Marijuana vs Alcohol
This will probably be the most libertarian article on America As Is. First, let me start with my stance on drugs and alcohol. My belief is that all drugs should be legal with the exception of drugs that could cause the user to harm others.
Let us start with alcohol. Personally, I believe that if you can sign up for the United States Military, you should be able to have a beer as well. The problem occurs with the effects of alcohol. The following are short-term effects of alcohol use:
First, we will dissect the problem with these short-term effects. The big two are drowsiness and emotional changes. Although there is no problem with drowsiness itself, it can cause some clumsiness which can lead to mistaken self-harm (falling, walking into something, etc). Emotional changes can, however, cause serious problems. I personally do not care at all if someone hurts themselves from the effects of drinking, it was their choice they knew the risks. I do care about the effects emotional changes can have on that person. Not because it can have an effect on their own safety, but because they can harm others around them. Alcohol increases the likelihood of becoming aggressive. Alcohol can especially have an effect on a relationship. Two thirds of victims of intimate partner violence had reported that their partner had been drinking. Even worse, 40% of convicted murderers had used alcohol during or before the time of their crime.
I do not disagree with the consumption of alcohol, but my belief is that people need to be more responsible prior to consumption.
Now for the discussion about marijuana. My belief is that marijuana can actually be a very beneficial thing, not for people, but for the states. As most of you are probably aware, marijuana is becoming legal in more and more states. The greatest reason I am for the legalization of marijuana is the economic benefits of selling legal marijuana. In 2015 the state of Colorado collected $135 million in taxes from the sales of marijuana. Not only does it have benefits of income, it also creates jobs. A study found that legalization of marijuana will create 41,000 jobs in Nevada. However, marijuana can still disrupt your driving skills. I still think that if you choose to smoke marijuana, you should not drive.
Both marijuana and alcohol should be legal. My conclusion, however, is that due to the outlaw of marijuana for so many years, legalizing it will bring more sales, creating more jobs and tax income for the states. These taxes should then be redistributed into the free market.