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

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

***** legaliz*****ion of marijuana has been a topic ***** controversy for several years. Many proponents of the drug argue ***** marijuana should be legalized for both medical and ***** use. O*****rs say that it should at least be decriminalized, meaning ***** the penalty ***** growing or possession of marijuana 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 ***** the *****, as well ***** background statements to support *****se arguments.

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

There ***** m*****y reasons that can ***** listed in support 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 ***** Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: ***** adults use it; users do ***** drive under ***** influence; users resist abuse; and ***** 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 drug arrests ***** 1 million, ***** 285,000 (Turnpike.net, *****)" Although marijuana is more dangerous of a drug than tobacco, it is also used much less than tobacco (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999). The average ***** smoker smokes about one pack of cigarettes per day, which is about twenty *****, while the ***** marijuana smoker smokes about two joints a *****. Greg Norr*****, the author of the essay "The Issues at H*****: Legalization of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, *****):

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

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

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