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Cause and Effects of Marijuana Use and Legalization

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Cause and Effects of Marijuana Use and Legalization

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  • October 2013
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Erin Doris de Cesare
Frederick Miller
ENG 111, Sec. PI
22 Oct. 2013
Cause and effects of Marijuana Use and Legalization
Believe it or not, marijuana has been a part of human society for longer than history has been recorded by man. Dating as far back as the 6th millennium B.C., far before the Sumerians began recording history around 3500 B.C., marijuana had made it's first appearance into society as a source of food (“History of Marijuana”). By 1500 B.C., however, it was already being used for medical purposes, as we recorded Chinese Pharmacopeia that year (“Historical Timeline”). From this time up until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act officially made marijuana illegal to possess in the United States, people had been allowed to freely and openly use marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes (Prater). The reasons for the initial criminalization of marijuana in the United States have been a topic of dispute for nearly one hundred years, and, in more recent times, many people have begun to support the legalization of marijuana for medical and even recreational purposes, and right rightfully so. Marijuana, unlike the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol, can be used for both recreational and medicinal purposes and its side effects can be easily compared to those of legal drugs. In addition, if marijuana were legalized, taxed, and regulated through a system like the one currently utilized by many states in the distribution of legal medical marijuana, it would only bring benefit to our country. The tax money generated, which could amount to multiple billions of dollars each year, could be put toward securing our nation from foreign threats and developing new alternative sources of energy that will inevitably be needed in the years to come. Marijuana, commonly referred to as “pot”, “weed”, ”ganja”, or “Mary Jane” on the streets, is a psychoactive drug (one that effects the mind) derived from the plant Cannabis Sativa (“Facts about”). For centuries, it...