Decriminalization and Legalizing Marijuana in America Essay

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Marijuana prohibition in the American criminal laws is quite exceptional. There are no other laws that are both enforced so widely and severely across the country, but yet considered unnecessary by such an overwhelming portion of the country’s populace. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Marijuana is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States.” The advocacy group National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws claims that marijuana is the third-most popular recreational drug in America, behind only alcohol and tobacco.
In the early 1900’s, marijuana was viewed by prohibitionists to be the worst narcotic known to man and the effects of use created insanity, murder, and death. And without any public debate, scientific inquiries, or political objection the Marijuana Tax Act was signed by then President Roosevelt in 1937. But after numerous years of research, scientists have proven repeatedly that marijuana is not the same as the harsher drugs such as heroin and cocaine and should not be classified as a dangerous, evil, killer narcotic.
The Institute of Medicine and other bodies of research have concluded that there is no evidence supporting marijuana is a “gate-way” drug, certainly no more than either tobacco or alcohol is. Although, some people use marijuana in excess, most who smoke marijuana never become dependent. No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana, unlike alcohol, and marijuana has not been associated with violent behavior either. People who have used marijuana describe the effects of the drug to be calming, enhancing their creativeness, increasing their appetite and making them sleepy.
Dr. Daniele Piomelli at the University of California, Irvine is at the forefront ...

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... the use and possession of marijuana has been ever-increasing over the past several years, rising to over 50% today – that is an all time record high. If the current trend continues, the pressure will definitely encourage the nation’s laws into compliance with the people’s desires.

Works Cited

(1) Drum, Kevin. “The Patriot’s Guide to Legalization.” Mother Jones Vol. 34, No. 4 31 Jul 2009: pg. 49. SIRS issues Researcher. Web. 27 Oct 2011.
(2) Nadleman and Piper. “Should the U.S. Decriminalize Marijuana?” The Washington Times. Sunday read. 26 April 2009. LexisNexis News. Researcher. Web 27 Oct 2011
(3) Newport, Frank. “Record –High 50% of Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana Use.” Princeton, NJ. 17 Oct 2011: pg. 1-3. Gallup. Researcher. Web. 27 Oct 2011
(4) NGC. “Drugged: High on Marijuana.” Documentary 2011 Vesta, Solomon. “Grass.” Documentary 1999.

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