Living in a politically divided country, it’s important to look at both sides of the story when making decisions. Many say that the legalization of marijuana is an inevitable event, but why should this Schedule One drug be legalized? While many liberals support the legalization of marijuana, Republicans and other conservatives have fought this drug since President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in the early 70s. By flipping Republican ideals on its head, both a monetary and biblical argument can be made for legalizing marijuana. Financially, money can be both saved and generated through the taxation and decriminalization of the drug.
The “War on Drugs” has cost the United States over $800 per second over the last 40 years, totaling up to over a trillion dollars. It’s obvious that with minimal progress made through this spending, the money could have been better used in other areas of the budget. The same ‘sin’ tax used on alcohol and tobacco can also be applied to marijuana to generate lucrative profits. Through Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana, 1.3 billion dollars of sales was pumped into the economy, generating the state government 200 million dollars in revenue. If marijuana was purchased at the same rate in the rest of the United States as it is in Colorado, almost 12 billion dollars could be generated for the state government. Using the 25% yearly growth expected in the United States, tax revenue alone could grow to just under 30 billion dollars in only three years.
This is the potential benefit of a conservative free market, yet most discard the idea of legalizing the drug. Even from a Christian view, outright banning the use of the drug does not line up with biblical values. While the use of marijuana by a Christian can be endlessly debated, a core pillar America was founded on was the separation of church and state. Even if using marijuana as a Christian is immoral, this does not justify legally banning the drug. Consuming alcohol impedes brain function much faster than weed, yet there is no outcry in the 21st century to ban drinking. A multitude of medical uses for marijuana have been found, with many limiting or completely removing the mind-altering effects of recreational use
Most conservatives in the United States are against the legalization of marijuana, but when making a decision, it’s a civic duty to be well informed on the topic. The War on Drugs has cost the United States over a trillion dollars, and marijuana alone has already become a billion-dollar industry in Colorado alone, which represents just over 1/60 th of the country’s population. While it’s debatable if smoking marijuana is justified biblically, free will pushes a hands-off approach to drug regulation even when discarding the separation of church and state. Legalizing marijuana has the potential to bring a number of benefits to the United States, many of which correlating closely to conservative values.