Remember the last time you were able to go through an entire football game without having to see an alcohol commercial or tried not to gag at the cancerous smoke from a cigarette and never once questioned its health and social factor in society? But as soon as you smelled a whiff of the devil weed, a flood of stereotypes and negative thoughts swarmed to mind because that individual smoked pot? According to a 2013 survey from the Pew Research center, almost half of Americans have tried marijuana, and as of now with increasing acceptance, majority from both supporting and opposing sides approve of its legalization. With increasing social acceptance and incarceration rates, legalization of marijuana must occur to keep a market away from being regulated by criminals and in the possession of underage minors. .
While most pot laws across America are becoming more lenient to their policies than they were decades ago, citizens being arrested for marijuana account for half of drug arrests adding to the millions of people incarcerated in prisons and the seven billion dollars the government dumps for prohibition. Most cops of any police department go after pot users (A large amount just for possession!) rather than the real bad guys like street meth, crack/cocaine and heroin. For something like weed which is used wide spread, punishing pot users and chasing after them is more of a waste of time for the police than it is for them to bust an underground meth lab- the drug itself is capable of offering harsher physical effects to the body than pot. With the majority putting emphasis on marijuana, less addicting than caffeine according to multiple studies, one could only imagine how many busts for cocaine could be done if more time was put on tracking down those users and dealers. Colorado and Washington already took their steps in legalization; Colorado opening their first recreation stores at the beginning of the year and made a shattering fourteen million dollars in sales in the first month and distributed millions into tax revenue.