I thought you might be interested in an editorial I wrote for a CNBC special report on marijuana, money and the issue of legalization.

Legalizing Marijuana Not Worth the Costs – CNBC

With the United States still struggling through the recession, state governments are exploring convenient fixes for overcoming massive debts burdening their states.

After years of heavy spending, California, for example, is facing a $42 billion deficit. To address this staggering shortfall, some legislators are proposing the legalization of marijuana to boost tax revenue.

Certainly some states are in dire economic straits; however, we cannot allow social and law enforcement policy to be determined simply by revenue needs. Put plainly, marijuana was made illegal because it is harmful; citing revenue gain as reason to legalize the drug emphasizes money over health and ignores the significant cost burdens that will inevitably arise as a result.

  • John

    Please inform me how is marijuana more harmful than drinking, prescription painkillers, or cigarettes? I would also like to hear your stance on medical marijuana. Furthermore, please show me any historical truth to marijuana, “put plainly” being made illegal because it was harmful.


  • mark

    This article has no merit!! Its written on pure opinion…weak opinion.Marijuana if grown properly could not only be helpful for medical uses it is completely safe for recriational use. The argument of the potential damages it can cause can almost be negated by the use of a vaporizor!! We can use it for fuel,building materials, clothes,food,recreation, and medicine.

  • davidmatthewhennon

    Marijuana was not made illegal because it is harmful, it was illegal because it was a threat to Rockefeller's oil monopoly, William Hearst's investment in timber, the new pharmaceuticals that were coming into medicine. Hemp is another name for marijuana, but for the first part of the article i will be referring to strains with a low amount of THC, about 1% to be conclusive. The fibers from the plant were use to make composite board for construction. Many countries in Europe prefer this building material because hemp's long fibers provide a far better product than natural wood. Also Hemp takes one short growing season (about 4 months) to reach a height of 7 or 8 feet, and in some tropical areas hemp can grow to heights of twelve feet in the same amount of time. Trees take years to grow to that height, the height required varies from tree to tree but the tree used in the production of paper and lumber among other things is on average at least 80 years old. Trees fibers are short and compact not an ideal building material when compared to hemp which has long fibers, when processed into sheathing or dimensional lumber can hold the same (if not more) amount of weight timber is able to bear. Paper is another product that hemp can make and has made. The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and countless quantities of other documents throughout history. Among our hemp-loving founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin established the first paper plant in America. And guess what the raw material was? Yes you guessed it, HEMP. Paper created from timber requires toxic chemicals to make and end product of paper, doing countless damage to the environment. Hemp paper in no way requires the toxic chemicals to produce a paper that has the capability to last long periods of time, for example- The Constitution. Hemp also easily produces 4 times more paper per acre than timber. As i have mentioned before it takes 80 years for a tree to mature to the point it can be used in paper , lumber, etc. Oil, in the past 100 years has become the incentive of war, both international and domestic (ie: “The War on Drugs”). products produced from crude oil have created the global crisis of air pollution, poisoning of the forests and bodies of water, and various ecosystems world-wide. We depend on and even more true now ADDICTED to it. Hemp can produce plastic and fuel, the two main oil products. The fibers can be formed into a plastic that can rival the strength of steel iron. Henry Ford's Model T car had a body made out of hemp plastic as well as the car was created to run on ethanol, a fuel produced from hemp. Not coincidentally, Ford grew this on his estate. Corn can produce ethanol as well, but the process can be fairly costing on the earth to produce a quantity of it. Hemp can produce ethanol in a cleaner manner and produce 10 times more ethanol than corn. Many other petrol-alternative commodities can be made as well, but I will not go further as there is much more to state in contradiction to your mis informed and bias article. As soon as hemp was cultivated, it was used as a recreational drug and an effective medicine. First, I would love to disprove the “evidence” the DEA claims to be backed by science. They claim that marijuana kills brain cells. The “evidence” comes from a long disproved study performed by Dr. Heath. The study took capuchin monkeys and subjected them to trials of marijuana smoke for 5 to 10 minutes. The variable that has since discredited the study and Heath himself was that the monkeys were dawned a gas mask. Then the equivalent of 30 Columbian marijuana joints was pumped into the poor creatures. No oxygen was added for the entire length of the trials. For the length of time the monkeys were subjected to without oxygen in no doubt would lead to the death of brain cells. After the study was discredited, no study on any scale provided any result reminiscent of the atrocity run by Heath. Additionally, some cannabinoids in marijuana may trigger the production of new brain cells. The second “fact” is that it is additive. marijuana can be habituating which means that it can be a habit like chewing pen caps. Chewing pen caps is not an addiction it is simply a way to cope with stress. The same is for marijuana. Although it is habituating, marijuana has no physical dependence.The next piece of “evidence” claims marijuana causes lung cancer. Tobacco causes lung cancer, then why not marijuana. One the chemical compounds vary widely and to add the reason for tobacco causing lung cancer lies in the radioactive fertilizer used in the cultivation of it. And it is proven that radiation has a direct correlation to cancer among other diseases. Marijuana is not cultivated in such a manner, thus marijuana cannot cause lung cancer if any cancer at all. Marijuana is far safer than alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana possesses medicinal qualities that reduce muscle spasms and reduces pain caused by a condition or treatment for the condition. Cancer patients can get relief from chemo, this is also true for patients suffering from AIDs. Marijuana stimulates appetite a quality not found in people with AIDs.
    Why leave it illegal? Why stand by the outdated harmful information of the government? Asa Hutchinson. Now you know

    • Rapslayer

      Alright it’s good hemp but let’s not forget it is good weed. The stuff is a cure and aid for stress, injuries and even bad cells. Why not legalize marijuana which will lower death rates. Not everyone will smoke it just because it is legal and millions more will be forced to get a job as it becomes much better and easily available for a decent price. Marijuana = good, people making it look bad = the devils work

  • Hey Asa… Why don't you tell your readers the truth? Why don't you go ahead and tell them that you help grow and distribute marijuana? After all, your tax dollars fund the U.S. Government's secretive medical Cannabis program. Your tax dollars help the feds cultivate and supply medical marijuana to several patients. You should the book published by one of those patients, “Prescription Pot”. You can get it at Don't you remember, the book that you and your buddy Christopher Battle tried to cover up through surreptitious tactics? You are nothing more than a paid liar. And everyday, more and more people are aware of this.

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