Im not saying let's let everyone just run wild and smoke crazy, I'm saying we put restrictions on it, like alcohol has. The government taxes it, sells it, possibly allow civilians to apply for license to grow and sell it and controls it. Not only will it create jobs, it will help stimulate the economy in a way many didn't think was possible.
As of the time I am writing this, at 4:52 CST on 7/21/2011 we have spent $22,799,993,774 on the war on drugs. Taken from the FBI of Uniformed Crime Reports “Police arrested an estimated 858,408 persons for cannabis violations in 2009. Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent were charged with possession only. An American is arrested for violating cannabis laws every 30 seconds.”
Research studies have shown that we would yield approximately $8.7 billion in tax revenue if marijuana was taxed and treated as alcohol and tobacco. The government would save money in the three main following areas; the reduction of expenditures of police resources from eliminating drug arrests; the reduction in prosecutorial and judicial resources from eliminating drug prosecutions; and the reduction in correctional resources from eliminating drug incarcerations. Other savings in government expenditure might result from legalization, but these are minor or extremely difficult to estimate with existing data. Roughly 50% of all arrests made against people for the possession of marijuana are done so with no other criminal activity involved.
FBI reports from 2009 state that marijuana costs the US tens of billions of dollars every year. Possession violations account for $2.15 billion a year. The numbers hike when talking about drug violations, which accounts for $9.64 billion dollars a year. Why are we wasting all this money on a drug that is LESS harmful than our legal drugs NON-prescribed drugs?
We can also make supplies from cannabis, the possibilities are endless. Let's stop thinking small and start thinking big.