Should Marijuana Be Legalized ?

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The opinion of Marijuana during the 70’s was much more definitive than it is today. Approval of Marijuana by 27 states, new medical studies, and its consequences on those convicted from use of the most common illicit drug in the world, is forcing the United States of America to rethink its stance on the matter. In general, the underlying argument about Marijuana in this country is: should Marijuana continue to be prohibited to citizens based on its health effects, medicinal values, and costs to the country? The reasons why this argument is so important are great. As previously stated, Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the world, and with millions of people using it regularly and almost 100 million that have ever used it in this country, the laws behind this drug hold great influence. It is because of this and the immergence of new evidence, that the justification behind prohibition of this drug is being rethought scientifically, socially, and economically. The use of Marijuana as both medicine and a recreational drug is being thoroughly questioned in the US. 27 states have Marijuana approved in some form, many of those for medical purposes however those users can still, and do get placed into prison by federal law. Currently, 830,00 people a year are in trouble with the law in regards to Marijuana and numbers seem to be on an uphill trend . Furthermore, the US invests 30 billion a year into the drug war, half of which is dedicated to Marijuana. Many are questioning its success all together. Both imprisonment and the war cost our country, and therefore our people, money. A change in laws is going to have a dramatic affect on America. Marijuana comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Its discovery could have been as early as 2700 BC in China. Despite the Cannabis Sativa plant producing Marijuana it also produces hemp, which is a very useful cash crop that can produce several textile materials. Aside from hemp, Marijuana was used in America up until 1937, when it was banned by 47 states as a result of increased usage due to the 1920 amendment that outlawed alcohol. People no longer having access to alcohol went elsewhere for a recreational substance. What causes the “buzz” users feel from Marijuana is a result of its entry into the bloodstream, and the binding of THC from Marijuana with brain receptors that cause the feelings of drowsiness, increased appetite, giddiness, hallucinations, and other effects. In 1965 President Johnson passed the drug abuse control amendment targeting all illicit drugs, and then in 1969 President Nixon declared an all out war on drugs and crime, giving birth to what would become the drug war we see today. In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical Marijuana, setting off a significant trend through the country. Today Marijuana is classified as a schedule I drug alongside Heroin, Cocaine, and Morphine, (this classification has been unchanged since the 1960’s). It was classified as a schedule I drug despite the fact that it was recommended by the CSA (controlled substances act) task force to not place it in this class. While certain states in the US currently allow medical Marijuana use, the Federal Government claims that their law overrules state law and therefore users of the medical Marijuana can be prosecuted. Certain concepts need to be understood in order for the information presented to be interpreted properly. This argument covers legalization for medical and/or recreational use of Marijuana. This argument does not pertain to the legalization of all illegal drugs. This argument is not about Marijuana being healthy or good for anyone; however it is more focused towards its use in the medical field and its health effects in comparison to already legal substances. A few terms presented in the argument need to be understood. Marijuana is created when the leaves and female flowers of the hemp plant are dried, and it is commonly used but not limited to use in...
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