Napier- M12

The topic of marijuana legalization has caused deep divisions throughout the country, regardless of political affiliation or ethnicity. Many believe, as Chomsky points out, that marijuana is likely unhealthy and therefore should be banned. From my point of view, this is an honest argument rooted in concern for the well-being of society. Although this may be true, the degree of unhealthiness (if anything at all) should not be up to the government to protect people from though.

As Chomsky credibly states, the legality of tobacco over marijuana is likely due to how much profits certain companies can make off of each crop. With marijuana being so easy to grow (even at northern latitudes), big businesses that typically lobby with billions of dollars for the tobacco industry see it as a threat, and therefore fund legislative actions against legalizing its recreational usage. These actions are all done to keep tobacco a cash crop for certain factions of the economy, and can likely only be fought with pro-marijuana legislation. Places like Alaska and Oregon have already taken local actions, and have shown that positive outcomes can come from responsible legalization. If federally legalized, the tobacco industry will become weakened, and will therefore have a more difficult time propagandizing damaging ads that plague our nation and its youth (e.g., vape pens, e-cigarettes).

Legalization would also give non-violent people in prison who were convicted for marijuana possession another chance at a normal life. Although they may have technically committed a crime when they were sentenced to jail, the fact that Americans from different states are held to various legal standards like this is hypocritical. Once legalized, there would also be less of a need for drug trafficking from places outside of the country. These actions would inevitably lower crime rates around the country, and unless further action is needed down the road, the words (both of warning and support) of Noam Chomsky should be taken seriously as our country moves toward federal legalization.