Legalize marijuana

Should Marijuana Be Legal
By: Colby Gilbert
E-mail: emailprotected
Should Marijuana Be Legal This is a topic that has become a bit of concern
amongst people in the past few years. Marijuana has been illegal since the
early 1900s, but lately scientists have figured out that there are some uses of
marijuana that could benefit people in need, people who are sick of deadly
diseases such as aids, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. These are all diseases
that are hard for anyone to go through, especially without aid that helps the
pain and misery from ceasing. Prohibiting marijuana has just made things
worse, by increasing the price of marijuana, the illegal usage, and the money
spent on trying to cease its use. Abraham Lincoln once said two quotes about
prohibition, Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts
to control a mans appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that
are not crimes, and A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles
upon which our government was founded. I believe that he is right for stating
that we have rights and they should not be taken for granted. He may have
not been thinking of marijuana when he made his speech, but it involves
prohibition, meaning prohibition in general and of any kind. The first crop of
American hemp was grown in 1611 (Grinspoon 11). However, the modern
practice of smoking marijuana was not introduced until the 1920s. This was
a time of drug intolerance. America was in the stages of the prohibition of
alcohol campaign. Marijuana was introduced and smoked by the early
immigrants. In the 1930s it was a common belief that immigrants were
inhumane and violent, so these attitudes were associated and blamed on the
marijuana. By 1931 all but two states had anti-marijuana legislation. By 1937
all states had prohibited marijuana use and made it illegal to have anything to
do with this drug. No research was ever made on marijuana at this time or its
effects. People simply believed in assumptions made about marijuana, such
things as it provoked violent crime and caused insanity. Strategies of fighting
marijuana were silence and exaggeration. People believed that by not telling
their children about marijuana, then they would not become curious and not
experiment with it. In the 1930s it was deemed that schools could not talk
about marijuana. The Motion Picture Association of America banned all films
that showed narcotics from 1934-1956 (Musto 46). This approach did not
work so people quickly moved onto the next step, exaggeration. The
purpose of exaggerating was to scare possible users from trying marijuana.

The American Journal of Medicine once wrote, Marijuana users will
suddenly turn with murderous violence upon whoever is nearest to them
(Musto 44). One modern cause of prohibition was the belief that if the
marijuana policy was relaxed, then more people would use marijuana. In
1984 nationwide usage was at 26.3%. In the eleven states that decriminalized
it it was 27.3%. In 1988 nationwide use was 15.4% and the eleven states
was at 16.1%. The statistics show that by prohibiting it or allowing it, the use
would be one and the same. Holland is another example of the effect of
legalizing marijuana. Holland legalized marijuana in 1976 and since then they
have had a 40% reduction in marijuana users. Another statistic, in 1979
68.2% of the population of 18-25 year olds had tried marijuana at least once,
and 30% were users. Those numbers are down now to 50% and 13%, but
the point is that after 30 years the drug is still being attained. Now if the
purpose of prohibiting marijuana is to eliminate its use, then prohibition has
failed. Prohibition has accomplished some things, one being it has made
criminal drug dealers richer. The risks of trafficking marijuana has increased,
thus enabling these people raise the price of weed, which increases their
profits. Second, marijuana has caused taxpayers tremendous amounts of
money on police, court costs, and jails. Last, it has torn apart families with
members that use marijuana. Did you know that 58% of marijuana felons
have no relevant prior crime history, 91% were not considered organizers,

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