Research Paper Marijuana Legalization

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Marijuana is the people’s drug of choice; it’s the most popular drug of all the drugs. Made famous in movies (Cheech and Chong), hit an all-time boom in the 60’s when smoke to rebel against law enforcement. It is popular even though it is illegal in the United States; I explain in this paper why we should take advantage of its popularity and help our struggling economy. How we can use the way Amsterdam regulates its recreational marijuana, and implement it in the United States. Violence will drop dramatically especially in the towns close to the Mexican border. These are more than enough reasons as to why we should legalize marijuana, there is nothing but benefits.

Jose Silva
Brittney Carman
English 102-06
Research Paper
November 8, 2011
Marijuana or also known as Cannabis is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa. (Yacoubian, G. S. (2007), pg 18) This drug contains a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol or also knows as THC. The mind reacts to THC, it alters the mind. All forms of marijuana have this affect on the user. Overall the drug contains over 400 chemicals some of which are carcinogenic. Though marijuana is widely popular in the states, marijuana didn’t originate in the states. “The Cannabis (marijuana) plant is native to Central Asia, possibly on the Himalayas or the Altai Mountains it is said that around 2000 B.C., the Egyptians used cannabis to treat sore eyes.” (Webley, K. (2010 pg. 22) Believe it or not, the United States at one point even encouraged the growth of Cannabis, was grown as a source of fiber. Something interesting is that the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper, material from the Cannabis plant aka Marijuana plant. The Cannabis plant was such a popular crop that in 1890 it was the major cash crop in the southern state, yes even above cotton. Such endorsements slowed and eventually became nonexistent after 1937, when the Marihuana Tax Act effectively banned the drug in the U.S. (Webly, K. (2010 pg. 22) After many years of prohibition marijuana was legalized in 1996. Not legalized for recreational use but for medical use in the State of California. Used to treat such diseases as cancer, AIDS, chronic pain etc. This caught on in the states and by January of 2010 “New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize the drug” (Webly, K. (2010 pg. 22) Marijuana hit an all time boom in recreational use during the 1960’s when college students decided to smoke marijuana as a way of rebelling against law enforcement. From then on it hasn’t stopped since. Marijuana is the most commonly used drug, beating out drugs such as Cocaine, Meth, Heroin, etc. Anyone from teens to adults use the drug recreationally to get a “high”. A large number of people ask to legalize recreational use of marijuana, before you think that this is a ludicrous idea wait and hear me out. If we were to legalize marijuana how much money would the United States earn in taxes? How much would we save as a country not having to pay taxes on inmates who are in jail for possession of marijuana, a non violent offense? How many lives would be saved if we legalize it and stop the drug wars that occur on the borders? Thinking about it I would agree with legalizing marijuana for recreational use, let me further explain. The prohibition of anything is going to lead to violence because there is always going to be dealers fighting for the power of markets against dealers. Perfect example is at the borders where the drug wars are currently going on. Yes the majority of the violence is occurring on the Mexican side of the border but slowly it is coming into the United States. In late October 2011, police officers in Port Isabel pulled over a vehicle during a routine traffic stop. To the officers’ surprise, one of the vehicle’s occupants was Rafael Cardenas Vela, the nephew of Osiel Cardenas Guillen, the jailed uber-drug lord who headed the infamous and...
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