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


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Legalization of Marijuana

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Marijuana is one ***** the most popular recreational drugs in the United States, exceeded ***** 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 that 18-20 million have smoked during the last year (NORML, 1999)."

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

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

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

Reasons for Legalizing *****

There ***** m*****y reasons that can be listed in ***** of legalizing *****. 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 of Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: only adults use it; users do not drive under ***** influence; users resist abuse; ***** ***** the rights of others are respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized for ***** 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, marijuana 285,000 (Turnpike.net, *****)" Although marijuana is more dangerous of a ***** than tobacco, it is also used much less than ***** (University ***** Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999). The average tobacco smoker smokes about one pack of cigarettes per day, which ***** about twenty cigarettes, while the average ***** ***** 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):

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

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

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