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

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Legalization of Marijuana


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 ***** during the last year (NORML, 1999)."

***** to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director ***** National Organization for ***** Reform of Marijuana Laws (*****, 1999), "Like most *****, the vast majority of these millions of 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 having smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

The legalization of marijuana has been a topic of controversy for sever*****l years. Many proponents of the drug argue ***** marijuana should be legalized ***** both medical and recreational use. Others say that it should at least ***** decriminalized, meaning that 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 argument in favor ***** legalizing the drug. The paper will present six valid reasons for legalizing the *****, as well as background statements to support these arguments.

Re*****ons for Legalizing Marijuana

There are many reasons that can be listed in support of legalizing marijuana. It is a common belief that 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 ***** drive under the influence; users resist abuse; and ***** ***** rights of others ***** respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized ***** ***** 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 were 1 million, ***** 285,000 (, 1999)" Although marijuana is ***** dangerous of a drug than tobacco, it is also used much less than ***** (University ***** Michigan-Dearbourne, *****). The average tobacco smoker smokes about one pack of cigarettes per day, which is about twenty cigarettes, while the average marijuana smoker 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 ***** dangerous *****cer causing chemicals than tobacco **********. Although this would constitute marijuana as being more "dangerous," but in the society we live in to***** and ***** amount ***** tobacco that tobacco-***** consume, ***** ***** is on the contrary. Due to ***** smaller frequency use of product by marijuana-users, tobacco has def*****itely ***** proven the "killer" in today's society." (

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


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