This is the amount spent annually in the U. Number of people arrested in 2011 in the U. The number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2011: 757,969. Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000. These numbers are only escalating, while we could be spending the resources on beneficial improvements for our country.
Marijuana is undoubtedly the most popular illicit drug used in America. While some use it for its medical benefits, it is largely for its recreational purposes. And while there is a continuous use of marijuana and other illegal substances, there is a continuous War on Drugs, in effect by the government. In California alone, "it is estimated that pot is the largest cash crop in California, with annual revenues approaching $14 billion." Along with the profit of this illegal cash crop, there is an ongoing of drug lords and violence that coincides with the illegal trading of drugs. The war on drugs is an expensive battle, as a great deal of resources go into catching those who buy or sell illegal drugs on the black market, prosecuting them in court, and housing them in prison. Ever since the 1970's, the government has spent so many decades on the War on Drugs, without sufficient results, and it may be time for a new approach.
While the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana are abundant, there are many religious and ethical arguments against the legalization of marijuana. Many people are concerned with the effects it will have on this country; "There are those who believe - with some good reason - that the accretion of legalized vices is debilitating, that we are a less virtuous society since gambling spilled out from Las Vegas to "riverboats" and state lotteries across the country" (www.time.com.) Many are also concerned with the potential rise of violence that would occur if marijuana were legalized.