Federal law enforcement agencies can be more effective and efficient if they weren't required to devote so much of their time to looking for, apprehending, and incarcerating marijuana users and people who sell only that product.
Prisons would be more effective and efficient if they didn't have to house and feed millions of "criminals" whose only crime was possession of an ounce of a completely natural and ancient herb.
The justice system would be more effective and efficient if they didn't have to spend such an insane amount of time processing people who possess or buy only marijuana.
The arguments for legalization and taxation of marijuana are made so often these days that it is easy to tune out proponents. But the issue bears repeating if only for the "um, DUH" nature of the concepts behind them. So, here it is again for those who have not been paying attention.
Alcohol prohibition didn't work for the obvious reason that people like to drink. It feels good and is fun, if you like that sort of thing. Not everyone does, but some do and that's fine.
To obtain alcohol during prohibition, people had to use illegal means which made it much more expensive than it should have been. It is undisputed that alcohol prohibition enriched the mob and other organized crime groups as it simultaneously drained the coffers of government law enforcement organizations (who were fighting an un-winnable "war against...." alcohol). And of course normally law-abiding citizens were harmed because they were forced to pay more than the real value for a commodity they wanted.
Finally, and what should be most near and dear to the hearts of our Congress and state governments, all U.S. governments lost out on a really nice chunk of change in the form of lost tax revenue.
If marijuana is legalized our prisons would experience a population drain with only rapists, thieves, murders, child molesters, counterfeiters, robbers, and other serious criminals remaining behind.
If marijuana were taxed, a revenue source for organized crime would dry up and transfer nicely over to the government.
Finally, if marijuana were legalized and taxed, only those who use it would pay taxes on it. As things stand now, everyone who pays taxes in this country--whether they use marijuana or not--pays the cost of apprehension, trial, and incarceration of marijuana users (medical and otherwise).
For once, let us learn from history and legalize the use and possession of an herb that is far less harmful to the human body than alcohol. Allow law enforcement to direct their energies and limited funding toward the apprehension of dangerous criminals and dealers of dangerous drugs.