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Should Marijuana Be Legal?

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Marijuana has long been illegal in the United States. Like the alcohol prohibition, it has caused many problems. It has resulted in profit for gang leaders and crime lords. This is only hurting America, and it needs to stop. Marijuana should be made legal for production and consumption in the U.S.

One reason why marijuana should be legalized? Medicinal properties. I’m not going to lie and say that marijuana is this miracle plant that you can smoke, and it will magically cure your cancer. What I will tell you is that AIDS patients and patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer symptoms such as, severe pain, nausea, and a loss of appetite. Marijuana is used a calming, relaxing drug, which can lessen the pain and nausea they feel. Tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical found only in cannabis, has been proven to help patients regain their appetite. People suffering from Multiple Sclerosis commonly suffer from muscle spasticity, and less commonly, tremors. Muscle spasticity causes a persons muscles to uncontrollably jerk, stiffen, and lash out. Tremors are similar, but they occur throughout the body. In 5 of 6 studies on the subject, researches reported a reduction in spasticity and an increase in movement in MS patients (Marijuana Eases Spasticity In MS Patients, 13). In somewhat rare cases, patients tremors become so violent that they can no longer move, or form an understandable sentence. Marijuana can help to calm the tremors, as well as return their ability to speak. In an interview, Greg Cooper, who suffers from MS, displayed the effects that marijuana had on him, completely eliminating his tremors. At the beginning, he needed the help of someone just to ingest the marijuana, because of how badly he was convulsing. In a matter of minutes, he was able to hold an actual conversation with the interviewee, without any spasticity (The Union, Greg Cooper, Eagle Entertainment, 2007, DVD).

Now there are plenty of reasons why marijuana should be legal, but we can’t forget about the negative effects that marijuana prohibition has on society. The number of deaths caused by marijuana is 0. The lethal dosage is 1/3 of your body weight, in the course of 15 minutes, that’s simply impossible. There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana. In 2009, out of a total of 13 million arrests in the US, 858 thousand were marijuana related. 758 thousand of those arrests were for simple possession (Crime in the United States 2009, FBI). The amount of people who have lost their life from marijuana is 0, the amount of people who have had their lives and reputations ruined by prohibition laws is 858 thousand, per year (Amount of arrests for marijuana). The total amount of violent crime arrests in 2009 was 581 thousand (Crime in the United States 2009, FBI). On a personal note, I would rather have my police officers arresting people that are trying to harm me, rather than have them arrest people that want to sit in their homes, mind their own business, and smoke marijuana.

As you probably already know, money is extremely important in this country. Ending marijuana prohibition alone would save 8.7 Billion dollars (Miron & Waldock, 1). Their is also a lot of money to be made by taxing marijuana sales. If it were taxed similarly to alcohol and cigarettes, it would raised around 6.2 billion dollars (Wastler, 5). There would also be increases in small businesses, such as producers of pipes and bongs. The impact would not be much, but it is still a positive.

Hopefully, the facts that I have presented to you will persuade you to help the cause. We can help people with cancer, we can keep people out of prison for unnecessary reasons. We can save our country money. I hope that after reading this you will write to your senator, be an activist, do something about it. Help end this failed ‘War on Marijuana’.





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freeflow23 said...
Jul. 7, 2011 at 11:34 am
You have a good point but with alcohol you can regulate it with BAC levels. With marijuana, there is no way to regulate it b/c it stays in your system for up to 3 months. There isn't (currently) a way to measure the level of marijuana in a person's system. That's why marijuana will (probably) never be legalized.
 
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