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 ***** 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)."

According to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director of National Organization for the *****eform 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. ***** acknowledged having smoked ***** 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 ***** marijuana should be legalized ***** both medical and ***** use. Others say that it should at least ***** decriminalized, meaning ***** the penalty for growing or possession of marijuana would be a simple fine, rather than jail time.

This 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 as background statements ***** support these **********.

Re*****ons for Legalizing Mariju*****a

There ***** many reasons that can be listed in support 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: ***** adults use *****; users do not drive under the influence; users resist abuse; ***** ***** the rights of others are respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized for ***** 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 (Turnpike.net, *****)" Although marijuana is more ***** ***** a drug than tobacco, it is also used much less than ***** (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999). The average tobacco smoker smokes about one pack of cigarettes per day, which is ***** twenty cigarettes, while the ***** ***** smoker smokes about two joints a *****. Greg Norris, the author of the essay "The Issues at H*****: Legalization of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, *****):

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

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

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