Marijuana as a Resource Could Blow Our Economy Out of its Recession

Discussion in 'Legalization and Activism' started by htc, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. The following is an informative speech I gave in my Public Speaking class a few weeks ago. I was nervous as to the reaction of my audience, but was applauded when I finished. Periodically through my speech I noticed my professors eyes bugging out in amazement.

    I know it's kind of long, but it deserves to be read. Take a few minutes to read it, and when you are finished, pick your jaw up off the floor and post a comment.

    Introduction:
    • Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” - JFK
    • You may have your own opinion, but I'm thinking...
    • Isn't that kind of the opposite reason this country exists?
    • The Americas exist as its own union because the English Parliament wouldn't do anything for its people living across the Atlantic.
    • Their taxes were collected, but they had no representation to the English government.
    • The American Revolution followed their time of hardship.
    • Everyone knows the economy is down.
    • This is our time of hardship.
    • With a new president in office, I think it is about time we ask our government what it'll do for us.
    • People like you and I are suffering because we are low on funds, or even unemployed.
    • Major businesses have had to utilize taxpayer money through government bailouts.
    • Gas is expensive as it is and fuel costs are only rising.
    • President Obama has a plan to stimulate the economy, it is estimated to cost 800 billion dollars.
    • Where will this money come from? Higher taxes?
    • What resources do we have at our disposal? Offshore drilling, Alaskan oil fields?
    • We need something that we could maintain domestically to increase revenue.
    • What about a revision to the way our money is spent?
    • I have a proposition that could take care of both to help Obama in his effort to stimulate the economy.
    • I believe that a revision of Marijuana laws and the redirection of taxes spent on its prohibition could relieve and generate more funds than you think.
    • This is not a new topic, and has been the source of debate for longer than I've been around.
    • I believe that it's time for a change.
    • I have researched the topic for use in medicine, alternative fuels, other possible goods and have compared that to it's dangers and health issues.
    • This has been a subject of interest of mine for the past 4 or 5 years.
    • I believe that through decriminalization, legalization, medical review, acceptance, sale, and taxation of Marijuana as a resource to gain revenue I believe that we could take a step toward better times.

    Body:
    I. The War on Drugs
    • About $4.6 trillion has been spent on the "War on Drugs" since Reagan, over the last 8 years of Bush's direction of our nation, he sank over 2 trillion, 70 billion dollars of taxpayer money into the “war on drugs” effort.
    • This effort continues to collects roughly $600 every second.
    • 42 billion dollars annually and growing. That's what our current marijuana laws cost American taxpayers each year, according to a study by researcher Jon Gettman, Ph.D.
    10.7 billion dollars in direct law enforcement costs, and 31.1 billion dollars in lost tax revenues. And that may be an underestimate.
    • Marijuana is responsible for 45 percent of all drug arrests.
    • 750,000 arrests each year solely for marijuana related crimes.
    • That's 1 every 38 seconds.
    • Most people assume that law enforcement agencies focus on kingpins, drug lords big cartels. But, of the 872,000 arrests in 2007 for marijuana-related offenses, almost 90 percent were for simple possession of the dried vegetation in question.
    oThe typical arrestee is younger than 30.
    - Think college-age kid caught lighting up a joint. Now, multiply that by 738,916. There's your “War on Drugs”.
    • By comparison, there were 611,523 arrests last year for all violent crimes combined.
    • 750,000 prisoners per year costing taxpayers 337 billion dollars. Money down the drain.
    • According to the Schaffer Library of Drug Policy, it costs approximately $450,000 to put a single drug dealer in jail. This cost includes the costs of arrest, conviction, room, and board.

    II. The Dangers of Marijuana
    • The plant is less addictive and dangerous than cigarettes or alcohol.
    • Tobacco causes more deaths per year than any other drug, illicit or otherwise.
    o It's is known to cause cancer, it's written on the box
    • Alcohol causes sclerosis of the liver and birth defects.
    • Not one documented case has ever been attributed to Marijuana.
    • Caffeine is lethal at 10,000mg.
    • Cocaine is legal at 1000 mg.
    • Heroin is lethal at 120-350 mg.
    • Nicotine is lethal at 60 mg.
    • Take a bottle of Tylenol and it will be your last headache.
    • Marijuana is not lethal at any dose.
    • Not one death has been recorded due to the use of marijuana for recreational or medical use.
    • According the DEA's Chief Administrative Judge, "Marijuana is probably the safest therapeutically active substance known to man, it is safer than many of the foods we commonly eat."

