Legalization of Marijuana Research Paper
Marijuana is a very popular drug that many people have used. Over 98 million people over the age of 12 in the United States have smoked marijuana. It is known under many different names such as: weed, bud, ganja, hashish, doobie, reefer, mary-jane and grass. It plays quite a substantial role in modern day pop culture and almost everyone over the age of 16 knows what it is. Despite all this, marijuana is illegal and in most states a person can be sent to jail for the possession of less than a gram of this substance.
Even if the person is doing nothing wrong and is subjected to a random search, if that person has marijuana on them, they will be charged with a criminal offense and sent to jail. Marijuana should be legalized because it can have many positive effects in the United States. Marijuana is not a very harmful drug and other legal drugs such as alcohol are more harmful. A lot of money is spent on the “War on Drugs” which is not even working according to the UN. Marijuana could be taxed and regulated in the U. S to make a lot of profit.
Legalizing marijuana would also give people more freedom of choice, they can choose whether they want to use the drug or not. There would also be laws and policies that would prevent the abuse of this drug. Marijuana should be legalized in the United States of America. The reason why a lot of people are against marijuana is because not a lot was known about it in the 20th century and people tend to be afraid of things that are unknown to them. However, in recent years a lot of research has been done on how marijuana does not negatively affect the human body. It turns out that marijuana is actually less harmful than some other legal drugs.
There are many things in this world that can kill a person. Someone can die from alcohol poisoning, as well as lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. It is even possible to overdose on Advil. A person can also die from drinking too much water, a basic essential for life. However no matter how much marijuana a person smokes, they cannot overdose. That is because it is physically impossible to overdose on marijuana. There have been 0 recorded deaths caused by smoking marijuana. Even though smoking marijuana cannot kill a person, a common argument is that smoking cannabis can cause cancer.
But in a study done by Donald Tashkin at the UCLA School of Medicine, he showed that people who smoke marijuana are at less risk of developing lung cancer than tobacco smokers. In fact, he concluded that people who smoke marijuana are just as likely to get lung head or neck cancer as those who do not smoke anything at all. In a study done by the Wisconsin University of Medicine and Public Health in 2008, investigators found that cannabinoids (chemical compounds found in marijuana) stopped the spread of brain cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma.
A method to eliminate the harm caused to a person’s lungs from smoking marijuana is by cooking food containing oil with marijuana. It is possible to transfer THC (the chemical compound in marijuana that gives a person the sensation of “getting high”) and other cannabinoids from the plant into food, still giving a person the desired feeling without any of the lung damage. When a person drinks alcohol, they usually have a hangover the day after, which is a period of time in which the person’s body is recovering from the binge drinking the night before.
It is almost as if that person is sick for most of the day, they cannot function at their full potential. After someone smokes marijuana, at most, they’ll wake up with a foggy head which should clear after an hour or two. Salvia is another smoke-able drug that is legal. When a person smokes salvia, they hallucinate. It was recorded on March 7, 2011 that a man jumped from his fifteenth story apartment in Brooklyn immediately after smoking salvia. His hallucination off this drug caused him to kill himself, yet salvia is legal (Jen Chung, Man Jumps to Death from Roosevelt Island Building).
Marijuana is also used for medical reasons. It has even been legalized for medical use in some states such as California, Colorado and New Jersey. Everyday experiments are being conducted on other ways marijuana can assist a person’s health. Marijuana can help not only human, but the economy as well. Marijuana has the potential to become a multi- billion dollar industry. According to Milton Friedman and 500+ economists, if marijuana was taxed and regulated the government would be receiving 10-14 billion dollars a year (Miron, Jeffery A. The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. “). Regulating and taxing marijuana would also lead to the creation of new jobs; people could farm marijuana and work in smoke shops. Taxation of marijuana would not be the only benefit to the economy. If marijuana was legalized it would also save money that would normally be spent. Each year millions upon millions of dollars are used to prevent Mexican drug cartels from entering the Unites States. Drug cartels are a large source of where the marijuana in the Unites States comes from. If marijuana could be grown in the U.
