Should Marijuana be Legalized?
Professor Linda Record
Should Marijuana Be Legalized?
To legalize marijuana or not to legalize marijuana, that is the question. Marijuana has been a thorn in the side of this country for the last one hundred years. Up until the end of World War Two, marijuana was produced legally in a low grade form known as hemp. After the war, hemp was outlawed because of fear that Americans would start smoking the different types of low grade varieties of marijuana. Marijuana has been called a destroyer of minds, because of the myth that it kills brain cells. In clinical trials of marijuana, it has been proven to cancer cells in the brain according to U.S. National Library of Medicine. Marijuana has been called one of the most powerful addictive drugs in history. Yet, marujuana has been proven to have no physical addictive properties at all. Our federal and local law enforcement agencies spend billions of dollars each year to keep marijuana off of our streets, but it can still be found illegally in almost every town and city in the United States. There is a growing debate in this county on the pros and cons of making marijuana legal. Many people think is just a matter of time before marijuana be comes legal nationwide. Should marijuana be legalized?
Marijuana has been used in the United States in one form or another for over three hundred years. Farmers in the colonies of Port Royal, Virginia, and Plymouth grew marijauna for the hemp fibers it produced. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew hemp on their farms as a major cash crops.
Hemp comes from the stalk of the marijuana plant and has very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Hemp is one of the earliest domesticated plants known. It is used to manufacture clothing, rope and other textile products. Hemp is also used to produce plastics, fuel products and has also be used as food.
Medical use of Marijuana has been around for over four thousand years. Some of
the earliest uses of medical marijuana date back over four thousand years to China.
Two thousand years before the birth of Christ, marijuana tea was used as cures for pain,
Gout, rheumatism, malaria and, strangely enough, poor memory. In the United States,
marijuana was prescribed for a variety of ailments all the way up until 1914. By this
time the use of marijuana for its psychoactive effects had become wide spread in the
United States. In 1914 states started banning the use of the drug. In 1937, the federal
government stepped in and placed a national prohibition on all uses of marijuana except
the use of hemp production in manufacturing.
Since 1937 the United States government has spent billions of dollars in a vain attempt to keep marijuana out of this country. In 1970, President Richard Nixon declared a federal war on drugs. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 stated that marijuana has no redeeming medical value. By the 1980’s medical use for marijuana had been discovered and widely recommended. Medical marijuana is now used to treat nausea and vomiting, stimulation of hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients. Medical marijuana is also used to treat the buildup of ocular pressure associated with glaucoma. Other uses include the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and even certain kinds of cancer.
Since 1996 eighteen states including the District of Columbia have legalizes the use of medical marijuana. In 2012 the states of Washington and Colorado made the recreational use of marijuana legal. Seven other states are now considering legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational use. The most significant reason for the change in attitude for the legalization of marijuana is a financial one. Law enforcement in the state of Colorado alone was spending 12 million dollars a year in trying to enforce marijuana laws. On the national...
References: A Brief History of Medical Marijuana. (2009, October 21). Retrieved December 21, 2012, from Time.com: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1931247,00.html
Cannabinoid action induces autophagy-mediated cell death through stimulation of ER stress in human glioma cells. (2009, April 1). Retrieved December 14, 2012, from U.S.National Library of Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673842/
The DEA Position on Marijuana. (2011, January). Retrieved December 21, 2012, from U. S. Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/dea/index.shtml
Legalize Marijuana for Tax Revenue. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2012, from BusinessWeek.com: http://www.businessweek.com/debateroom/archives/2009/03/legalize_mariju.html
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