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 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, ***** th***** 18-20 million have smoked during the last year (NORML, 1999)."

***** to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director ***** National Organization for ***** Re*****m of Marijuana Laws (NORML, 1999), "Like most Americans, the vast majority of these millions ***** marijuana smokers are otherwise 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 hav*****g smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

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

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

Reasons ***** Legalizing *****

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

***** 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 ***** arrests ***** 1 million, marijuana 285,000 (Turnpike.net, 1999)" Although marijuana is ***** dangerous of a drug than tobacco, it is also used much less than ***** (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, *****). The average tobacco smoker smokes about one pack of cigarettes per day, which is ***** twenty *****, while the ***** marijuana smoker smokes about two joints a day. Greg Norr*****, the author of the essay "The Issues at H*****: Legaliz*****ion of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999):

Thus, marijuana contains more of ***** dangerous *****cer causing chemicals than tobacco **********. Although this would constitute marijuana as being more "dangerous," but in the society we live in today and the amount of tobacco ***** tobacco-users consume, ***** ***** is on the contrary. Due to ***** smaller frequency use of product by marijuana-users, tobacco ***** definitely ***** 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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