Marijuana is a drug that has been used for thousands of years. Marijuana was
used in ancient China, as far back as 5000 B.C. The Incans and Mayans used
marijuana in religious ceremonies. Marijuana also has roots in this country. The
Indians of the plains used marijuana in their peace pipes as a sign of
friendship and peace. After prohibition there was a sharp rise in the use of
this drug in America, but after prohibition was repealed the use went down. In
the 1920s and 30s the use of marijuana was primarily by the minorities. In
the 1930s it was common belief that minorities where inhumane and violent,
and people believed that marijuana was part of the cause. Then in 1937 marijuana
was declared illegal. This was done with no research. It was just assumed that
marijuana caused psychological dependence, provoked violent crimes, and led to
insanity. People were told that marijuana would make people want to take a gun,
knife, or weapon and kill someone. Prohibition on marijuana was established due
to a misunderstanding. Prohibition has not achieved its goal, and goes against
an American philosophical approach. I believe it is time to look at the facts
and benefits, and to reconsider marijuana prohibition. Marijuana has a positive
effect on patients with certain diseases. AIDS victims are sometimes prescribed
marijuana to help increase their appetite. Victims of AIDS do not want to eat
and thus they do not get the nutrients they need. Marijuana helps them to eat,
and thus enabling them to get the nutrients they need. Marijuana also helps to
increase the appetite in cancer patients. People who get glaucomas also use
marijuana. It helps to ease the pain for many glaucoma patients. Marijuana is
very helpful to these people. This is just one example of why marijuana
prohibition should be reconsidered. When comparing tobacco, alcohol, and
marijuana, there is evidence that marijuana has the least addictive power.

During the Nixon administration, the government concluded that marijuana did not
posses any physically addictive traits. The University of California did a study
on the power of heroin, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana in
terms of power to induce psychological dependence. Nicotine was first, marijuana
last. Marijuana was deemed least likely to produce signs of withdrawal upon
quitting, and last in terms of producing a physical tolerance to the drug.

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Marijuana is less addictive than two legal drugs in this country. This does not
make sense, and so prohibition should be reconsidered. The United States
government spends too much money each year on prohibition of marijuana. The DEA
spends 1.3 billion fighting marijuana, and that does not include the
cost of prison management and construction. Overall, the government has spent 30
billion of the taxpayers money. Of felons convicted of crimes related to
marijuana possession, production and trafficking through 1980-1992, 58% had no
prior arrest history, 91% were not identified as organizers, leaders, managers
or supervisors of drug-oriented organizations, and 92% did not own or posses a
gun. In other words, the government is spending millions of dollars putting
non-violent otherwise law-abiding citizens in jail and making the taxpayers pay
the bill. The amount of money spent on war on marijuana is unreasonable.

This is not worth it, and is another reason why prohibition of marijuana should
be reconsidered. The original motivation for marijuana prohibition was based on
a lack of knowledge, and should be reconsidered. Even after research showing the
drug to be much better than originally thought, people will not change their
view on the matter. And so billions of dollars will continually be spent on
persecution and enforcement, while is does not change anything. The patterns do
not change and the use does not decline, and the government will not change
their view on the subject. The prohibition on marijuana is costly, does not
work, and should be reconsidered. It is time that we see and end to the
prohibition of marijuana.



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