Mark B. Owen
13 April 2018
The Benefits of Marijuana Legalization
Marijuana, also known as cannabis, was brought to the New World by the Spanish in the year 1545. Marijuana has till this day, various uses. From the day it was brought to the United States, marijuana was used to produce hemp; a replacement for cotton. During this era, cannabis was also used as certain medicines. By the year 1920, marijuana became an epidemic. It became more and more popular the more the A-list celebrities began to consume it. Marijuana was used as a prescribed drug in the United States from the years 1850 to 1942. The use of marijuana was officially outlawed in 1937. Even if it was illegal, marijuana was prescribed to people with many conditions like labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism. By the 1930s, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics claimed that marijuana is a powerful drug that can lead people to addiction. They claimed it was a “gateway” drug. As the years went on, marijuana was used by different groups of people for different reason. According to narconon.org, marijuana was only allowed for recreational use by jazz musicians and people in the show business. In the 1950s, marijuana was used as an accessory by the beat generation. In the 1960s, marijuana was used as a symbol of rebellion against the higher up by college students and hippies. Today, even with marijuana being illegal, it’s still used by over 22,000,000 Americans a month (Nathan, 1746). With all the benefits that marijuana can be used for, medical, governmentally, and criminally, there is not a reason it should stay illegal.
*Many people are opposed to the legalization of marijuana. Even with all the benefits that marijuana has, a common belief is that marijuana is a very addictive drug and that dependency will only increase with legalization. What those people do not realize is that anything in this world can become addictive: legal or illegal. (Griffiths, bbc.com). Alcohol is a perfect example of this. Alcohol can be very addictive and can cause many problems with one’s health as well as socially. Another common belief is that if marijuana is legalized, it can be possessed the wrong people, children for example. This cannot be more inaccurate. Whether marijuana is legal or not, if anyone under the age of 21 wants to buy drugs, they will. A law is not going to prohibit them. Even though it is wrong, it is still going to happen. If anything, legalizing marijuana can lower the rate of anyone under the age of 21 to have possession of marijuana. This is because if legalized, marijuana can be monitored more effectively. Lastly, another belief is that there may be more traffic accidents and deaths will increase when marijuana is legalized. Again, alcohol seems to be one of the largest causes of traffic accidents and deaths (Nathan 1746). Alcohol seems to be more harmful than marijuana so why is it that marijuana cannot be legalized? If something does way less harm than...