Paper: An Argument in Favor of Legalizing Marijuana

Marinol comes in pill form so patients needn't inhale a carcinogen to make them hungry. A study by The National Institutes of Health concluded that smoking marijuana isn't more effective than regular therapies. It is wrong for doctors to have patients figure out for themselves what the correct dosage should be, especially with a drug as impure as marijuana. "Prohibition of marijuana doesn't work. It has only spawned an enormous black market, eroded our civil rights and corrupted our justice system." The Argument: When corn sells for a few dollars a bushel and pot goes for $70,000 a bushel, guess which one cash-strapped midwestern farmers are going to grow? Add to this the fact that you don't exactly need a green thumb to grow basic varieties of marijuana, and the choice gets even easier. Ironically, we've returned to the image of the colonial hemp farmer, though the center of the production is now also the center of the nation: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, lowa, Missouri, Kentucky. Marijuana has replaced corn as America's top cash crop, and is really tough to detect tucked away in fields of corn. A legal regime that turns ordinary farmers into the worst class of offenders (growers) has something deeply wrong with it. The war on drugs will only be won if we're willing to turn our country into a police state, and that is what these draconian laws are doing for us. Owing to a quirk in the law, someone's property can be forfeited even though he's been found innocent in a drug offense. Stiffer sentencing has meant jails overcrowded with drug offenders, forcing the early release of violent criminals - inclluding murderers - to make room for guys who've been handed mandatory life terms without the possibility of parole for their "third strike." America is now the world's greatest jailor nation, with a prison population consisting overwhelmingly of drug offenders....