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Make a Case to Legalize Marijuana - Essay Example

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Name and Number of the Course Date THE BENEFITS OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA Introduction Marijuana policy has been a contentious issue in the United States. In the course of time, “federal marijuana policy has become increasingly restrictive and punitive, while state policy more fluid and lax” (Khatapoush & Hallfors 751)…
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Make a Case to Legalize Marijuana
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Download file to see previous pages In 1970, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act placed marijuana in Schedule I with heroin, mescaline, and LSD, perceiving the drug as low medical utility while highly liable for abuse, consequently rendering it unavailable for medical use. Despite this classification, the federal government permitted its use for a few patients as part of a compassionate use program. By the early 1990s, increasing numbers of people with AIDs applied for the compassionate use program for relief from nausea and loss of appetite. In 1992 the Department of Health and Human Services officially terminated the program. Opposing federal legislation, nearly half the states as initiated by California and Arizona legalized the medicinal use of the drug by the end of 1996. Although the “possession of cannabis , even for medical purposes, remains a federal offense” (Earleywine 169), its rates of use for medicine continues to be high. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to persuade the reader on the necessity for legalizing marijuana. The exploitation of drug cartels, the medicinal and economic benefits, and the requirement for responsible usage will be examined. Legalizing Marijuana: Elimination of Drug Cartels and its Black Market If marijuana prohibition ended, the black market in the drug would disappear to a great extent. Better and safer marijuana would be available to buyers, who will not be required to come into contact with criminals or hard drug users. Thus, “legalization would save society billions of dollars now spent on pursuing users, and a legal marijuana industry could bring in billions more in revenue” (Ruschmann 87). Further, the government would still be able to punish abusers of the drug, and educate the public about using marijuana responsibly. Moreover, businesses and schools could discourage the use of the drug and prohibit its use in their domains. Legalizing Marijuana does not Result in its Increased Use Other countries have not experienced serious problems as a result of relaxing marijuana laws. For example, in Australia with tough mariguana laws, decriminalizing the usage of the drug in three states resulted in its increased use in all regions including jurisdictions with a total prohibition approach to cannabis, with the largest increase in Tasmania, a prohibitionist state. The Swiss government, as well as the Canadian Senate Committee have found that based on scientific studies there was no relationship between the harshness of marijuana laws and the percentage of people who use the drug. Similarly, in the United States itself, with the decriminalization of marijuana in some states for more than twenty years, the Connecticut Law Revision Commission found that “larger increases in marijuana use occurred in states that did not decriminalize than those that did” (Ruschmann 85). Further, although in the United States and Canada there are very restrictive laws on the use of the drug, it is used more extensively than in Belgium, Germany and Spain with highly liberal laws. Additionally, there was no consequent increase in hard drug use caused by the liberal policies of Spain, Italy and Portugal or from over thirty years’ experience of relaxed marijuana laws in the Netherlands (Ruschmann 85). Moreover, in Canada despite the increasing numbers of cannabis users, there has not been a proportionate increase in the users of hard drugs. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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