Cost of Drug Use journal article by Roberto a. Trevino, Alan J. Richard (2002); in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, reveals that the cost of drug use and abuse, especially marijuana, is expensive to the country. "Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug, used by 81% of current illicit drug users. Approximately 60% of current illicit drug users used only marijuana, 21% used marijuana and another illicit drug, and the remaining 19% used an illicit drug but not marijuana in the past month. Therefore, about 40% of current illicit drug users in 1998 (an estimated 5.4 million Americans) were current users of illicit drugs other than marijuana and hashish (p. 91)." Considering for a moment the cost associated with policing, rehabbing, educating and all other areas of anti-drug use proactive approaches; this translates into a huge cost to the taxpayer in attempting to help young people - and older people - see the opportunities beyond drug use.
The spread of legalized drug use in countries around the world is alarming; especially in places like Holland, where the impact of that legalized use is now becoming a common sight on the streets of the major cities in the country, and one which has been shown on numerous documentaries and news programs. In the UK, debates are taking that country closer and closer to the legalized use of marijuana (Lowry, 2001). Still, the United States resists jumping on the bandwagon due to pressure by a minority of the population. To this end, anti-drug advocates are criticized, but the efforts to keep marijuana illegal in the United States continue to be successful.
Still, research shows that the move to legalize marijuana is picking up both support and momentum (Nadelmann, 2004). Whether or not the anti-drug lobby in the United States will persevere cannot be predicted.
The arguments for legalizing marijuana in the United States is not as weighty as those arguments against it. Public opinion weighs heavy on the scales of justice and law making, therefore if the lobby to legalize marijuana is successful in converting people to their perspective, they might be successful in eventually reversing the law. The hope is that this will not occur, since it is more important than ever that there be as few distractions to a young person's education as possible. It is important, too, to decrease the potential for public harm at the hands of a person whose thinking is impaired by marijuana use. It is important to acknowledge that enough is not known about the use of marijuana, and there is no reason why exploring that scientifically or socially through publicly funded studies would be useful. Marijuana is not essential to the quality of individual life and the pursuit of happiness; and it should not be legalized.
Lowry, Richard. "Weed Whackers - the Anti-Marijuana Forces, and Why They're Wrong." National Review 20 Aug. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5002408640.
Marijuana Not a Medicine; Illicit Drug No Source for Treatment." The Washington Times 9 June 2005: A21. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009552477.
Matter of Choice." The Register-Guard (Eugene, or) 5 Oct. 2005: A12. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5011238476.
Nadelmann, Ethan a. "An End to Marijuana Prohibition: The Drive to Legalize Picks Up." National Review 12 July 2004: 28. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5009355870.
Trevino, Roberto a., and Alan J. Richard. "Attitudes towards Drug Legalization among Drug Users." American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 28.1 (2002): 91+. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000711797.
U.N. Report Rebuts Arguments for Legalizing Pot; Puffing for Fun Is Frowned on; Medical Use Merits More Study." The Washington Times 27 Feb. 2002: A12. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5000710352.
The War on Drugs; Will Legalizing Drugs Put an End to the Black Market." The Washington Times 15 Apr. 2003: A19. Questia. 4 Dec. 2007 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001910274.