Marijuana Legalization Debate

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The issue of marijuana legalization has been a controversial topic for the past four decades. Over the past several years, many states within the United States have began to liberalize their marijuana laws, which has caused many to question whether or not marijuana prohibition should be ended. In reality, it is difficult to make a one-sided judgment on the legalization of marijuana because on one hand the drug can be widely used for medical purposes, and on the other hand it is still able to cause addiction and other problems associated with heavy marijuana use (cardio respiratory problems, loss of cilia within the throat, etc.). Recently, the television show, “Crosstalk on Drugs: Legally High” (2012), which is a moderated conversation between multiple guest speakers, discussed both sides of the debate into great detail. Today, alcohol production, distribution, and consumption are seen on a daily basis. Turn on a television show or open a magazine in the United States and you are bound to see someone with a drink in hand, an occurrence that was unthinkable nearly a hundred years ago during alcohol prohibition. Over the past 40 years the “war on drugs” has been fought and has caused high levels of incarceration and a staggering death toll across the Mexican border. In Mexico, upwards of 60,000 people have been killed by organized drug crime gangs during the past 6 years. Over the past several decades there has been a growth of support for the end to marijuana prohibition era. The most recent election saw two states pass marijuana legalization legislation (Colorado and Washington State), which has drastically changed the marijuana conversation. Despite Obama and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) strict drug policies, these states will regulate the sale and consumption of taxed marijuana, much like how alcohol is controlled today.

On the pro-legalization side of the debate, the “war on drugs” now costs the country a whopping 40 billion dollars per year....
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