There are many arguments on the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana.The benefits of legalizing marijuana include its medicinal value and its many uses toproduce commercial products like paper, rope, oil, textiles, and canvas. Another goodreason to legalize marijuana is that hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offendersare overpopulating prisons, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Legalization would alsoput marijuana dealers out of business and it would bring revenue to the government likealcohol and tobacco does. Some opposition to legalizing marijuana is that traffic fatalitieswould increase, and that more people like school teachers and bus drivers would besmoking legally purchased marijuana. They also believe that more young people wouldsmoke more marijuana.Marijuana is medicine and has been used as medicine for thousands of years totreat a wide variety of ailments. It is one of the safest therapeutically active substancesknown. Marijuana is often useful in the treatment of cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiplesclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain. For cancer patients, marijuana alleviates the nausea,vomiting, and loss of appetite caused by chemotherapy treatment. It does the same forpeople with AIDS. By reducing intraocular pressure, marijuana helps slow or halt thegradual increasing eye pressure suffered by glaucoma patients. Marijuana reduces themuscle pain and spastically caused by multiple sclerosis. It also helps some patients controltheir bladders. With some epileptic patients, marijuana prevents seizures. Marijuana is alsoa very effective pain reliever.Hemp, a plant mainly grown for its use as a fiber source, is from the same plantthat produces marijuana. It is different because industrial hemp is grown with minuteamounts of delta-9 and tetrahydrocannibinol, abbreviated as THC, which is the element inmarijuana that gives the 'high sensation'. Industrial hemp is one of nature's strongest andmost versatile agricultural crops. It can be used to produce various things such as textiles,paper, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, food stuffs, insulation, and animal feed. Hemp seedscan be used to make high protein foods and the oil can be used to produce non-toxicpaint, varnish, detergent, diesel fuel, ink, and lubricating oil.One acre of hemp produces as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton and oneacre also produces as much paper as two to four acres of trees. The advantage of usingpaper products produced by hemp is that hemp's growing cycle is around one hundreddays, while it takes trees years to grow to produce the same amount of paper. Hemp wascultivated in the U. S. until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act outlawed marijuana. In1942 the government encouraged American farmers to cultivate hemp for the war effort,but then in 1955 prohibitionists had reasserted a total ban on production. Now the DEA,Drug Enforcement Administration, remains firmly opposed to any notion of revising thefederal laws to allow hemp's domestic cultivation.Every year 400,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana and thousands of themare sent to prison. Marijuana users and dealers account for sixty percent of all prisonerstoday. Because of new anti-drug laws, these prisoners can be jailed for up to thirty years,and most are, even for minor crimes. Federal and State governments are spending billionsto build more prisons to house hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders.Legalization would kill the black market for marijuana. Marijuana sales would beregulated by state and federal governments. It would also help the economy by a reductionin law enforcement costs, and police could focus more on dangerous drugs such ascocaine, heroin, and crystal meth.Some people who oppose the legalization of marijuana say that traffic fatalitieswould increase. The myth is that 40% of drug related emergency room visits are marijuanarelated. The fact is that this statistic purposely excludes the legal drug of alcohol, a drugnotorious for causing violence and accidents. A marijuana related emergency room visitdoes not mean marijuana caused the incident. If the patient admits to using marijuana daysor weeks before the incident or if someone involved in the incident is found onlypossessing marijuana, then the emergency room admission is counted as marijuana related.At first, the amount of people using marijuana may increase. The idea that peoplelike school teachers, day care providers, and bus drivers smoking legally purchasedmarijuana and endangering others is something that should not be worried about. Do thesepeople drink alcohol before going to work or smoke cigarettes during work? They aremostly responsible adults and if they choose to smoke the legally purchased marijuana,they would do it responsibly.Most recreational marijuana smokers will continue to smoke even if marijuana isnever legalized. I was forced to temporarily quit smoking because of the system. I used tooccasionally smoke until my room was searched at the college I attended freshman year. Ifelt that my personal rights were violated when every room on my hall was searched aftersomeone set off a firework. The search was conducted by a R.A., a person who is my age,and it was done without my roommate or I present . Nothing was left in plain sight, infact, all of the paraphernalia was found in a backpack which was in a filing cabinet thatwas in my closet. I felt as though I did not commit a crime, but as though I was the victim.As former president Lincoln said, " Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that itattempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and a makes a crime out of things thatare not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which ourgovernment was founded."