16628 Ennis Trail,
Austin, TX, 78717
Dear future President,
I am writing to you about a pressing issue concerning our future and who we want to be as a country. The criminalization of Marijuana in most states across the country has torn apart families, lost us billions of dollars, and made it impossible for people such as veterans to have much needed medical relief. There is no good reason that has not been debunked for why the herb has not been legalized. I believe we should decriminalize Marijuana for recreational and medical purposes across the country, as it being illegal is against our core American values such as personal freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.
Just looking from a financial standpoint, allowing the use of Marijuana medically and recreationally is the right thing to do. So far in this country, 4 states and the District of Columbia have legalized Marijuana in all forms. All of these states and D.C. are thriving because of this decision. Take Colorado for example, one of the states that authorize the use of the herb. In 2015 only, the pot industry created 18,000 jobs and 2.4 BILLION dollars in economic activity! The state government also raked in $121 million dollars in taxes on the herb. That is just one average size midwestern state. Think of what the numbers could be if Marijuana was legalized nationwide? We are 19.5 trillion dollars in debt. We need a revenue booster fast, and Marijuana is exactly that. The time to legalize the herb is now.
The legalization of Marijuana would not just our economy, it will help our unsung heroes and defenders. Our American veterans use medical Marijuana to help them heal from the scars both mentally and physically they bring home after fighting for our rights. In fact, Marine and TV star Drew Carey said, "I think it's clear by now that the federal government needs to reclassify marijuana.People who need it should be able to get it - safely and easily” .Carey served our country and is now a trailblazer in the entertainment industry. This man knows what he is talking about. Although veterans are a beneficiary from this herb, medical Marijuana use goes beyond just returning soldiers. Medical use of pot can lessen side effects from Hepatitis C, improves symptoms of Lupus, slows down Alzheimer’s, and helps combat many other diseases. SNL star and stand up comedian Pete Davidson uses medical Marijuana to help with his Crohn’s Disease. When asked about how this usage helped him, he says, “My stomach would be in pain all day and I wouldn't be able to eat, but then I'd smoke and I can eat and do my shows, I wouldn't be able to do SNL if I didn't smoke weed. I wouldn't be able to do anything, really.” If Marijuana has all these great effects to help people, why are we banning it? If you support the welfare of our veterans and the rest of our country, you should support the legalization of Marijuana.
One main point people who are against the use of Marijuana legally make is that “Marijuana is harmful to the body, we do not want to poison our youth.” This argument is flat out wrong. Although pot has the capacity to do some minor harm to the body, like memory problems and an accelerated heartbeat, the pros, like disease relief stated above, totally outweigh the cons. Also, if we were to ban the herb because it is dangerous, why do we not do the same for EVERY harmful substance? Many scientists have said Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes, why haven't we banned those yet? We can not selectively prohibit substances based on how we feel about them. Also, we have already tried to outlaw a taboo substance. America tried to ban alcohol, and look where that got them. No one stopped using alcohol. The only result of Prohibition was that more people were unjustly thrown in jail, similar to what is happening today.
The criminalization of Marijuana has, above all, ruined lives and torn apart families. In 2013, more people were arrested for Marijuana related crimes than ALL violent crimes combined. In 2014, nearly 701,000 people were arrested for pot related crimes. Any of these people could have changed our world. They could have been leaders, innovators, reformers. We will never know, because them being in jail effectively ends any possibility of what they could have done with their life. The hurt does not end there though. These people who were jailed family’s lives have also been torn part. So many missed birthdays, weddings, funerals, all because of an unjust law. It is time to end the pain, and legalize marijuana.
This issue gets worse as the minutes go by. We do not have the luxury to sit back and wait. The solution to this growing problem of the criminalization of Marijuana is right in front of us.We need to decriminalize and legalize, the herb, as it being legalized is core to our American values. Legalize it, not just because it benefits our economy, or because it helps the best of America. Make Marijuana legal because it is the right thing to do. We mustn’t wait. The time for action is now.