Laws are meant to protect society as a whole, not legislate moral opinion and keep individuals from expressing their free will. A great deal of money is wasted on prosecuting victimless crimes and non-violent offenders crowd the prison system.
The arguments for legalizing prostitution
Prostitution has been around since ancient civilizations and has been called “the world’s oldest profession”. Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s men and women have more freely expressed physical intimacy. Women now do for free what prostitutes get paid to do. Reality shows like Jersey Shore glorify the same acts that are condemned if money exchanges hands at an agreed upon price. If a date buys the person dinner before sex, does that make it prostitution? By a strict definition it would, but it’s a legal loophole. And if the date should get out of hand and offer abuse, the victim is protected by law. As of now there is no recourse for abused and mistreated prostitutes. In the worst cases they have pimps who threaten their lives, because they can.
If prostitution were legalized then there could be regulation and oversight. There would be fair wages, health care to prevent the spread of STDs, better birth control, and protection for better treatment by both their bosses and their customers. HBO produced a series called “Cathouse”, a documentary/reality show about a legal brothel in Nevada. The women there may be morally reprehensible to some, but they are educated about safe sex practices, routinely tested, well paid, have great relationships with their bosses, and have fun at their job. Just because some would not find that work an option, does not mean it should be illegal for another to do so.
Many made the argument that legal prostitution opens the flood-gates for spouses to cheat. However, it could be argued that anyone who would cheat on their spouse would do it with someone else for free anyway. Making something illegal doesn’t alter morals, it simply alters how someone goes about getting what they want or prevents them from doing so. To believe that laws dictate thoughts and morals is to have little faith in free will.
The arguments for legalizing marijuana
Marijuana should be legalized because it is no more toxic than tobacco or alcohol and has medicinal applications. The active chemical in Marijuana is a cannabinoid called THC. The human body produces its own cannabinoids that act via cannabinoid receptors to influence many physiological processes. There are more than 60 known cannabinoids which might have medicinal applications. There is a synthetic version of THC used to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite, but its effects do not equal that of the natural plant. The drug is a well known treatment for relieving chronic pain.
Citizens should be free to choose what is best for their own health. There is no reasonable explanation for the legality of tobacco and alcohol while marijuana remains illegal given their non-equivalent risks. And there is no reason for women to be abused while getting paid to do favors that others do for free.