Persuasive Essay: Why Medical Cannabis Should Be Legalized

Topics: Cannabis, Medical cannabis, Cannabis sativa Pages: 7 (2448 words) Published: November 19, 2013

Freshmen Writing Seminar
November 14, 2011
Persuasive Research Report
Medical cannabis can prove to be beneficial in the state of California because of its potential revenue and medicinal purpose. Medical cannabis has been an on-going debate on whether or not the state of California should legalize it because of its potential to become a substantial amount of revenue as well as the many symptoms it protects against with its medicinal purpose. As many people know, our economic crisis has become one of the biggest priorities that needs to be solved because of how poorly our national budget and amount of revenue we obtain each year. Medical cannabis can prove to be useful with this matter because if it is legalized, the state can then tax it providing a source of income that will provide millions of extra dollars of revenue each year. The medicinal purpose of medical cannabis provides humans with an easier way of handling depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even a pain-reliever. Each year millions of Americans are prescribed man-made pills to handle one form of diagnosis such as depression or anxiety. With medical cannabis, humans can cover both of these diagnoses without taking pills with harmful side-effects.

The history of marijuana in America, medical name cannabis sativa, goes back to the American colonial era when the stalk of the plant, known as hemp, was used for a variety of purposes. Hemp is the stalk of the marijuana plant and does not have any THC in it. Hemp was used for many purposes and was once the main cash crop of the colonial era (Gray 19). For examples, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cannabis for the sole purpose to produce hemp because it was used in paper, threads for clothing, rope, gunny sacks, and was even used to produce the sails on the U.S.S. Constitution, commonly known as “Old Ironside”. The use of drugs and narcotics in America was very loosely regulated by the government during the colonial era through the very early 1900s (Gray 20). Prohibition of narcotics started mostly with town regulations because the people feared that the Chinese, black, and Mexican immigrants wanted to make white women dependent upon the drugs opium, heroin, and marijuana in order to gain depravity from them. Racial prejudice was a huge factor in the prohibition of marijuana.

The very first prohibition law passed by the United States Congress was first passed in 1906 under the Pure Food and Drug Act. This law did not outlaw the usage of narcotics, however, it mainly mandated that the producers of medicinal and consumer products produce a label which had all the ingredients of their product. This gave the people a chance to know exactly what they were about to consume before consuming it (Gray 23). This act led to the drop in sales of narcotics such as heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. Marijuana stands out of these three substances because one of the main factors in which marijuana was prohibited was racial prejudice. In the 1920s Mexico was a big producer of marijuana and the people of Mexico came to the United States telling tales of how people became crazy after the consumption of cannabis. People saw this as a threat even though at the time the effects of marijuana were vaguely known. The government would go on to produce many media related articles such as the movie, Reefer Madness, which was produced in 1936 and told of how pot can ruin your life if you get addicted to it. Today that would be seen as an inaccurate informational movie since cannabis has a very low percentile of people getting actually addicted to marijuana (Imler, and Stephen Gutwillig ). According to Jann Gumbiner, a clinical professor and licensed psychologist, only nine percent of people who try marijuana will form a serious dependency upon it and she goes on to say that even if they do become addicted, it is fairly easy to quit.

In 1996 California passed Proposition 215 which allowed for the people of California to obtain...
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