Legalizing Marijuana in America

Topics: Drug addiction, Cannabis, Prohibition Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: February 28, 2009
Legalizing marijuana in America
Illegal drug use is a huge part of American culture and one the most controversial of those drugs is marijuana; its technical name is Cannabis Sativa. But whether you call it cannabis, marijuana, pot, reefer, weed, bud, herb, Mary Jane, hemp, grass or wacky tabacci, it is still illegal in the United States. Actually, all over the world the deliberation rages about the harm or benefits that marijuana has to offer. Attempts to legalize it in the United States have been going on since the Marijuana Tax Act was introduced in 1937 and have thus far largely failed. The debate whether or not to legalize marijuana seems to circle around numerous points, including the recreational use verses being a gateway to other more addicting drugs, whether marijuana is valid for medical therapeutic uses and how marijuana affects the US economy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the world [NHTSA.gov], n.d.). In the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health there were 14.4 million people aged twelve or older who at that time used marijuana for recreation (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2008, table 2.1). For most recreational users, marijuana provides a sense of euphoria and relaxation and they believe it causes no long-term impairment. They believe that the use of marijuana is no worse for them than smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol, in fact they judge the long-term affects of cigarettes and alcohol are much worse. A governmental report issued by the Netherlands, where marijuana (but not other drugs) can be legally purchased in small amounts, states that "there is no physically determined tendency toward switching from [marijuana] to harder substances. Social factors, however, do play a role. The more users become integrated in an environment ('subculture') where, apart from cannabis, hard drugs can also be obtained, the...
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