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Legalization of Marijuana Essay

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     For decades the marijuana prohibition has been violating individual’s rights, but scientific research has proven that marijuana has therapeutic uses and is harmless compared to other drugs. Therefore, marijuana should not be considered a dangerous drug and should be legalized. The prohibition of marijuana did not end with crime; nonetheless, it is responsible for the imprisonment of thousands of its users. The government’s campaign against marijuana has also created cultural factors that make the use of marijuana socially unacceptable. However, it should be up to each individual to decide if he/she wants to use marijuana whether it is for pleasure or for therapeutic reasons.

     The legalization of marijuana has been strongly debated since the 1920s and 1930s, when it was first recognized as a dangerous drug, and tabloid newspapers popularized exaggerated stories of violent crimes allegedly committed by immigrants intoxicated by marijuana (Grinspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered 118). In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was signed to prohibit the use of marijuana because marijuana supposedly caused violent crimes, “sexual excess,” addiction, and led to the use of harder drugs (Grinspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered 118). In the 1970s, the government created the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the effects of marijuana (Weir 26). The NIDA published many claims concerning marijuana use, but they did not have evidence to support their claims (Weir 26). This misinformation and the government’s campaign against marijuana made the legalization of marijuana impossible.

Marijuana is a harmless drug, but it has not been legalized because people believe most of the anti-marijuana claims. Research studies have proven that marijuana helps the individual experience a sense of well being, relieves fatigue, stimulates the appetite, and induces a feeling of mild stimulation (McDonough 50). Another advantage of marijuana is that experienced users can control the degree and quality of the intoxication by “coming down” when it is necessary to perform (McDonough 50). Marijuana does not cause sexual excess because daily use of marijuana has not been found to alter testosterone or other sex hormone levels like alcohol use, which lowers testosterone levels (Grinspoon, “Whither Medical Marijuana” 28).

Marijuana is not an addictive drug. National epidemiological sur...


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...ugh it is harmless and has medical uses (“NORML Report on Marijuana”). Over ten million people use marijuana regularly even though it is illegal, which clearly shows that the government’s anti-marijuana campaign has been useless (“NORML Report on Marijuana”). The government should stop spending scarce federal funds on the campaign against marijuana, and use that money to conduct more research so that the Food and Drug Administration can approve the legalization of marijuana (Grinspoon, “Whither Medical Marijuana” 27). No amount of research is likely to show that marijuana is as dangerous as tobacco and alcohol because marijuana is a harmless drug. If marijuana had official medical uses, then people would be more likely to accept it. Also, the legalization of marijuana would be regulated so it would not be a threat to society and its users. There are many people who need the legalization of marijuana for medical reasons, but people who use it for “fun” also have a right to use it without fearing to be arrested. Marijuana should be legalized for all citizens in the United States, and it should be up to each individual to decide if he/she wants to use marijuana, not the government.


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