Legalize Marijuana | Teen Ink

Legalize Marijuana

February 11, 2010
By Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg


You see marijuana leaves posted everywhere, don’t you? You see them on myspace profiles and stamped upon public building and proudly printed upon the waving signs of protestors throughout the country. Since 1937 this certain leaf has caused a formidable amount of controversy in this country of yours and mind, and the time has come to settle this ancient debate. The time has come to disregard the lies and dissipate the propaganda. The time has come to legalize marijuana.


Marijuana, the proper term being cannabis, has been used throughout history for a number of reasons. Ancient Chinese used it for religious or spiritual reasons. They also built with the hemp that’s contained in the cannabis plant. Hemp is a valuable alternative source for wood, paper, and even car fuel. The forefathers of America grew mass fields of the cannabis plant, for smoking as well as the production of hemp. Yes, George Washington had a grown cannabis field at Mount Vernon for many years. Benjamin Franklin processed hemp, as did Thomas Jefferson, at one of the first paper mills in America. In fact, this quote from Thomas Jefferson, proves it, “Hemp is the first necessity to the wealth and protection of the country.” Marijuana was legal until the campaign against it began in 1930, letting Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote down.


In 1930 Harry Anslinger, the Assistant Prohibition Commissioner of the Bureau of Prohibition enacted a campaign to criminalize the Possession, Cultivation, and Sale of the cannabis plant. He enacted this campaign in order to eradicate the minorities of early 20th century America as time would later tell. Since rich, white, land-owning males were beginning to exchange money to Mexicans and blacks and other minorities in ghettos for pot, Anslinger was outraged and launched the war. Not only was the campaign to eradicate America’s minorities, but also it was meant to monopolize the timber industry and DuPont industry, run by William Hearst. Hearst and Anslinger had joined hands to take down cannabis in order to eliminate competition of the timber, paper, fuel, and construction industries. Their campaign lasted seven years until cannabis was made illegal.
Anslinger published outright lies, such as that within one inhalation of marijuana smoke, you will die. Or such as, later in his campaign, one inhalation of marijuana smoke will turn you insane. Anslinger and his legion of followers proceeded to create “documentaries” on the dangers of marijuana. Such as the 1936 propaganda film “Reefer Madness”, which portrays young men and women jumping to their deaths and murdering each other after smoking marijuana. Scare-tactics and massive propaganda had horrified the American public. Men and women had become frightened to the point of running the opposite way of any seen cannabis plant, and due to this finally, in 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was created, criminalizing the possession of marijuana. This later was repealed and became the Controlled Substances Act. Marijuana was now illegal in the United States.
So marijuana was said to be dangerous, but is it really? Truth is, no. In the United States alone, a combined average of 527,600 people die annually from the legal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and over the counter medicines such as Aspirin. The number of people who have died from marijuana use: 0. Marijuana cannot cause death from overdose. In fact, scientists have disclosed that in order to find a lethal response from marijuana smoking, one would have to inhale several tons of marijuana in less than 15 minutes. Cannabis can be used to induce intoxicating effects in a number of ways, it can be smoked, drank, vaporized, and eaten. The only harmful way of using Marijuana is smoking it, which can cause some damage to the lungs, as with all inhaled smokes. Although, studies have shown marijuana smoke is extremely less dangerous than tobacco smoke, and actually instead of causing serious illnesses such as lung cancer, marijuana has been shown to kill cancer cells of many of it’s users. When marijuana is eaten, vaporized, or drank, it is virtually as harmless as drinking a cup of coffee. What kind of effects does it induce when eaten, drank, vaporized or smoked?

Marijuana can differ its effects depending on the way in which it is consumed. Usually, the positive effects of marijuana include: sudden feeling of joy, fits of laughter, sagacious protection, and in some cases, minor hallucinations. Negative effects include: dry mouth or throat, reddening of the eyes, sudden hunger (a.k.a the munchies), loss of perception, and minor loss of motor control. Insanity does not occur, nor does sudden urge to kill, much to the dissatisfaction of Mr. Anslinger and marijuana prohibitionists. Alas, a new form of marijuana prohibition emerged later in the 20th century under Ronald Reagan.
Under the Reagan administration the War on Drugs was launched. Which was meant to exterminate drugs from across the country and save the public’s lives. While the War on Drugs meant well, it has been established as a disaster. Innocent men and woman have been ripped away from their family and thrown in person for doing nothing more than sitting at home and smoking this plant. There have been cases of police breaking through homes and, once, even killing a family dog, as they raided the home for marijuana. Police busted indoor grow houses of marijuana and sentenced men and women to years in prison for doing nothing more than growing a few plants. Evidence of this comes with the sentence of Tommy Chong, American actor, comedian and marijuana activist. Chong had been sentenced to 9 months in federal prison in 2003 for doing no more than selling glass pipes and bongs on his website. Federal government officials had told media that Chong had also been processed for making fun of the American drug laws and marijuana prohibition in his movies and comedy acts. As it turns out free speech isn’t too important after all. Due to our economic recession, which has struck America the past few years, even more reasons have risen to legalize the cannabis plant.

