Legalizing Marijuana is the solution, not the problem. Many people believe that smoking marijuana is a criminal act that should be rooted out and punished at every opportunity. A considerable amount of police time is spent rounding up peaceful people who enjoy smoking marijuana rather than on chasing real criminals who engage in violent crimes and pushing hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. It is time for American society to grow up and realize that marijuana can and should be regulated for recreational use. This mature approach would end the needless criminalization of thousands of innocent people and it would have a number of other benefits to society as a whole. Legalizing marijuana is the solution, and not the problem.
Already in the medical domain there is some scope for legal use of marijuana under supervision. There are physical and psychological benefits of smoking marijuana for those suffering from a number of painful and distressing diseases. Much like alcohol, marijuana relaxes the muscles and creates a sense of well-being. When it is processed in a professional way and distributed legally, it causes no social problems. Any negative effects from smoking marijuana arise from the fact that it is prepared by unqualified people and sold in unregulated fashion on the streets. Prices and quality are difficult to control, and this creates risk for both buyers and sellers. Most seriously of all, the illegal status of the drug encourages gangs to become involved , and this in turn makes violence more likely. All of this would vanish overnight if marijuana were to be legalized.
The legalizing of marijuana does not mean that it should be handed out to anyone, and especially young people,whenever they want it. A responsible, legal sales regime, with appropriate minimum age requirements, would ensure that the vulnerable are protected. It is time to end the prohibition of marijuana, just as we did for tobacco and alcohol. Legalizing marijuana solves a multitude problems and it is time for the state to carry out its duty of care for the people, rather than abandoning them to the unregulated markets of the streets.