S there would be no need for drug cartels to bring it into the U. S. and these people would have no incentive to smuggle drugs into the United States. Therefore the money that would be used to stop the drug cartels could be used in other areas of need. This would also reduce gang activity because these drug cartels are usually hosted by gangs. If marijuana was legalized, it would save jails a lot of money. In 2008, 858,408 marijuana related arrests were made, of either possession or solicitation. It takes 40,000 dollars to keep one prisoner in jail for a year.
It is easy to see that enormous amounts of money would be saved if people were not sent to jail for marijuana. Of course this legalization would come with laws and policies. America has always prided itself with being a country that supported a person’s freedom of choice. Now the people have even more freedom to choose how they live their lives. They as people have more power, and their choice is no longer reprimanded, but supported. A person can now go out and smoke with their friends without being penalized, as long as you’re not a minor.
There has not been any discussion of laws about marijuana being legal but it is safe to assume it would look similar to what is in Holland. You would need to not be a minor (over 18 in Europe, 18 or 21 in the U. S) to buy marijuana from any smoke shop. The Recipient would not be allowed to buy more than a certain amount, and the store cannot advertise that it is selling cannabis and it can not cause any nuisance in the area (Benjamin Dolin, Law and Government Division). There are also smoking and driving laws in Holland.
If marijuana if found in a person’s system while driving, they will get arrested. A method to check for recent marijuana usage is through saliva drug test. Saliva drug tests are unique in the sense that they check only several hours prior to the test. If a person was to smoke 2 days before the test, it could turn out negative, if a person was to smoke 5 hours before the test, it would come out positive. Even though marijuana would be legal, it would be controlled and monitored sternly. The legalization of marijuana has recently become a heated debate.
Even though, marijuana is less harmful than other legal drugs and the legalization of marijuana would benefit the U. S economically. There is even an outline from other countries of how laws for marijuana would look. Many people by the time they finish college will have tried marijuana. Even the president of the United States of America has admitted to smoking weed during his college years. Many other inspirational and successful people have used or use marijuana for recreational purposes. It is not a severe drug and many innocent people are getting punished for petty possession.
The choice whether a person should use marijuana should not be the governments, but the person’s. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. News, Adam Mynott BBC. “BBC News – Global War on Drugs ‘has Failed’ Say Former Leaders. ” BBC – Homepage. 2 June 2011. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www. bbc. co. uk/news/world-us-canada-13624303>. 2. Staff. “Marijuana Can Prevent Cancer, Not Cause It. ” Cannabis News. Google News. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://cannazine. co. uk/cannabis-news/united-states/marijuana-can-prevent-cancer-not-cause-it. html>. 3. Chung, Jen. Man Jumps to Death from Roosevelt Island Building: Gothamist. ” Gothamist: New York City News, Food, Arts & Events. Gothamist, 7 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://gothamist. com/2011/03/07/man_falls_to_death_from_roosevelt_i. php>. 4. Miron, Jeffery A. “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. ” Costs of Marijuana Prohibition: Economic Analysis. Marijuana Policy Project, June 2005. Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www. prohibitioncosts. org/mironreport. html>. 5. “Crime in the United States 2009,” FBI Uniform Crime Report (Washington, DC: US Dept. f Justice, September 2010), Table 29, http://www2. fbi. gov/ucr/cius2009/data/table_29. html and Arrest Table: Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations, http://www2. fbi. gov/ucr/cius2009/arrests/index. html. 6. “2008 Crime in the United States,” FBI Uniform Crime Reports (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, September 2009), Table 29, http://www2. fbi. gov/ucr/cius2008/data/table_29. html and Arrest Table: Arrests for Drug Abuse Violations, http://www2. fbi. gov/ucr/cius2008/arrests/index. html. 7. Dolin, Benjamin. “National Drug Policy: The Netherlands. ” Parliament of Canada Web