Legalization of marijuana - Essay Example

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This article will explore the subject of marijuana under the following divisions: definition, its history and the current debate about legalization of marijuana. This research is being carried out to evaluate and present why marijuana should not be legalized…
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Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the definition of marijuana as a dry, shredded combination of stems, seeds, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant called Cannabis Sativa. Marijuana is generally smoked in a pipe or as a cigarette. It is the most common illegal drug abused in the United States. Marijuana abuse can lead to problems with learning, memory, and social behavior. The drug can interfere with activities linked with school, work, family, etc. Several scientific studies are testing the usefulness and safety of cannabis compounds for the treatment of certain ailments. Marijuana is a popular recreational drug in the United States, and it ranks third in popularity behind alcohol and tobacco. It is estimated that approximately 100 million Americans have used marijuana. According to the surveys conducted by the government, approximately 25 million of Americans have used marijuana in the last 12 months. It also estimated that nearly 14 million of people smoke it regularly despite the harsh laws prohibiting the use of marijuana. According to NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), marijuana is not as dangerous as tobacco or alcohol. Approximately 50,000 individuals die every year due to alcohol poisoning and more than 400,000 individuals die each year from tobacco smoking. In comparison with tobacco and alcohol, marijuana is not toxic and cannot cause death due to overdose. (NORML 1). History of Marijuana Use Human beings have used marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for a long time. However, in the wake of the 20th century, it was classified by many countries as an illegal drug. In the past twenty years, there has been a continuous debate as to whether legalize marijuana specifically for medical purposes. The use of medical marijuana has increased in the District of Columbia and 16 states that have permitted its use. However, those who oppose the legalization of marijuana question its importance in the medical field (The New York Times 1). As stated above, the use of marijuana extends back over thousands of years (approximately 10,000 years). There is archaeological evidence that the Chinese used Cannabis Sativa. Archaeological evidence indicates that the first physical human requirements to be fulfilled by marijuana plant were the cloth making practice to offer protection from environmental hazards and climatic changes. Marijuana plant had other beneficial uses, such as important medicines (medicinal plant) and foods. Current Debate on Legalization of Marijuana Proponents of Marijuana Legalization Among the major proponents of marijuana legalization is the state of California. California has been at the forefront of marijuana policy reform (Kilmer et al. 1). The proponents of marijuana legalization state that the aim of legalization is not to make marijuana easily accessible, but rather to make the communities safer through the regulation of the substance. In other words, to take marijuana out of the underground markets, control it and keep it away from the young people. In Colorado, medical marijuana is legal, and it has more than 88,000 Colorado residents who seek medical marijuana therapy (The New York Tim ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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