Messing With Mary Jane

November 29, 2010
By Katelyn Stallings BRONZE, McDonough, Georgia
Katelyn Stallings BRONZE, McDonough, Georgia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Over the past few decades, the use of marijuana has become a major issue among the citizens of the United States. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, the government's most restrictive category, meaning it is at high risk of being abused (John P. Walters). While the dangers of this drug are commonly known, many are confounded as to why it is in such a restrictive drug group and why it is even prohibited in the first place. The legalization of marijuana would save the government millions of dollars and would allow patients to be prescribed marijuana for therapeutic purposes.
The prohibition of marijuana has, in a sense, been blown out of proportion. Nadelmann says an estimated fifteen billion dollars of taxpayers' money is spent on enforcing marijuana laws yearly. He goes on to say that police make about 700,000 arrests yearly on marijuana charges, eighty-seven percent of which are for possession of small amounts of the drug. Francis Young, administrative-law judge in the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently suggested that marijuana be moved to the Schedule II group, a less restrictive category, because marijuana possesses medical value and is at less risk for abuse. Young's request was shot down, and Ethan A. Nadelmann claims that the drug remains in Schedule I "for reasons that are entirely political, not scientific." He backs up this claim naming all of the drugs in the less restrictive category, including cocaine, amphetamine, and other drugs that are responsible for the deaths of thousands of users each year; not one death has even been reported to have been directly caused by marijuana.
Marijuana serves a medical purpose too, so its legalization would allow patients to be prescribed therapeutic cannabis. Federal law still prohibits the prescription of medical marijuana however every state ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana has been approved by large margins. Nadelmann says that the federal government provides marijuana to "a few patients who were years ago recognized by the courts as bona fide". If the government can provide this medical cannabis to people considered to be "bona fide", why can't they legalize it to provide the drug to other patients?
Young people use marijuana more than they smoke cigarettes, even with police forces and the drug war. One hundred million Americans have used marijuana, and that number will continue to rise as the years pass. The government could continue to waste money with their attempts to stop marijuana use, or they could legalize, regulate, and tax it, then educate young adults about the drug to decrease the use of it, just as they did for cigarettes.

The author's comments:
I strongly believe that the U.S. government is wasting both time and money fighting a never-ending battle against illegal drugs.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Sep. 11 2012 at 8:47 am
SMITHandWESSON, Wilmington, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This article is true you know how much money the government would be saving if they leagalize weed. It even says it in the article it DOESNT HURT YOU  OR KILL YOU. Plus they can put that money to good use. I say go green and go legal.

hoggard96 said...
on Sep. 11 2012 at 8:33 am
hoggard96, Wilmington, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Dude, this article is so true. The Government is wasting so much money enforcing marijuana laws when they could be using that money for educational purposes, to fix roads, or to even help the foriestry in all states. Marijuana has been proven that it won't hurt you, your brain, or your lungs. So I think that they should legalize it. It would benefit everything.

CameronCox said...
on Sep. 11 2012 at 8:29 am
CameronCox, Wilmington, North Carolina
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments
This article points out all of the key reasons into why marijuana should be legal. It was very persuasive.


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