“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Thomas Jefferson
There is much written about the legalization of marijuana and how foolish it is to remain illegal. People write about the history of the laws banning marijuana use and how they were targeted toward African-Americans and how unscientifically sound they were. There is much written about how the original colonies in America relied upon hemp for survival and even used it as a form of trading tender (Thomas Jefferson owned many acres of hemp fields.) People compare how alcohol which is legal is a more impairing drug than marijuana. The medical benefits of marijuana have been proven time and time again and yet it remains illegal. All of the previously mentioned ideas have much literature written about them and can easily be found with a quick google search. What I would like to talk about is how Constitutional the banning of marijuana is and how many people here in America and across the world are affected by America’s ban on marijuana.
The founding fathers were fully aware of the uses of marijuana during the conception of America, and yet no law was ever created to ban the use of it. Hemp at that time was big cash crop and highly useful for many products. The reason no laws or provision in the Constitution were created to ban marijuana or using it for purposes to get high was because it was thought of as an inalienable right. If a person wishes to get high and become sedated under the influence of marijuana how does that infringe upon the rights of another person? If a person wishes to smoke them self stupid that is her or his right to do so. Marijuana does not cause aggression (which the original report that led to the law banning it claimed it did) nor is it deadly through consumption such as heroine or cocaine. Now driving an automobile after smoking marijuana will impair someone’s ability to drive which can cause injury to other citizens should; therefore, be illegal. Who is the government to say which drugs you are allowed to consume such as liquor or alcohol and which you cannot such as marijuana (other sorts of illegal drugs are a different debate because they can cause death and have a much higher addictive dependence)? This is America, where we are allowed to fill our minds with any thoughts we wish and should be able to use a substance such as marijuana as an inalienable right.
“[The] market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops.” (Bailey, Eric-Los Angeles Times December 18,2006.) Marijuana consumption for the common citizen being illegal is costing America a great number of jobs. The taxation on the sale of marijuana will create enormous revenue for the country. If America were to make marijuana legal many other nations in the world would follow suit and increase the revenue of exportation of the product. Besides the revenues that would be created, the amount of money saved from the cost of law enforcement (although it seems not to be enforced so well) used in keeping it illegal can be better spent somewhere else in the government.
I am a frequent visitor to Nepal and have friends that are in the Royal family and many government entities there. Nepal currently has a ban upon the producing of hemp, sale of hemp, consumption of hash or marijuana, and manufacturing of hemp products and hemp plants that grow in Nepal are a better quality than perhaps any other place on earth. Nepal suffers from great levels of poverty and is unable to produce its richest resource due to international pressures to ban hemp in the nation. America and other western nations force Nepal to keep bans on hemp by threatening to cut-off important aide given to the nation to help with its’ poverty. Nepal is unable to take the risk to start production of hemp and loose its’ foreign aide, because it will be devastating to the people who need the benefits of the aide until profits are realized. I am sure other countries must suffer from similar circumstances, but I personally only have knowledge of Nepal’s situation. It is just common sense to me that if so many people can benefit from a resource that does not cause any more harm than that of alcohol or cigarettes that it should be legal.
“Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.” Albert Einstein. Marijuana being illegal as it is, does nothing but create disrespect toward the law of America. People who smoke marijuana violate the law each time they light up, but feel that they are respecting a natural law of freedom that has been overlooked by early 20th century, old, crony lawmakers. The 21st Amendment should have been written to include marijuana when it speaks of alcohol being allowed to be sold in states. The amount of revenue that can be generated into the American economy and other economies throughout the world would be greatly beneficial rather than allowing black-market lawbreakers to make money. It just comes down to common sense the benefits of legalizing marijuana far exceeds keep it illegal.