There is no doubt that the United States is one of the best countries in the world and many people fight hard to live in this country. There is great food, many touristic places to visit or spend vacation, salaries are higher than in other countries, unemployment rates are low, and in general, the quality of living is better compared to many countries around the world. However, the crime rates are still very high; even in some cities within the country the crime rates are higher than many undeveloped countries.
Given the importance of the country and all the resources that it has, it is incredible that some of the measures to reduce the crime coming from drugs, terrorism, guns, or illegal immigrant policies are not decreasing this high crime rates. This doesn’t mean that all the policies are not working at all, there are some of these policies are actually working well. On the other hand, there are also some other policies that should be modified or improved to reduce crime rates considerably.
After many years of debate, the U.S. government is starting to realize how some of the drug policies introduced lately in the society have reduced crime. One of the most effective drug policy introduced lately was the legalization of marijuana, which reduced violent crime, including homicides. Since 1990, 11 states have legalized medical marijuana. After legalizing marijuana, on these states, they decided to do a research comparing the crime rates in all 50 states from 1990 to 2006. In this research, some experts examined legalization’s effect on homicides, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.
This research showed that after legalizing marijuana, there was no increase of the crime rates. In fact, it showed declines in some form of violence crime, overall homicide and assault crimes. When people take marijuana, the likelihood of being violent decreases, whereas with alcohol, for example, increases violent behaviors. Besides, marijuana is not toxic nor addictive as alcohol or tobacco; in fact, it can have some positive attributes such as medical value. There are laws in 20 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for medical use. Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana for recreational use. About a dozen other states are likely to legalize marijuana in some form in the coming years after proving how this measures decreases the crime in general. By legalizing it, it will not only decrease violent crime, it will also decrease the income that gang members receive for selling this product illegally and it will also increase the income in the agricultural sector by the cultivation of the crops. In addition, within the country, many people break the law because in some states, the government have prohibited the use and domestic production of marijuana, which increases the number of people arrested for breaking the law, thereby, the crime rates for doing harmless behaviors goes up too.
Also, a lot of the arrests for marijuana possession disproportionally affect blacks and Hispanics and reinforce the perception that law enforcement is biased and prejudiced against minorities, which reflects how law enforcement have failed to show that the marijuana laws are affecting everyone in the same way and are fair. Marijuana will be legalized soon in the United States because marijuana users will continue to fight for it until they succeed. Besides, these new drug policies about marijuana are becoming very effective. Although this last policy has a lot of supporters, some people are against it because it is unhealthy if taken excessively, and it will be consumed by more teenagers and used as a recreational drug if it is completely legalized, rather than for only medical use. There are also people against other policies for being considered as ineffective.
Clearly as I will reflect on the next questions, I strongly believe that there is something wrong with the gun policies in this country and I will explain it broader on the next questions. Guns and drugs are not the best possible combination and are the cause of many of the crimes committed within the country, accidentally or not. It is very easy to acquire a gun in this country, depending on the state you get it from. I won’t disagree that guns are useful to hunt and then eat the animals’ meat killed with those guns, and if used for self-defense it could prevent a lot of assaults, burglars, and rapes. However, I don’t that there is more harm coming from guns than benefit. That is why I believe they should control who can have a gun because, at this point, everyone can get a gun and it will easily be used ineffectively and irrationally. Although we are in a good path, there are some policies that really need to be improved and modified like the legalization of marihuana that is being approved in many states and they are realizing how this measure is reducing crime. It is time now to see how banning guns will eventually reduce the crime rates in the country moving towards a safer and better country.