The Legalization of Marijuana
Uploaded by tummyluvin on Apr 18, 2002
One question that has haunted Americans for a long time is: “Should the use of marijuana be legalized?” Some say, “Yes”, while other say, “No”. According to Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, marijuana is defined as “a mixture of leaves, stems, and flowering tops of the Indian hemp plant Cannabis sativa, smoked or eaten for its hallucinogenic and pleasure-giving effects.” (Bram, Phillips, Dickey, 445) Owning marijuana was made a crime in 1937 when Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. Despite this law the drug was still somewhat commonly used. Here we are years later, still without a satisfactory answer to the question. I think that legalizing the use of marijuana would have many medical benefits, economical benefits, and would decrease the incidence of crime.
There are others who disagree. These people feel that legalization would lead to the formation of other habits and to health problems, such as, the use of a harsher drug and to psychological and personality problems that can come from using marijuana. These individuals feel that the negatives of marijuana use far outweigh the positives, and feel that the use of marijuana should remain illegal. To some people marijuana is considered a “gateway” drug. Legalizing marijuana would lead to the use of other, much more harsh drugs. From the book Drugs, Teens, and Recovery, Lauren, a teenager that got mixed up in drugs describes how she got involved with marijuana, then with cocaine. She says, “I was ten, in the fifth grade, the first time I smoked pot. I liked pot a lot better than drinking because it was easier. I loved it. Pot and alcohol, that’s all I needed. I didn’t want to get into anything else”. She continues, “About this time, I started getting obsessed with cocaine and thinking about what the high would be like”. Just like Lauren people can start off with just smoking marijuana but they would get the urge to try something a little bit stronger. (Chesney, 46)
Marijuana usage has many medical benefits. It became popular as a medicine in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Then, marijuana was used to treat general headaches, migraine headaches, depression, muscular tension, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. Today, marijuana has proven to be beneficial in the treatment of many more medical conditions including glaucoma, cancer, and asthma. In 1976, Robert C. Randall became the very first American to ever gain legal access to...