Each year, even in our hard economic times, America spends billions of dollars funding the War on Drugs, which has proved to do nothing but strengthen drug cartels and organized crime lords. Since marijuana is illegal, the money spent on it funds criminals instead of funding the country, and the money spent on marijuana is no joke. In 2008, the illegal substance was the most Prosperous cash crop in the country, topping perfectly legal vegetables such as corn. The marijuana industry raked in about 35.8 billion dollars in 2008 continues in that same standard. Imagine what we could use nearly 36 billion extra dollars for in the United States economy? That, plus the 150 million dollars spent to cover court costs of marijuana offenders, PLUS if you tax marijuana, that’s even more money being brought into the American economic system. Furthermore, with our police officials not having to worry about petty marijuana smokers anymore, how much extra time would they have to capture real criminals? Murderers, kidnappers, child abductors could be locked away for years instead of filling our prisons with people who just smoked a plant. Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence is overwhelming. It is time to legalize marijuana.
Stop innocent people being ripped away from their homes and thrown in jail! Stop spending the taxpayers money to fund a failing War on Drugs! Stop the ignorant discrimination of the American pot-smoker! Begin the reform, the revolution of the pot leaf and help to legalize marijuana!



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This article has 41 comments.


on Jan. 13 2011 at 9:03 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

Marijuana is not addictive, tomtomtimmy. I quit marijuana cold-turkey for 6 months and didn't have the slightst bit of withdrawal. Cannabis is not Methamphetamine, its psychological addiction is not physically or mentally dabilitating. People would not be taking old ladies purses in order to "get their next fix". Plus, Prop. 19 (R.I.P) had an ounce of Mary Jane priced at $40. Street price is sometimes upwards of $200, therefore you should be seeing that cataclysmic barrage of money-starved pot addicts storm the streets right now. I also did not say that smoking cannabis is "really bad", it is just the most health hazardous method. Most hazardous is cannabis terms equals maybe a sore throat sometimes, or a cough rarely. And, dude, the vaporizer market is booming right now due to the influx of medicinal marijuana across the country. Ever hear of a vaporizer? Speaking of medicinal marijuana there are thousands of medical pot plantations across the country operating at this very second by regular joes just like you and me. Nobody is stealing any weed, except of course the DEA every once in a while. Marijuana dispensaries and grow operations have proved to be prosperous and they are helping so many people! Oh, and pot makes your eyes red because it relaxes the blood vessels, causing a stronger blood flow, reddening the eyes. Hallucinations are extremely mild with marijuana. And the criminal overlords would suffer a huge financial loss if pot were legalized, why would they raid the plantations, who would they sell to? Who would buy from a guy on the street when they can go down to the gas station. 

1617almost said...
on Jan. 13 2011 at 3:43 pm
1617almost, Ukiah, California
0 articles 0 photos 26 comments
sorry for the spelling :/

1617almost said...
on Jan. 13 2011 at 3:41 pm
1617almost, Ukiah, California
0 articles 0 photos 26 comments
Great acrticle! I think they should legalize cannabis! For many reasons. first just like you said it will bring money to the U.S. and if we have more money there wont be that many schools that dont have enough money to pay teachers and other school workers. Second there are many people I know who have got arrested for the smallest amount of weed that its just not cool. some people actually need weed to get through their sickness. The only thing that i think is killing it is the little punk kids who do it to try and look cool. I think thats just wrong. well anyway nice article.

LoveKills GOLD said...
on Jan. 13 2011 at 9:24 am
LoveKills GOLD, Niantic, Connecticut
14 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
And people say we wear tight jeans and dye our hair. That doesnt mean we can't scream or make loud noise.

Mabey so but I'm accidted to writing too and there both not bad.

LoveKills GOLD said...
on Jan. 13 2011 at 9:22 am
LoveKills GOLD, Niantic, Connecticut
14 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
And people say we wear tight jeans and dye our hair. That doesnt mean we can't scream or make loud noise.

