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Marijuana Should be Legalized
For decades the marijuana prohibition has been violating individual’s rights, but scientific research has proven that marijuana has therapeutic uses and is harmless compared to other drugs. Therefore, marijuana should not be considered a dangerous drug and should be legalized. The prohibition of marijuana did not end with crime; nonetheless, it is responsible for the imprisonment of thousands of its users. The government’s campaign against marijuana has also created cultural factors that make the use of marijuana socially unacceptable. However, it should be up to each individual to decide if he/she wants to use marijuana whether it is for pleasure or for therapeutic reasons.
The legalization of marijuana has been strongly debated since the 1920s and 1930s, when it was first recognized as a dangerous drug, and tabloid newspapers popularized exaggerated stories of violent crimes allegedly committed by immigrants intoxicated by marijuana (Grinspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered 118). In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was signed to prohibit the use of marijuana because marijuana supposedly caused violent crimes, “sexual excess,” addiction, and led to the use of harder drugs (Grinspoon, Marihuana Reconsidered 118). In the 1970s, the government created the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study the effects of marijuana (Weir 26). The NIDA published many claims concerning marijuana use, but they did not have evidence to support their claims (Weir 26). This misinformation and the government’s campaign against marijuana made the legalization of marijuana impossible.
Marijuana is a harmless drug, but it has not been legalized because people believe most of the anti-marijuana claims. Research studies have proven that marijuana helps the individual experience a sense of well being, relieves fatigue, stimulates the appetite, and induces a feeling of mild stimulation (McDonough 50). Another advantage of marijuana is that experienced users can control the degree and quality of the intoxication by “coming down” when it is necessary to perform (McDonough 50). Marijuana does not cause sexual excess because daily use of marijuana has not been found to alter testosterone or other sex hormone levels like alcohol use, which lowers testosterone levels (Grinspoon, “Whither Medical Marijuana” 28).
Marijuana is not an addictive drug. National epidemiological surveys show that the large majority of people who experience marijuana do not become regular users, and the regular users consume marijuana in a way that does not interfere with their other life activities (Grinspoon, “Whither Medical Marijuana” 28). The idea that marijuana use results in the use of “harder” drugs is not true because over time there has not been any consistent relationship between the use patterns of various drugs (“NORML Report on Marijuana”). It is true that users of heroin, LSD, and cocaine have used marijuana,...