Legalization of Marijuana

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Date Submitted: 09/03/2011 03:00 AM

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The Debate over Legalization of Marijuana

People who engage in activities that involve illicit drugs are often labeled as bad people. This type of mindset causes American society to be prejudiced against any people who take illicit drugs, such as marijuana. Marijuana is a potent drug that can have both good and bad effects on the user. Yet, the U.S. government criminalizes the use of marijuana and penalizes those who engage in marijuana smoking or ingesting. For this reason, many citizens are outraged. They feel that the government should decriminalize marijuana use based on its positive effects on users. Conversely, other Americans are adamantly opposed to legalizing marijuana and do not condone the act of smoking or ingesting the drug for any reasons. Therefore, this is a hot debate that divides society. In this paper, the writer will give an overview of marijuana from a historical perspective, discuss the pros and cons of the debate, and state a preference for legalizing marijuana.

“According to the 2000 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, an estimated 34%

of Americans over the age of 12 have used marijuana in their lifetime” (“Marijuana” par. 1).

Marijuana comes from a plant with leaves and flowering tops, which is called Cannabis sativa. Then, there are two other common forms of the substance—hashish and ganja. The former is a black liquid that is highly concentrated, and the later is Cannabis indica, which comes from the tops of female plant. Indica plants differ from sativa plants in that their leaves are darker and broader. Used as an illicit drug, marijuana has potency due to THC, a psychoactive chemical, and it is grown primarily in third world countries, such as Mexico, Panama, Columbia, and Jamaica. People who use the drug recreationally are breaking the law in many countries, like the United States where the drug is illegal.

The history of marijuana can be traced back a thousand of years. India and Greece were two countries where the drug...