Come on we should. It helps me write

on Jan. 13 2011 at 6:21 am
tomtamtimmy GOLD, Sydney, Other
17 articles 0 photos 49 comments

Favorite Quote:
you don't know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have

if smoking pot makes you haloucenate ITS NOT GOOD FOR YOU if it makes youre eyes go red ITS MAKING YOU SICK. hundreds of people that are addicted to it lose there homes because they simply do not have the money to repay the bank, people are going broke. if its being legally sold its going to start a chain reaction. one guy goes broke but still wants to smoke goes and mugs a few people. or he goes broke, gets a lone cant repay itand they take his home.

you say cannibis is only realy bad when smoked. BUT IF THEY ARE LEGALLY SELLING IT IN ITS RAW FORM PEOPLE ARE GOING TO ROLL IT UP AND SMOKE IT.

where will they put the plantations. and when the set them up whats going to stop stoners signing up for the job and stealing large amounts of cannibis straight off the plantation. and whats going to stop big crime gangs raiding these plantations for cannibis and also the shops that sell them!


randomname said...
on Dec. 1 2010 at 12:09 pm

pot=happy

shrooms=funny images


on Nov. 30 2010 at 8:57 pm
fahreekin-crazy BRONZE, Sharon, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 15 comments

Holla! It's so annoying how people seem get all angsty about weed but not coffee or alchohol. It's a natural substance that is, like, awesome :D Haha, anyway, love the article; I actually learned a lot more from it than I thought.

realize and legalizee<3


on Nov. 10 2010 at 3:07 pm
MMGloria BRONZE, Stephens City, Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself." - Bob Marley

This is very good and informative. Well written, also.

sunflower45 said...
on Sep. 25 2010 at 2:32 pm
No offense, but I wonder if the the reason why certain commenters are so supportive is because they are addicted to marijuana ...

on Aug. 12 2010 at 11:20 am
emmacxoxo PLATINUM, Chelsea, Massachusetts
22 articles 6 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
Okay. Okay.

i love this article...you did a fantastic job exposing why weed isnt as harmful as it is portrayed, and it should absolutely be legalized

on Jul. 30 2010 at 1:55 pm
sweethearrrt GOLD, Portland, Oregon
10 articles 7 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe

excuse me? first of all, i have asthma. and you cant just "take an inhaler" after u smoke and expect it to be okay. smoking anything could B deadly to me. i hve nothing against ppl who do weed. my ex-boyfriend does it (and deals it) and though i dont like it i dont hold anything against him. pot is one of the mildest drugs out there, and if you had to do a drug that would be the least harmful one to do, but you need to realize that there are dangers to it.

on Jul. 30 2010 at 1:52 pm
sweethearrrt GOLD, Portland, Oregon
10 articles 7 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe

im not regergating anything. my boyfriend is a  drug dealer, and i have asthma. just being around smoke makes me dizzy, he wont let me do pot (not that i would want to) becuz he knows its dangerous for me. my doctor told me that smoking anything could be deadly for me. i dont have anything against ppl who do pot, but u gotta realize that it is dangerous for some ppl. and this isnt random crap, this is the reality of my life. so no, im not kidding you.

on Jul. 27 2010 at 8:17 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

UPDATE: The California Bill to Control, Tax And Regulate Marijuana (Proposition 19) is projected to sell an ounce of marijuana for $40. Yes, $40. The bill would make posession of an ounce of marijuana completely legal for California residents age 21 and over, cultivation of marijuana would be legal, giving marijuana to other residents 21 and over would be legal. The bill is to be voted on this November. If you live in the Golden State, make sure to vote YES on Proposition 19. It's great to see America finally taking some action against the most outdated, ridiculous law in modern history.

on Jul. 27 2010 at 8:12 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

Kid, you gotta be kidding me. First of all if this has happened several times why is it documented virtually nowhere. Second, technically if you have asthma you can die from running for an extended amount of time. This is why they have something called an inhaler. Smoking weed can not kill you. I can point you in the direction of many un-biased informational websites on pot if you'd like, so you aren't regurgitating that garbage Reefer Madness all over the internet.

on Jul. 21 2010 at 8:33 pm
sweethearrrt GOLD, Portland, Oregon
10 articles 7 photos 43 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe

YOU  CAN DIE FOM WEED! if you have asthma you can die on the first puff. this is true, and it happens more than you can think. maybe you should have read a wider variety of research.

on Apr. 3 2010 at 4:25 pm
Jordan901278 BRONZE, Long Pond, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Moloch! Burns down the love of the world." - Allen Ginsberg

I don't know about you man but i'd rather pay a few extra bucks for a bag of weed than sit in prison. And the projected price of it would probably put a ounce of weed at about $120-$150. Or so i read on a California bill for legalization.

MadHatter said...
on Apr. 2 2010 at 11:06 am

I totally disagree. Weed shouldnt be legalized. I have nothing against it or anything but if they legalize it, they're going to tax it like no other. Your going to go out and try to buy a dime bag and its going to end up being $50 bucks. I think they shouldnt legalize it. Its going to be super expensive and its going to have an age limit on it and just as easy to get. Id rather get weed cheap than expensive.

Move to amsterdam if your so concerned about it.


on Feb. 22 2010 at 10:05 am
Peace420 BRONZE, Williston, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 42 comments
yep dude they should!

good article

Jesse5261 said...
on Feb. 19 2010 at 11:08 pm
Wow. Amazing article says this reader.


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