At present, the number one criminal activity of gangs include drug-trafficking of cocaine and marijuana since it an easy money-making scheme. For the past decades, the legalization of marijuana has been the subject of an enduring debate due to its long term effects in society. However, the lawmakers must consider not only the medicinal benefits of cannabis derivatives, but also its economic prospective and how it can affect the law enforcement agencies. Cannabis should be legalized nationwide to give the public the option to take a holistic approach to the illness instead of using addictive prescription drugs, will generate additional tax revenue for the states, and at the same time, allow the law enforcement agencies to spend more time to conduct more important investigations.
The medicinal benefits of marijuana had been proven by scientific research of experts which showed that cannabinoids, the active compounds in marijuana have the ability to relieve pain, nausea, and other debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis and even cancer (Weil 127). Cannabis also carries anti-inflammatory effects and may benefit some patients with inflammatory bowel disease, treating glaucoma or chemotherapy (Monte, et al 241; Ludlum & Ford 37; Mathern & Nehlig 781). Thus, there is truth in medicinal marijuana since the substance can be used to treat several illnesses based on several medical reports. One of the major considerations in the legalization of cannabis nationwide is due to its medicinal benefits and to give the cancer patients the option to take a holistic approach to their illness, rather than using addictive prescription drugs to treat their medical conditions.
Aside from the medicinal effect of marijuana, it shall foster the willingness of the states to look for alternative ways to regulate cannabis businesses as an income generating activity, as against the total prohibition on marijuana which has existed at the federal level for the past decades (Kamin 152). With the passage of marijuana laws among states such as Colorado’s Amendment 64, the law has allowed the doctor’s diagnosis and recommendation to qualify as an exemption from enforcement of the state’s marijuana prohibition laws. This is in accord with the policies of Barack Obama was elected as US President in 2008, who advocated the dynamic change in the enforcement of marijuana laws within the country. With the passing and implementation of Amendment 64 in Colorado, it has been shown that the model worked effectively and economically for the state. The law has allowed the state to generate additional income from marijuana-based businesses by treating these marijuana businesses just like any other small businesses within Colorado.
In effect, other states will now have the liberty to implement their own marijuana tax revenue policies and pursue several drug-prevention programs that will protect the recreational use of the drug. At the same time, legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana will foster cooperation unity and at the local level by designating their own time and place restrictions as shown Colorado (Blake and Finlaw 362). The enactment of the law has given the entrepreneurs a new source of livelihood to meet the growing demand of marijuana users throughout Colorado. In fact, there are those individuals who had been previously considered as illegal “drug dealers” at night were later on transformed to become “small business owners” as they saw the legalization of marijuana as the opportunity to start a business that has unlimited growth potential (Blake & Finlaw 364). Studies also showed that there are now more marijuana shops in Denver than the number of Starbucks coffee shops that operated within the state.
After the passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado which legalized marijuana use, it had paved the way for the grant of an enforcement policy from the U.S. Department of Justice that allowed that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take enforcement actions against some cannabis businesses in other states by determining the state income tax liability based upon federal taxable income of marijuana businesses. During the start of the taxable year 2014, the new law now allowed the state-licensed marijuana businesses to claim a state income tax deduction for business expenses that were eligible to be claimed as a federal income tax deduction, that had been previously disallowed under the Internal Revenue Code including rent and personnel expenses (Blake and Finlaw 372). If the other states will implement their own marijuana laws, they will also earn additional income from marijuana businesses owners.
In another aspect, the legalization of marijuana will also help improve the criminal justice system which had been plagued with drug related incidents, majority of which involve the use and sale of the prohibited substance based on FBI reports. It is also equally important to stress that marijuana should be regulated to prevent the abuse of drug cartels who earn profit from illegal sale of marijuana. By decriminalizing marijuana, the police law enforcement techniques shall no longer be subject to abuse such as the seizure of drugs and justifying the search, and to obtain the testimonies of witnesses and offender (Blumenson and Nilsen 51). Thus, when cannabis legalization will lessen the work of the police wherein the bulk of their work is focused on the arrest and investigation of drug-related offenses.
In conclusion, the legalization of cannabis carries several benefits aside from the medical use of marijuana, it will generate additional tax revenue for the states, and help the police and law enforcement agencies to lighten their work load by focusing on more important cases, aside from conducting investigations on drug-related incidents.
Blake, David, and Jack Finlaw. “Marijuana Legalization In Colorado: Learned Lessons.” Harvard Law & Policy Review 8.2 (2014): 359-380. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
Blumenson, Eric, and Eva Nilsen. “No Rational Basis: The Pragmatic Case For Marijuana Law Reform.” Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 17.1 (2009): 43-82. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Jan. 2016.
Kamin, Sam. “The Road to Legitimizing Marijuana: What Benefit at What Cost?: Medical Marijuana in Colorado and the Future of Marijuana Regulation in the United States.” Mcgeorge Law Review 43.(2012): 147. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
Ludlum, Marty, and Darrell Ford. “Marijuana Legalization in Washington and Colorado: The Tipping Point in Policy and Practical Implications.” Mustang Journal of Law and Legal Studies 6 (2014): 37-51. ProQuest. 6 Jan. 2016.
Mathern, Gary, Astrid Nehlig, and Michael Sperling. “Cannabidiol and medical marijuana for the treatment of epilepsy 55.6 (2014): 781-782. Permalink. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
Monte, Andrew A, Richard D Zane, and Kennon J Heard. “The Implications of Marijuana Legalization in Colorado.” Jama 313.3 (2015): 241-242. Permalink. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.
Weil, Andrew. “The Integrative MD on are There Really Medical Benefits From Marijuana?.” Prevention 67.10 (2015): 127. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.