There is no doubt about it, the war on drugs is an expensive battle. According to www.drugsense.org the U.S. government spends about $600 per second on this fight. A fight that includes catching offenders, prosecuting them and housing them once found guilty.
With sixty seconds in a minute, and sixty minutes in an hour, and twenty four hours in a day, and three hundred and sixty five days in a year, the bill for the war on drugs can get pretty steep. It’s somewhere right around $19 billion dollars, actually a little bit more. But who’s counting? Where else does all this money come from but your trusty wallet. That’s right you, as a law abiding citizen of this society, foot the bill to keep our streets safer and cleaner.
Most of these drugs are dangerous and harmful. I mean they’re illegal for a reason, right? But what about the most common one, the most commonly used drug out there is marijuana. Correspondingly, its the most prosecuted drug as well, in fact the pleasures drawn from the little cannabis plant account for nearly half of all drug busts.
Remember that bill above, the 19 billion something something? If we could cut that in half, would we?
What exactly are the effects of marijuana? This question often times leads into the age old, good old American philosophical question, should we legalize marijuana?
The financial benefits are overwhelmingly clear. Not only would we save money by not prosecuting and housing offenders but we could turn around and make money and put that money to a better use. That’s right we could funnel money into our government and beneficial social programs to better society by legalizing the reproduction and selling of marijuana.
The average street pirce for a gram of marijuana runs anywheres from $15-20. The cost to produce it, $3-4. Anyone can see the potential profits here. In fact, that’s why many kids are drawn to it. Sometimes it just comes down to business.
Of course if marijuana were legal the ocosts would naturally decline over time as overall production increased. But it was legal and taxed the amount of money made off weed would be astronomical and therefore difficult to accurately estimate.
But, keeping in mind the $21 billion plus tobacco revenue of last year, one has to consider, would legalization of this little green plant be that bad? I mean, after all, you can put a price on anything, right?
So, lets be hypothetical, just say marijuana were legal. (hypothetical is the equivalent to imaginary or not real, for those of you that forgot) What are some of the side effects to this pleasure enhancing drug?
The main chemical in marijuana is THC. The brain contains protein receptors that bind to THC and as a result set off a series of cellular reactions, also know as, being high, baked or stoned. The most receptive parts of the brain influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory, time perception, and coordinated movements. So, that rules out driving. Finally drunk driving has found a partenr in crime; baked driving.
If these are the effects of marijuana than we can not seriously allow smokers to drive while under the influence. So we must regulate that, which in turn costs money, and just may very well bite into all the dough we saved by legalizing the stuff.
Other health effects include higher blood pressure and a raised heart rate which encourages heart attacks. And, of course there are negative repercussions as far as the lungs and respiratory system are concerned. After all, you’re still inhaling smoke into your body, no matter how “natural” it is. And, marijuana use can inhibit your immune system and make you more prone to common and not so common illnesses.
Is marijuana worse than tobacco or alcohol? That’s debatable. All of the side effects I cited above are similar to those deterrents of these two legal drugs. In fact, some believe that both carry more baggage than cannibis and that the health risks are not a good enough reason to regulate it with johnny law.
Of course, most of those people enjoy surfing the web, playing video games, and munching on doritos all day. But who’s to judge?