Why Marijuana Should Be Legalized
Table of Contents I. Introduction to Cannabis II. The History of Marijuana III. The Prohibition IV. Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana V. The Medical Benefits of Marijuana VI. Marijuana vs. Alcohol and Tobacco VII. Marijuana Stimulates Creativity and Brain Cell Growth VIII. Conclusion Should marijuana be legalized for recreational and medical purposes? Thesis: Since marijuana is not harshly dangerous to one’s health nor is it a hard narcotic, it should be legalized to promote a positive society. I. Introduction to Cannabis The legalization of marijuana would be a positive aspect in the American society.
It has been scientifically proven that it isn’t truly a health risk, and is even less toxic than drugs such as caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and aspirin. There’s also evidence that marijuana eases the side effects of illnesses like cancer and aids. For thousands of years, humans have searched for ways to overcome the hard struggles of their lives, it’s often difficult to do it on their own, and sometimes the negative parts of our day keeps us from enjoying the positive parts. Marijuana relieves millions of people of the pain that accompanies these struggles on a daily basis.
The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana causes people to experience a euphoric feeling, called a “high. ” The advantages of this herb without doubt outweigh the disadvantages. II. The History of Marijuana All though its use has dated back to centuries, our federal government that we know today, insists on the punishment of its possession and maintaining the idea that it is vile and criminal, despite evidence that it would have a positive influence on our country. Marijuana is known as many things; weed, bud, pot, grass, etc. But it is actually a plant called hemp.
It is scientifically known as “cannabis sativa” and is grown all over the globe. It has been used in ancient Chinese traditions, and first recorded ever of medicinal use in 2727 B. C. Although most states in our country had local laws prohibiting marijuana use and possession, it wasn’t until 1937 that the federal government passed the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. Interestingly, the congressional hearings on marijuana prohibition lasted all of two hours, compared to nowadays, where most congressional hearings on new laws last for days and days.
There were three bodies of testimonies testifying at these hearings and the first was Commissioner Harry Anslinger, the newly named commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. III. The Prohibition Commissioner Anslinger told the Congressmen at the hearings, “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death. ” With no scientific backup, was the Commissioner’s strongly unperceptive government testimony sustaining the prohibition of marijuana. Other testimonies were just as similar. However, the Chief Counsel to the American Medical Association, Dr.
William C. Woodward was at the hearing to testify at the request of the American Medical Association. His exact quote to the congressmen was, “The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug. ” to which one of the Congressmen said, “Doctor, if you can’t say something good about what we are trying to do, why don’t you go home? ” Another Congressman then said, “Doctor, if you haven’t got something better to say than that, we are sick of hearing you. ” Shouldn’t it be a shock that the bill was passed after something so unprofessional was said?
Over the years, Bureau chose to focus on opiates and abandoned responsibility for most marijuana law enforcement in this country. After there was found to be an increase in narcotic drug abuse, everyone began to be concerned with the nation’s youth. Congress assumed that the use of marijuana unavoidably led to the use of these harder drugs, particularly heroin, which is a very toxic and addictive drug. It was at this time, for the first time in federal drug legislation, that marijuana and the narcotic drugs were lumped together, all acts were exactly the same.
IV. Economic Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) places drugs according to its medical value, how harmful it is, and how addicting is can be. Schedule I is for the most dangerous drugs that can’t benefit a person medically whatsoever, which is the current classification of marijuana. “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition” by Jeffrey A. Miron, Visiting Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Harvard University, which was published in June, 2005 concludes certain facts about marijuana. Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7. 7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement, $2. 4 billion at the federal level and $5. 3 billion at the state and local levels. Revenue from taxation of marijuana sales would range from $2. 4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6. 2 billion if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco. “ Just one year’s savings would cover the full cost of anti-terrorism port security measures required.
Also, our government takes an excessive amount of money from our taxpayers for it; It’s been reported that enforcement of state and local marijuana laws annually costs US taxpayers an estimated $7. 6 billion. The prohibition hasn’t given the intended results of people not associating with it. Total US marijuana arrests increased 165% during the 1990s. California alone saves $100 million per year after the legalization of medical marijuana. Obviously it would be more helpful to our society than the prohibition of it. V. The Medical Benefits of Marijuana
The public has had very different views on the use of Marijuana for medical purposes. However, scientific evidence triumphs opinion in the medical field on any given day. It relieves pain, controls nausea and vomiting, and stimulates ones appetite. It is also 100% natural and grown in soil, contrary to harsh narcotics people use for pain such as morphine and other opioids. There is an endless list of diseases that marijuana can help ease the side effects of, including cancer treatment, AIDS, depression, sclerodoma, and many others. The sixty naturally occurring chemicals in marijuana all have individual medical uses.
For example, cannabinol can help with insomnia, and cannabidiolic acid is a potent antiseptic that has been used on people suffering from herpes. VI. Marijuana vs. Alcohol and Tobacco Tobacco and alcohol are two legal drugs in the United States. They both are the cause of death for millions of people each year, while marijuana has been proven to never have caused any deaths. Tobacco causes various types of cancer, and nicotine in tobacco is classified as a drug. Alcohol, also classified as a drug, can end in death or coma if you overdose; it impairs your body and mind, as well as your ability to drive and causes diseases after long term use.
Marijuana does not cause any diseases yet it’s illegal while alcohol is available to the 21 and older public. The La Guardia Report covered thousands of years of the history of marijuana. Among its conclusions: “The practice of smoking marijuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word. ” As well as “The use of marijuana does not lead to morphine or heroin or cocaine addiction, and no effort is made to create a market for those narcotics by stimulating the practice of marijuana smoking. ” So why exactly is it illegal? VII.
Marijuana Stimulates Creativity and Brain Cell Growth Scientific experiments result in the evidence that mammals produce 40% more nerve cells in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memory as well as mood. While other drugs used for recreation such as alcohol, cocaine and nicotine stops cell growth. It is reported that the effects of marijuana produce a dreamlike state; when you dream ideas and visions flow easily through your brain. It is same for this drug, it expands your thinking, not only is it clearer but it is easier to brainstorm.
Marijuana inspires planning, and can be highly useful for people who are passionate about things like aesthetics, architecture, construction, media and advertising, etc. VIII. Conclusion The society we live in today are full of authority and political figures that are narrow minded and refuse to be convinced of ideas they weren’t raised with. When there is legitimate scientific light and reason behind legalizing marijuana and our federal government continue to turn their heads the other way, isn’t it time people should question authority otherwise?
It isn’t any worse than drugs that are legal and can be bought at the corner store. I feel that with everything changing, especially in the medical field, people will realize that sticking with the raw, organic medicine would be the best option. Bibliography 1. Miron, Jeffrey A. “The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. ” The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States (2005): Web. 1 Apr. 2011. <http://www. prohibitioncosts. org/mironreport. html>. 2. Whitebread, Charles. “The History of the Non-Medical Use of Drugs in the United States . Schaffer Library of Drug Policy (1995): Web. 30 Mar. 2011. ;http://druglibrary. org/schaffer/History/whiteb1. htm;. 3. G2, Jerry. “Why Legalize Marijuana? ” (2008): Web. 1 Jan. ;http://hubpages. com/hub/Why-Legalize-Marijuana;. 4. Kleiner, Kurt. “Marijuana might cause new cell growth in the brain . ” New Scientist. 13 Oct. 2005. ;http://www. newscientist. com/article/dn8155-marijuana-might-cause-new-cell-growth-in-the-brain. html;. 5. Unknown. “THE POSITIVE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA. ” Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. ;http://www. druglibrary. org/medicalmj/positive_effects_of_marijuana_. htm;.