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

***** to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director ***** National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (*****, 1999), "Like ***** *****, the vast majority of these millions ***** marijuana smokers are otherwise law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families and contribute to ***** 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 legalization of marijuana has been a topic ***** controversy for several years. Many proponents of the drug argue that marijuana should be legalized ***** both medical and ***** use. Others say that it should at least be decriminalized, meaning that the penalty for 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 ********** in favor ***** legalizing the drug. The paper will present six valid reasons for legalizing the *****, as well as background statements ***** support these arguments.

Re*****ons ***** Legalizing *****

There are many reasons ***** can ***** listed in ***** of legalizing marijuana. 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 not drive under ***** influence; users resist abuse; ***** that the rights of others ***** respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized for ***** of marijuana.

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

Thus, marijuana contains ***** 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 of tobacco ***** tobacco-users consume, ***** belief is on the contrary. Due to the smaller frequency use of product by marijuana-users, tobacco has def*****itely been proven ***** "killer" in today's society." (www.umd.umich.edu)

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

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