Legalization of Marijuana Essay

Legalization of Marijuana Essay

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Legalization of Marijuana
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Marijuana is a substance that has become very much a part of American culture. Nearly 65 million Americans have either used it occasionally or regularly. The use of marijuana hit mainstream America about thirty years ago and it has been accepted by a large segment of society ever since (Rosenthal 16). The debate on whether this substance should be legalized or not remains a very hot topic today. Despite government efforts
to isolate and eliminate its use, it is clear that the use of marijuana is still very popular.

There is an obvious problem concerning marijuana today. Governments on all three levels: local, state, and federal are trying desperately to find an appropriate policy involving marijuana. National polls show that more than 70% of the American
people, from both ends of the political spectrum, support controlled access to marijuana for medicinal purposes. Despite fierce opposition from the federal government, voters in California and Arizona passed ballot initiatives in the fall of 1996 favoring the legalization of medicinal marijuana (Randall 33).

If support for marijuana at least as a medicinal remedy is so high, then why have only a few states taken steps to change their policy? There are several reasons why marijuana remains illegal. Mainly, it is a political issue kicked around by certain special interest groups. Some of these groups perceive marijuana as a threat to the home, tearing families apart and causing them to abandon traditional values. However these groups usually are not legitimate areas of legislation. The more powerful groups have other, more practical reasons for keeping marijuana illegal. Among the most powerful of these groups are the combined law enforcement-judiciary-penal systems. This group sees the elimination of marijuana laws as a threat to their jobs. Add to this group defense lawyers, who stand to make millions of dollars defending marijuana offenders. Consciously or not, they support anti-marijuana laws (Rosenthal 2).

Another interest group includes the scientists whose marijuana research is funded by the
government. If marijuana were legalized, they would lose millions of dollars in research grants intended to prove the detrimental effects of the substance. Two other unrelated and very influential groups are the liquor lobby and phar...


... middle of paper ...


...ions and penalties
against drug trafficking, and oppose attempts to
weaken international drug policies and laws.

Support adherence to scientific research standards and ethics that are prescribed by the world scientific community and professional associations in conducting studies and review on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

Support efforts to prevent availability and use of drugs, and oppose policies and programs that accept drug use based erroneously on reduction or minimization of harm.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abel, I. L. Marihuana : The First Twelve Thousand Years. New York : McGraw Hill, 2005.

Garner, Charles. Personal Interview. May 21, 2007.

Kluger, Jeffery. Personal Interview. May 16, 2007.

Nahas, Gabriel G. Marihuana, Biological Effects. Illionois : Univeristy of Illinois Press, 2002.

Potter, Beverly. The Healing Magic of Cannabis. California : Ronin Publishings, Inc., 2004.

Randall, Robert C. The Patients Fight for Medicinal Pot. New York : Thunders Mouth Press, 2007.

Roffman, Roger A. Marijuana as Medicine. Washington : Madrona Publishers, Inc., 2004.

Rosenthal, Ed. Why Marijuana Should Be Legal. New York : Thunder?s Mouth Press, 1996.

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