Marijuana Legalization

Although marijuana is currently an illegal substance, there are circumstances demonstrating that the legalization of marijuana could help increase our economy, decrease overpopulation in prisons and increase appropriate regulations. The marijuana industry is already, approximately, a $14 billion business. The government is spending approximately $7.7 billion on the prohibition as well as approximately $1 billion to imprison marijuana offenders.
Out of the numerous different illegal and dangerous drugs available in the United States, marijuana is the most commonly used. Since 1990 there have been a reported number of 20.5 million people who have used marijuana. The highest reported number was 25.9 million in 2002 (Gettman, 2007). With a boom in the acceptance of marijuana usage, both medically and recreationally, the numbers of users are estimated to be higher in the recent years. The current marijuana industry is valued at $14 billion annually. The cannabis sativa plant can be grown in nearly every country. The UNODC (United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes) has data that there are 172 countries and territories that are known to grow the cannabis sativa plant that marijuana comes from. The production and trafficking of marijuana makes up the largest known drug market (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2008).
With 26% of the United States having current compassionate use laws that allow for regulated medical marijuana use, it is a wonder at how long it will take for the rest of the nation to climb aboard the band wagon. It shouldn’t be much longer. Alongside the 13 states that currently accept medical marijuana, there are 17 states plus the District of Columbia that have legislated recognition of the value but do not protect users from federal prosecution (Chapkis, 2008). With so many states already supporting marijuana and consumers that are currently in the market for it, why is it still illegal? Why hasn’t the Federal Government capitalized on the...