Legalization of Marijuana

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Alex JonesJones 1
Professor Sosnoski
ENG 102
30 January 2013
Legalization of Marijuana
Recently, the controversial debate over legalizing marijuana has become more relevant than ever before. In the states of Washington and Colorado marijuana is currently legal for recreational use. In Michigan the cities of Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids have decriminalized the drug. Also, in the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti the penalties for marijuana are closely related to receiving a speeding ticket. I will be researching the legalization of marijuana in the United States. As I began to research this topic I realized just how uneducated many people are when it comes to marijuana. Cannabis, or marijuana, as it is more commonly referred to as, is a natural occurring plant that has existed since ancient times. The part of the plant that people today are most familiar with is the bud or flowers of the plant. This is that part of the plant that is typically ingested through smoking or orally through edible products. In the plant's buds a variety of natural substances are prevalent. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in marijuana that causes the so called "high" users refer to. The history of marijuana is lengthy and surrounded in controversy.

Marijuana has not always been outlawed. In the United States, the possession and use of marijuana was declared illegal in 1937. Marijuana is currently regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970. Before the Jones 2

prohibition of marijuana it was not uncommon for it to be grown like any other agricultural crop. The main reason for its popularity was that the cannabis plant can be used to produce hemp. Hemp can be used to produce a variety of useful products including fiber, paper, oil, medicines and many others. It is extremely soft and durable when used to produce fiber. In fact up until 1883 and for thousands of years before...
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