    III. Marijuana as a Resource
    • Marijuana is one of man kind's oldest medicines.
    • Ancient Chinese herbalists directed its use for stomach pains, menstrual cramps, and consumption.
    • Marijuana and it's derivatives were used by Queen Victoria for menstrual cramps.
    • In the late 1800's many medicines included marijuana or for treatment of insomnia, loss of appetite from tuberculosis, and tooth ache.
    • More modern uses include treatments for glaucoma, chemo therapy, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, nausea from chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
    • Medical benefits aren't the only advantage of using marijuana or hemp as a resource.
    • Marijuana produces fibers which are ideal for ropes, cloth, and paper products.
    o The fiber is unusually strong, soft, absorbent and cheap to produce.
    • If we grew marijuana solely for paper production, we could completely eliminate cutting forests for paper.
    o Marijuana produces eighty times as much usable fiber per acre as a comparable stand of forest.
    • Marijuana can produce several different kinds of fuel
    • In the 1800's and 1900's hemp seed oil was the primary source of fuel in the United States, commonly used for lamps and other energy needs.
    • Rudolf Diesel designed the diesel engine to run various oils, especially hemp seed oil because assumed that it would be the most common fuel.
    • Marijuana is also the most efficient plant for the production of methanol.
    • It is estimated that, in one form or another, marijuana grown in the United States could provide up to ninety percent of the nation's entire energy needs.
    • Why not utilize this resource, it obviously won't go away. I think it would be wise to use it for gain.
    • Marijuana in the United States is currently a 113 billion dollar business.
    o That's a huge chunk of economic activity that is almost entirely off the books.
    • Government officials love to characterize those in organized crime as unsavory at best.
    • But they ignore the fact that our prohibitionist laws handed them the marijuana business, effectively giving gangs and dealers a $113 billion free ride.
    • The revenue we'd eventually gain if marijuana were regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco(would be at the least $6.2 billion.
    o Not to mention depriving the black market of a huge chunk of it's current assets.
    • Who knows how much revenue could be generated from the use of hemp for its oils and fibers?
    • Legalization would also free up the added resource of working bodies to fill jobs and make their own contribution to society.
    • More jobs mean more people with more money in their pockets, spending more money, and that means more money taxed going to the government.
    • This means more available funds to support (THIS IS THE KEY) legitimate government actions.

    IV. Why Marijuana is Illegal
    • In 1937 marijuana became the victim of prohibition by bureaucrat Harry J. Anslinger.
    • Anslinger was a top DEA agent who took office in the federal bureau of narcotics.
    • His active campaign of marijuana propaganda throughout the 30's was based around marijuana causing sex and murder.
    • Along side publisher William Randolph Hurst, Anslinger went as far as to link marijuana to immorality, perversion, insanity, suicide, brutality, murder, aggressive, and violent and predatory crime sex crimes.
    • Marijuana was blamed during a 1920's crime wave in New Orleans.
    • In the southwest, economics and prejudice during the great depression inspired the use of marijuana as a scapegoat to drive once-useful Mexican migrant workers out of the country in the early 30's.
    • Anslinger was so dramatic with his propaganda that scared citizens of the great depression were easily convinced to stay away from this “killer drug”.
    • Roosevelt signed Anslinger's Marijuana Tax Act august 2nd, 1937.
    o Based on a similar law called The National Firearms Act, in which one could not give, borrow, or transfer a machine gun without a machine gun transfer stamp. The stamps were purposely not made available.
    o In order to use, distribute, sell or transfer marijuana you had to have a tax stamp, but in order to get the stamp you had to be in possession of the marijuana, thereby violating the law itself.
    • Since 1937, 20 million have been arrested on marijuana charges.
    • Timothy Leary argued that the law was unconstitutional it was overturned by the Supreme Court.
    o In 1970 the controlled substance act re-illegalized marijuana and other drugs.

    Conclusion:
    • To reiterate my point, the one thing I want you to remember if you remember anything from this...
    • Through decriminalization, legalization, medical review, acceptance, sale, and taxation of Marijuana as a resource to gain revenue we can free 603 billion, 85 million dollars of taxpayer money and add at least 6.2 billion dollars of revenue annually to help toward APPROPRIATE government funding.

    II. Closing Statements
    • What could've our government done with 2,083,200,000,000 dollars over the past 8 years?
    • We could give every one of our current teachers a 30 percent raise,(at a cost of $15 billion, according to the American Federation of Teachers.)We could use what's left to take a $27 billion whack out of the federal deficit.
    • Or use all $42 billion for a massive tax cut that would put an extra $140 in the pockets of every person in the country -- $560 for a family of four.
    • It's our vote. You decide.

