Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized

Essay by Krystyna_06University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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Persuasive Speech Outline

Did you know that marijuana is the most frequently used drug in the United States? According to the National Institute on Drug Use, sixty-nine million Americans over the age of twelve have tried marijuana at least once. The average age of trying marijuana was fourteen years old.

A. Now, as you all know, marijuana is illegal. So, therefore, if you get caught smoking, growing, selling, or trafficking marijuana you go to jail or even sometimes prison. The majority of the two million U.S. prisoners that are incarcerated are due to drugs. In other words, we have to build more prisons and jails to hold the real criminals because the majority of the prisons are full with drug offenders.

B.The money that it takes to house these potheads, build these prisons, and pay for the staff to baby-sit them is coming out of our pockets - the working taxpayers.

C.An enormous amount of money is being spent each year on incarcerating non-violent and otherwise law-abiding citizens. Not including the money spent on prison management and construction. The DEA now spends $1.3 billion a year "fighting" marijuana. Overall, federal anti-marijuana efforts have cost taxpayers $30 billion. The result: $2 billion worth of cannabis being seized and destroyed, 4 million people being arrested, and 250,000 individuals being jailed for more than one year - but no basic change in usage patterns from the 1960's. Is it worth it?

D.Our taxes are being raised for marijuana users when that money could be used to build schools, playgrounds, and facilities that could be used for our families to benefit from instead of housing potheads.


A. Putting a pothead in jail for a marijuana crime, creating a felon who harms no one but his own health, imposes no threat to society,