American pot smokers have been punished with everything from life in prison to having one's "mellow harshed." Like their early 20th Century teetotaling counterparts, marijuana prohibitionists appeal to public health and safety.

Both Sides of the Issue (According to the Internet)

1. According to advocates, marijuana was made illegal in 1937 thanks to a wide-ranging conspiracy involving the manufacturers of paper, textiles, plastic and racism, all of which they say would be put out of business if hemp was made legal.

2. Despite the prohibition, more than 40 percent of Americans over age 12 have tried marijuana and were subsequently willing to say so on a survey.

3. In light of the recent economic collapse, many are asking if the legalization and taxation of marijuana can save the economy, though critics claim this campaign is driven by corporate lobbyists for Taco Bell and Frito-Lay.

4. President Barack Obama took a question about marijuana legalization during a townhall meeting in 2009, but implied that the Internet in fact does not care about bolstering tax revenue, but only wants to openly light up their bong on the sidewalk outside Chipotle. Thus, many pro-Obama Internet commenters have now switched their support back to Ron Paul.

5. Contrary to President Obama's claim, the Internet has come up with a number of economic arguments for marijuana legalization, and has even gone through the trouble of getting high and Photoshopping some of them for us, such as:

Creating new industries

by Gh0st

Bolstering existing industries

by badephemeris

by Necbromancer

Bolstering industries that the government pretends don't exist

by TheIconoclast

Making certain tourist industries way more appealing

by mcsuperawesome

And even making the space race interesting again

by ponposessed

Forcing youths to find creative outlets besides hiding places for weed

by Navigator2001Plus
and MadPiper6