Why not legalize pot?

Among the many debates going on in the US today, the legalization of recreational marijuana is one of the largest.

With Colorado legalizing marijuana retail and opening stores at the beginning of the new year, the question has been raised: should marijuana be available to the public for recreation? A new poll conducted by CNN/ORC says that 55 percent of the population says yes.

I am one of the 55 percent, not because I am a recreational “pot-smoker,” but because I believe it is something that our country could legitimately benefit from. Here are three reasons why I think the United States, as a country, should legalize marijuana (as a recreational drug).

First of all, think about how much the government is able to tax on things such as tobacco and alcohol. The same thing can happen with marijuana. People would buy it and the government could potentially pay down national debt from the amount of money they would make from taxing the product.

Secondly there are statistics that show marijuana smoke is less harmful than tobacco smoke and alcohol. Statistics say that around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning and 400,000 deaths are related to tobacco smoke each year. Comparing those stats to nontoxic marijuana that is impossible to overdose on makes marijuana look harmless.

And come on, people are going to do it anyway. If you think only drug addicts and criminals smoke marijuana, you are sadly mistaken. It is the third most popular recreational drug in the US, only behind alcohol and tobacco. Statistics say 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year and 14 million do so on a regular basis, even if it is illegal.

So, why not? The government could potentially pay down some of that national debt we’ve acquired over the years. Marijuana is less harmful than the vices Americans have deemed “acceptable” and, come on, people are going to do it anyway.

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