Cannabis Prohibition: A Logical Perspective Argumentative Essay

Cannabis Prohibition: A Logical Perspective
Evaluates current U.S. drug policy regarding cannabis prohibition by analyzing its historical context, sociopolitical implications and philosophical tenets.
# 151668 | 2,345 words | 15 sources | 2009 | US

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This paper argues that the U.S. government drug control policy for cannabis should act according to the greatest collective utility by placing priority on reducing crime, disease and death, not on marginalizing drug users as it does now. Next, the author explains that the current cannabis policy is ineffective, prejudicial and impractical; therefore, it should be entirely re-designed, starting with decriminalization and rescheduling of personal use. The paper recommends the approach of the Netherlands, where cannabis use is legal, and which has lower rates of casual and habitual cannabis use, of incarceration and of homicide than the U.S. MLA-style references are to be found in the footnotes of this paper.

Table of Contents:
Cannabis Prohibition is ineffective
Cannabis Prohibition is Prejudicial
Cannabis Prohibition is Impractical

From the Paper:

"Cannabis prohibition is ineffective insofar as the cost of its programs seems to negatively correlate with their impact on national marijuana trends, both in use and distribution. Despite the volume of money and resources --including an estimated budget of $8 billion annually --devoted to the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, use among the populace is on the rise, and has been consistently so since the 1920s. Meanwhile, the trafficking industry is more lucrative than ever, with a competition pool that gets smaller as the DEA grows larger, state-controlled supply buttressed by ever-growing demand, no regulation of any sort, and a bottomless budget. Something clearly is awry.
"Simply put, current cannabis policy by and large does more harm than it does good. It labels and marginalizes a large subset of society, creates and perpetuates black markets, and adds to the ever-expanding prison population by imposing ever-broadening sanctions, thus irrevocably ravaging the lives of already struggling individuals, their families, and their communities. While prohibitionists claim that marijuana use instigates crime, it is in fact the criminalization itself which creates a class of criminal offenders akin to the speakeasy patrons of the early 20th century, arbitrarily stigmatized a la scapegoat in the name of the social dismay of the bourgeoisie."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2006), 'Cannabis: Why we should care', World Drug Report 1, ISBN 9-2114-8214-3,, p. 14
  • Walton, Robert P. (1938). Marijuana, America's New Drug Problem. J. B. Lippincott
  • John Stuart Mill. 'On Liberty', Oxford University,
  • Nadelmann, Ethan. 'Commonsense Drug Policy', Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 1998; 77(1)
  • Blackley, Paul, & Shepard, Edward. 'The Impact of Marijuana Law Enforcement in an Economic Model of Crime', Journal of Drug Issues, Spring 2007, Vol. 37 Issue 2

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Cannabis Prohibition: A Logical Perspective (2012, August 27) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Cannabis Prohibition: A Logical Perspective" 27 August 2012. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>