Should marijuana be legalized on a purely economical basis?

by riccardozhai on September 9, 2013 - 6:25pm

The issue of marijuana legalization/decriminalization in Canada having been brought to public attention recently by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, journalists Tobi Cohen and Andrea Hill of the Vancouver Sun in their article "Not everyone high on pot's economic benefits" thought it appropriate to clarify both sides of the argument concerning this issue on a financial standpoint. The medical aspect of marijuana use/consumption is not treated in the subject article or in this post.


The main argument for legalizing marijuana would be its potential boost to the economy. Tax revenues stemming from the sale of marijuana would increase government capital if illegal marijuana sales were to be eradicated and eliminated completely. The taxes generated in Canada are expected, according to Simon Fraser University economist Stephen Easton, to be on equal footing of that from tobacco sales.

The argument against the legalization of marijuana relates to its non-effect on the economy.Although some believe that marijuana legalization would create jobs, due to the similar nature of marijuana and tobacco products in their production, the mechanization of the tobacco industry is a good example of how human labor has been taken out of the business equation for such industries. Thus, the potential positive economic effect is expected to be minimal. Only the higher ups of tobacco companies would benefit from this.


The ethical principle in favor of legalization of marijuana would be for the greater good of the people. The taxes generated from legalized marijuana sales could be used to better assist those in need. With more monetary power, the government could potentially improve aspects of society that would otherwise remain untouched. The well being of many would thus be improved at no cost from those in need.

However, the legalization of marijuana justified only by the potential tax revenue from it could be viewed as using people as means for profit. The only few that would benefit from marijuana sales on an economic level are the big tobacco companies and the government. Being that the chances for major job creation by a potential marijuana industry are very small, it could be argued that the government would be using their people as means to increase taxes and to increase profits for the tobacco companies.


 In the end, I am in favor of legalizing marijuana on a purely economic basis. I believe that the potential benefits from the hypothetical increase in tax revenue for the government would greatly assist the latter in helping improve society as a whole. Although this could be seen as exploitation of the population to increase tax revenue and profits for tobacco companies, I think that the people have a right to decide for themselves whether or not to procure marijuana at their own expense. It is not exploitation, for the choice remains in the hands of the consumers. Also, the possible benefits from marijuana legalization are far greater than the risk stemming from it.


Cohen,Tobi and Hill,Andrea. “Not everyone high on pot's economic benefits”.Vancouver Sun. September 9th 2013



In my opinion, I could not side with whether it should be legal or not. There are many pros and cons presented to both side of the arguments. As this post represent the benefit of this legalization as economical, it is also said that there is negative consequences and why this drug should not be legalized, but it is not clearly specified why we wouldn't want it to be legal. Your point as been clearly made as it will bring an economical benefice for the society but it also stated that it will not be grandly. If we do legalize marijuana i do believe that the crime rates and substance abuse will get lower but then again it could change. Now if we do accept marijuana will there be more people consume it in an abusive way or the consummation will be less?

I have always thought that marijuana should be legalized, but never really researched about the subject. Based off of this post, I do agree even more about why marijuana should be legalized. It is very well written and informative. But a few things pose as a problem. If marihuana were to be legalized, would it be openly sold in cafés and such to the public for casual, recreational use like in other countries (like Amsterdam) or would one need to have to go to a pharmacist to get it over-the-counter (and the pharmacist would keep track of who buys the marijuana)? Would there be intervention and/or rehabilitation if individuals were to get too addicted to the drug, and it were to be threatening one's livelihood?

The legalization of marijuana in Canada causes a huge debate. In my opinion, I think we should try to legalize it as Netherland did, I assume that it will our economy will benefit from it. My opinion is influenced by the ethical principle of beneficence. I believe, the numbers of drug dealers will reduce, then the violence related to the gang also. My opinion is based on economy, individual freedom, tolerance and flexibility I think the government has to be flexible, but on the other hand, who knows maybe this flexibility will open the door for other drugs. Should we legalized marijuana in Canada as Netherland did ?

The debate on whether or not marijuana should be legalized has often got me to question myself. I would think that for one person who enjoys smoking marijuana once in a while, there's not much of a big deal to make out of it and so, it would be fine for that person to legally buy marijuana. But the truth is that many issues come along if we legalize it. The possibility to abuse of it becomes easily accessible and new health problems will then appear in the society. Moral conflicts may immerge from this, involving some who believe marijuana is a 'dark' drug which leads to a different (or worse) kind of lifestyle and others who believe it's a fun activity. The pros are that, indeed, the legalization of marijuana will benefit the economy of Canada and there will be less crimes done, as in Amsterdam it is. Personally, i am for the legalization of marijuana; as it is not healthy to smoke cigarettes, consumers may have the right to make the choice whether or not to buy marijuana. Marijuana does not make one lose his mind, or not be aware of the time being, as alcohol or stronger drugs do. It is even a medicinal helper if prescribed. This is why the legalization of this substance is a debate. It is important though to ask ourselves; will the legalization of marijuana change drastically the mentality of our society?