Legalization Of Marijuana Essay, Research Paper
There are several reasons to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is adrug that comes from the plant Cannabis sativa. When you smoke marijuana,the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol goes into your brain and makes youfeel high . That is why it is classified as a minor psychedelic. Itdoes not produce a trip , or full psychedelic experience, like otherdrugs such as mushrooms, acid or other such hallucinogens. Marijuana wasfirst used by the ancient Chinese in the year 2000, BC They used it as amedicine. Through trade, the people of India began smoking the plant forreligious reasons. From there, the drug spread to the Middle East, andthen to Europe. In this country, marijuana was first used when, in theearly twentieth century, Mexicans began giving it to people in Texas. Itworked its way up the Mississippi River, and within a decade was commonlyused throughout the entire nation. Currently, marijuana is considered a Schedule One controlled dangerous substance. That classification makesit a crime to be in possession of marijuana. In New York State,possession of under four ounces of marijuana is a violation, and ispunishable by only a ticket, and possible probation. Possession of fourounces or more can result in jail time. One argument in favor of legalizing marijuana is its potential useas medicine. Many of the effects marijuana has on the mind and body arehelpful in fighting several diseases. Marijuana has often been used tohelp cancer patients ease the pain of chemotherapy. It is also usedagainst AIDS. Many AIDS patients have very little appetite. The effectmarijuana has on people’s hunger, commonly known as the munchies , helpsthese people to keep eating, so that their bodies stay stronger, and don’tdeteriorate as quickly. Marijuana is also helpful for people sufferingfrom glaucoma. It relieves the pressure on their eyes. Recently inCalifornia, in a referendum vote, the people of the state voted tolegalize marijuana for medical purposes. The U.S. government quicklystepped in and repealed the decision, claiming it was in violation offederal law. And you thought this was a democracy. There have beenclaims by the government that marijuana harms the body in many differentways, from blocking memory, lowering testosterone production and young mengrowing breasts, to genetic disorders and birth defects. Several studieswere done, and the only real damage discovered was that which was causedfrom the smoke. Marijuana smoke contains three times as much tar astobacco smoke, and five times as much carbon monoxide. But, if you smokecigarettes, you smoke a lot more cigarettes than a pot smoker doesjoints.(Grinspoon, p.232) Also, in recent years, scientists discoveredreceptors in the brain that react to THC. Many people believe that thismeans that marijuana actually does stimulate the mind, and promoteactivity of some parts of the brain. (Grinspoon, p.233) Another reason to legalize marijuana is the possible financialbenefits for the nation and the people living in it. Every year, billionsof dollars worth of marijuana is seized by police all over the country,and then destroyed. (Lang, p.104) That is a lot of money that thegovernment could cash in on with taxes, but they simply burn it all up.And, this figure does not include the marijuana that is successfully grown,cured and sold. Ever since the War on Drugs’ efforts to stop marijuana
from being smuggled into the country, domestic marijuana production hasincreased dramatically. There is no doubt that in today’s society, drugsequal money. That is why you see kids that don’t even have jobs drivingtwenty thousand dollar cars and listening to five thousand dollar stereos.But, instead of cashing in on this, the government keeps it illegal andloses out. And, not only is the government missing this opportunity forincome, they are also spending millions of dollars per year to enforcegrowing laws. Those helicopters aren’t cheap. Another pro-legalization argument is that it could be helpful inpreventing drug crime. Many people hear this and think, But, if youlegalize marijuana, then there will be more of it around, and the problemswill get worse. But if you think about it, that isn’t really true. Ifmarijuana was legalized, that would mean that people could get it at thestore, and not from gangs and other criminals. The loss of the drug tradewould cut down on their activity in general, because many of theircriminal activities are indirectly related to the drug trade. For example,one would be a lot less likely to hear about a brutal gang fight overterritory. Also, there would probably be a lot less people getting killedbecause they couldn’t pay their drug dealer. Many other crimes would becut down on, too. If marijuana was not contra-banned, it would not costas much to buy. You would have a lot less people stealing andprostituting themselves to get drug money. Another benefit of legalizingmarijuana would be the money saved for the criminal justice system.Millions of dollars a year are spent on prosecuting and incarceratingpeople accused of drug crimes. Jails and prisons are constantlyovercrowded by people charged with possession, sale, and purchasing ofmarijuana and other illegal drugs. That seems like a needless thing tospend so much money on, when even the leaders of our nation are torn overwhether or not marijuana should even be illegal. Another reason to legalize marijuana is for the safety of theindividuals who smoke it. In almost all the cases reported of marijuanahaving negative health effects, the marijuana is not to blame. It isusually some impurity in the drug that causes these medical complications.If marijuana was legalized, the FDA would constantly examine andscrutinize the supply of pot available to the public. This would greatlyincrease the purity and quality of the marijuana being smoked, which wouldgreatly reduce the number of health problems related to pot smoking. Also,if legalized, the legal status would most likely be comparable to that ofhard liquor. This way, it would probably be kept out of the hands of morechildren, because it would be sold in special stores, not in schools. In conclusion, I would just like to explain one of the mostimportant reasons to legalize marijuana, in my opinion. I feel that thefirst and foremost reason to legalize marijuana is that this is agovernment governed by the people, for the people, and if people want tosmoke marijuana, how can their government tell them not to? People areput on this earth with the power to choose what they do. If someone (overthe age of twenty-one) wants to drink some alcohol or smoke a cigarette,they can do this, but if someone wants to smoke some marijuana, they haveto sneak around like some kind of common criminal. It is a contradictionof the word democracy to deny them this right, the right to choose.