Essay - Legalization of Marijuana Introduction Marijuana is One of the Most...


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Legalization of Marijuana

Introduction

Marijuana is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the United States, exceeded in popularity by only alcohol and tobacco. Recent research reveals that "more than 70 million Americans have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives, and th***** 18-20 million have smoked during the last year (NORML, 1999)."

***** to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director of National Organization for ***** Reform of Marijuana Laws (*****, 1999), "Like most Americans, the vast majority of these millions of marijuana smokers are otherw*****e law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families and contribute to their communities..." A national survey revealed that 32 percent of voting adults in the U.S. have acknowledged having smoked ***** at some ***** in ***** lives.

***** legalization of marijuana has been a topic of controversy for several years. Many proponents ***** the drug argue ***** marijuana should be legalized for both medical and recreational use. O*****rs say that it should at least be decriminalized, meaning ***** the penalty for growing or possession of marijuana would be a simple fine, rather than jail time.

***** paper aims to examine the controversial aspects of legalizing *****, in an effort to present a strong argument in favor ***** legalizing the drug. The paper will present six valid reasons for legalizing the drug, as well ***** background statements ***** support these arguments.

Reasons for Legalizing *****

There are m*****y reasons that can ***** listed in ***** of legalizing marijuana. It is a common belief th*****t marijuana is not a dangerous drug and many people use it responsibly. Responsible use of marijuana, according to the NORML Board ***** Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: only adults use ********** users do ***** drive under ***** influence; users resist abuse; and ***** the rights of others ***** respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized ***** possession of marijuana.

According to William F. Buckley, "In 1967, all drug arrests came to 121,000. Of these, hit marijuana arrests were one-half, 61,000. In 1991, all drug arrests were 1 million, ***** 285,000 (Turnpike.net, 1999)" Although marijuana is ***** dangerous of a ***** than tobacco, it is also used much less than ***** (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, *****). The average tobacco smoker smokes about one pack ***** cigarettes per day, which ***** ***** twenty *****, while the ***** ***** ***** smokes about two joints a day. Greg Norris, the author of the essay "The Issues at Hand: Legaliz*****ion of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999):

*****, marijuana contains more of the dangerous cancer causing chemicals than tobacco *****es. Although this would constitute marijuana as being more "dangerous," but in the society we live in to***** and the amount of tobacco that tobacco-users consume, this ***** is on the contrary. Due to ***** smaller frequency use of product by marijuana-users, tobacco ***** def*****itely ***** proven the "killer" in today's society." (www.umd.umich.edu)

In comparison to alcohol, marijuana is the *****er detriment." (University of *****, 1999) When viewing the situation in

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