana into the United States. The government should look into the idea of having marijuana legalized because it can help create jobs, save government funds, and reduce crime rates.

There are certain states, such as California and Colorado, that have marijuana legalized for adults to use medically and for recreational use. Technically marijuana is still illegal under the federal law and federal law overrules state laws. According to Marijuana Legalization and Regulation article on the drug policy website, “Legalizing and regulating marijuana will bring one of the nation’s largest cash crops under the rule of law. This will create jobs and economic opportunities in the formal economy instead of the illicit market.” (2017). If marijuana was completely legalized, there would be more opportunities for people and the economy to generate more income. It would be better to have the government use the money sales from the marijuana industry for public affiliations instead of having an unknown source using the money for anything. “Scarce law enforcement resources will be better used to ensure public safety while reducing corrections and court costs. State and local governments would acquire significant new sources of tax revenue from regulating marijuana sales.” (2017). Legalizing marijuana would also decrease law enforcement resources because those law enforcers would be searching for people with possession of marijuana or any other drugs but it would decrease if marijuana is legal.

There are different aspects of people who want marijuana legalized and it is not only the younger generation that want this to occur. According to the article “Survey: Two-thirds of cops say marijuana laws should be relaxed,” two-thirds of 8,000 police officers found that 32 percent of these officers said marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 37 percent said it should be legal for medical use only and 30 percent said that marijuana should not be legal at all. This says a lot coming from police officers working under the law. For the police officers who agree and disagree with the legalization of marijuana, they both agree on that they are “citing concerns over issues such as underage use and intoxicated driving.” (Ingraham 2017). These concerns can be related to the use of alcohol under the influence. This is one of the concerns that people worry about if marijuana is completely legal. There would be an increase on emergency room visits because there would be people using marijuana under the influence. Officers and public surveys about marijuana show similar answers about marijuana but there would always be a downside of it being legalized.

With the idea of legalizing marijuana in mind, there have been a decrease of crime rates instead of an increase ever since Denver legalized marijuana in its state. According to an article from coloradopolitics.com, “Studies indicate the recreational marijuana industry has not caused increases in violent crime, and that a well-regulated industry can instead decrease crime rates by curtailing black market cartels.” (Heuberger 2017). There is potential for other states to legalize marijuana so their could be lower crime rates and a chance to curtail black market cartels. Lower crimes rates would be great for the country because their would be less law enforcement patrolling and searching for illegal drug activities. This could also solve the illegal trades of exporting drugs into the United States from Mexico. Instead of doing it illegally, having marijuana legal would help both Mexico and the United States make business without doing deals under the radar. Also this would slow down the war on drugs and any other illegal activities between the borders. “During the first year of the implementation of Amendment 64, Denver experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in violent crime rates and an 8.9 percent reduction in property crime offenses, according to research conducted by the Drug Policy Alliance.” (Heuberger 2017). Amendment 64 is the legal use of marijuana legal in Colorado and ever since the implementation has been established, violent crime rates decreased and property crimes have decreased also. Having this type of Amendment in all states would help the economy greatly when it has to do with crimes. Having marijuana legal would eliminate many underground cartel groups which have to do with illegal activities. If this would happen, there would be a huge effect on drug trafficking into the United States. Another aspect of why marijuana should be legal is that having low crime rates and less cartel groups would keep the country safer than it is now.

The legalization of marijuana would help with several issues that the government is dealing with such as the issue on law enforcement costs and drug cartels that are smuggling marijuana into the United States. If marijuana was completely legal, law enforcers could focus on more important drug busts or other severe cases, instead of busting people with possession of marijuana. That would lower the costs of officers patrolling for that drug but instead they would focus on other cases. Crime rates and arrests would also decrease if marijuana was legalized because a lot of arrests are usually the possession of marijuana. Also, the fact that a good majority of police officers say that they want marijuana legalized for recreation and medical use says a lot since they are working under the law and that they would usually be against any drugs and their legalization. Marijuana should be looked into for complete legalization since it would help the government with law enforcement issues and it would also help with the people who use it medically.

References:

drugpolicy.org. (2017). Marijuana Legalization and Regulation.

Heuberger, B. (2017, March 21). Despite claims, data show legalized marijuana has not increased crime rates.

Ingraham, C. (2017, January 11). Survey: Two-thirds of cops say marijuana laws should be relaxed.

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