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History of Marijuana and the Benefits of Legalization

Updated on April 14, 2015

Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana has been illegal since 1937 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill making the sale, use, and production illegal in the United States of America. This bill even included industrial hemp a plant in the same family as Marijuana but with very little THC, the main chemical of the plant that gets you high. (NORML) Marijuana law should be reconsidered and should be legal at the federal level because the pros outweigh the cons. The money made from the taxes would help our economy, we would have less crowded prisons, and it would be harder for minors to get.

When anything becomes illegal there becomes an underground market for it. Take alcohol prohibition for example not only did people continue to drink but the problem of drinking had become way worse. (Graham) Alcohol Prohibition was an utter failure and because of that it only lasted 13 years. (Graham) The same thing has been happening with Marijuana as Alcohol Prohibition, but we haven’t done anything to stop it. People still made alcohol and drank it even though the government said it was illegal and they made a lot of money doing it because of the prohibition. If marijuana was taxed the government wouldn’t have to be losing money trying to enforce a law that cannot be enforced. The money that is made from the tax could be used to help educate the public behind the effects of marijuana on youth. Cigarettes are legal and horrible for your health and we have reduced the amount of people smoking by increasing the taxes on it and by having the public informed on all of the health risks associated with smoking. (Brian)

Most our prisons are becoming over populated and new prisons have to open up. This causes more of our tax dollars to go to prisons when we have more important places to spend money like cutting our trillion dollar debt. (Prison) Prisons should not be filled with non-violent drug criminals that only did things in the privacy of their own home and did nothing to hurt anyone else. On a 3rd offense of a marijuana conviction at the federal level has a maximum sentence of 3 years and sometimes carries a felony charge along with it. (NORML) If you have a felony you don’t have a chance at getting a job which just makes the non-violent drug user committed to a life of crime just to make a living which isn’t fair. If we filled our prisons with the real criminals we wouldn’t have to pay for all the incarcerated nonviolent drug users also making the amount of new prisons being built slow down. (Prison)

Ask any teenager what is easier to get alcohol or marijuana and the answer will most always be marijuana. As a minor I can easily vouch for this I know plenty of people that have weed and are more than willing to share or sell to their friends. The reasons why it is easier to get is because alcohol is regulated and to purchase it you have to have an id that proves your older than 21.Not only can I not purchase the alcohol at stores I would have to find someone that is 21 and wants to break the law to provide me alcohol. Many people are scared that if we legalize marijuana teenagers would believe that it is okay to use marijuana because the government legalized it. But in countries with very relaxed drug laws such as Amsterdam; use of drugs by their people are way less. (Drug Facts)But if meth was legalized tomorrow how many people would be going out and hitting the meth pipe?

People think there is such thing as a drug free utopia but the thing is there never will be. If there is a will there is a way to get a drug. Just trying to remove a drug off the face of this earth won’t happen when something that is a weed and can practically grow anywhere will never be eradicated. We make something illegal and as normal human beings we always try to get around it legally. Look at all the other substances that are marijuana “substitutes” coming out that are legal but are killing people and sending them to the hospital. (Drug Facts) These companies are producing synthetic materials and marketing them as a mix of herbal plants called spice. (Drug Facts) While the government is banning these synthetic cannabinoids the companies are easily able to alter the chemical a little bit and it is completely legal again.

When something with a lower dependence rate then coffee and is less addicting then cigarettes there is something wrong. Many successful people use marijuana and have no problems in society. Our own President, Barrack Obama was a heavy marijuana user in his teen years he stated in his own auto biography. (Famous) He and his group of friends called themselves the Choom Gang literally meaning to smoke lots of weed. When people say you cannot be successful by smoking weed we have a person that is a president of the United States of America but a person trying to join the military or become a public servant can't because they have used marijuana is wrong and needs to be changed and only we the people can change this.


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Brian King and others?

Section III: The Prison Economy

Drug Facts

Addictive properties of popular drugs

The Netherlands Compared to the United States




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