Column: Mexican weed legalization could benefit US
On Nov. 4, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared the ban on the possession and consumption of recreational marijuana unconstitutional, and proceeded to grant some individuals permission to grow it for their personal use. This ruling will eventually bring down marijuana prices, which will force the drug cartels to draw substantial profit only from heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine.
The legalization of recreational weed is not only pivotal for Mexico but also for America. The American government really has two choices: to force the Food and Drug Administration to become even stricter about the prohibition of weed in states that have not legalized it, or—the smarter option—to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.
If the U.S. government chooses the latter, America could help decrease the cartels’ illegal involvement with America’s drug market, and could also give legal American suppliers an advantage over Mexico’s suppliers.
In fact, eliminating demand for weed from Mexico’s drug cartels could mean eliminating more than a fifth of their revenue from America, according to a 2010 report by the RAND Corporation. This is just one of the many ways the American economy can benefit from a ruling similar to Mexico’s.
A colossal amount of our federal budget is wasted trying to punish and incarcerate those found in possession of weed in America today.
This is money that should be allocated toward penalizing criminals guilty of higher-impact crimes. After all, alcohol and tobacco use is legal, and it is no secret that the abuse of these substances put people at great risk for harming others.
A 2015 study published by the journal Scientific Reports even found that marijuana use is 114 times less likely to kill an individual than drinking alcohol.
Really though, most people who have ever been to a party know that.
Now that this information has been confirmed by credible scientific studies, it is laughable that our government still insists on the restriction of this virtually harmless, naturally-occurring plant.
Also, some form of regulation is better than regulation mandated by drug lords.
Mexico’s ruling could also offer further support for California’s probable legalization of recreational marijuana next year.
If it does provide an extra push for one of America’s most influential border states to join in on legalization, the opening of the floodgates for American governmental action will officially be inevitable. The government will be forced to legalize and regulate marijuana, a far superior alternative to the trite fight they are trying and failing to win currently.
America’s ban on recreational marijuana is also implemented as a tool for racial profiling. Select ethnic groups are prone to being searched and charged for possession and consumption more than others.
Should weed be legalized, and everyone allowed to access it freely, the unfortunate but prevalent trend of race being connected to likelihood of involvement with drugs may be diminished.
The current ban on marijuana also infringes on human rights.
Under a secondary legislation of Mexico’s constitution, every individual has the right to seek amusement or gratification in most any way they choose that does not threaten others’ safety. Obviously, prohibiting marijuana is a clear breach of this statute.
Seeing as the U.S. is the nation most linked to democracy, shouldn’t its citizens be allowed the same human rights as the citizens of a country that partly viewed America’s government as a model?
It’s time to enter a new era of decriminalizing marijuana. Too much time, too much money and too many lives have already been lost to its attempted prohibition.
If Mexico’s decision does not influence America to change soon, other countries will not be far behind, sustaining the same pressure.
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