    Bibliography:
    1. http://war-on-drugs.suite101.com/article.cfm/financial_cost_of_the_war_on_drugs
    2. http://cannazine.co.uk/cannabis-new...-america-s-$42-billion-annual-boondoggle.html
    3. http://www.druglibrary.net/schaffer/Library/basicfax.htm
    4. History Channel, Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way
    5.
    http://www.adrich.com/OPNArchive/Opn2001/Sep01opn.htm
    6. http://news.cnet.com/8601-11128_3-9...=2069&targetCommunityId=2069&messageId=741825
     
  2. [​IMG]
    +rep

    Great, solid and strong. Except I'm sort of wondering why you didn't include the amount of people use marijuana, how many billions are spent on buying it each year, and what that could mean in potential terms of tax revenue As well as the benefits of regulation.
     
  3. Well shit dude, I'm convinced! Seriously though, you're right, it is a long read but well worth the time. Thank you.
     
  4. This good sir is a master peice send that to the president lol
     
  5. The population of marijuana smokers in the United States escaped me as an information to include... I wish I had thought to use it in my speech...

    But the rest of the info was in there... somewhere

    ... ahh here it is:
    • Marijuana in the United States is currently a 113 billion dollar business.
    • The revenue we'd eventually gain if marijuana were regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco(would be at the least $6.2 billion.
    • Who knows how much revenue could be generated from the use of hemp for its oils and fibers?

    Thanks to everyone for the +reps!

    I am thinking about writing a letter to our president, congressmen, and other assorted officials; but as legalization is high (giggle) on my list I also would like to open their eyes to wasted govenment spending, inflation and more.
     
  6. please email/mail this to our president, thank you.
     
  7. Dude you got it man! +rep big time. I've tried explaining it to my friends and what not, here are a few ideas of what I came up with as well:

    -the fast food industry would sky rocket with the legalization; everyone would have the munchies and spend their time buying food. This also includes grocery stores

    -the oil industry would go up because everyone would be driving to get the food

    -the glass ware industry would go up because more people would buy bongs and pipes

    -entrepenuers with all sorts of crazy ideas would open up shops: marijuana bars (like hookah bars), etc. Tons of ideas out there

    What do yall think?
     

  8. The problem with those arguments is, they are merely subjective and prone to not being taken as seriously as cold hard data.
     

  9. Damn...I didn't think about that...but theoretically that is true, right?
     
  10. very well done, +rep
     
  11. #12 RAGE78XT4, Mar 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2009
    fuck i wish id done that back in school

    well done buddy!

    you've made me want to buy some cannabis!

    it's my day of tommorow and i want to get high!

    oh shit, im skint and an 8th costs £20.

    just legalise it already so i can get high everyday of the god damned week.

    peace

    Edit: ive been contemplating the perfect slogan for cannabis lately.

    ' legalise cannabis, it will single handedly save the planet. '
     
  12. Bravo, very well written! you did your homework an I even learned some new things from this! +rep
     
  13. You assume marijuana use would increase... there is no evidence to suggest that.. though we don't have good models to compare it to because marijuana is illicit everywhere. Though you can look at alcohol prohibition, during which alcohol poisoning went up 600%.. If anything use would go down or stay the same.

    I agree with your last point, though.
     
  14. What the fuck? That' girls hand is half-black and half-white
     
  15. what the fuck lol

    have you ever seen a black person before?

    they are all like that
     


  16. lol, I know I just wanted to see how someone would respond to that. :smoke:
     
  17. hahaha. That was too damn funny.
     
  18. I don't know about the oil industry (petroleum) itself, but the alternative fuel industry should boom as hemp seed oil is a profound fuel source itself.
    ...everyone is trying to go green these days. :eek:

    When you say glassware industry, I think about dishes and stuff... Looking back I see this is clearly not what you meant.:eek:

    I don't think I would put much stake in some of my half-baked ideas. I can't rule out all of them, but they typically don't sound as appealing as they did when I was high off my ass.

    I think the frequency of violent crimes would go down, can't we all just get abong?
    I've always said you don't hear about a stoner going home and beating his wife.

    But you are right, there could be many indirect advantages to the legalization of marijuana. But as these are only possibilities, I could not justify arguing on thier behalf.

    ...I do wonder about the productivity of Americans and citizens of other countries who legalize marijuana. This would be one aspect I'd like to watch (how, I don't yet know).
    Has marijuana always been legal in Amsterdam? Did their productivity level fluctuate?
    I know that if I don't smoke too much I tend to be more active. Maybe I was smoking some sativa? I never know alot about the smoke I get, it's usually just regs.
     
  19. You're high right now aren't you!
     

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