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

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Legalization of Marijuana


Marijuana is one ***** 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, and that 18-20 million have ***** during the last year (NORML, 1999)."

According to R. Keith Stroup, Esq., the executive director of National Organization for ***** *****e*****m of Marijuana Laws (*****, 1999), "Like most Americans, the vast majority of these millions ***** marijuana smokers are otherw*****e law-abiding citizens who work hard, raise families ***** contribute to their communities..." A national survey revealed that 32 percent of voting adults in the U.S. ***** acknowledged having smoked marijuana at some ***** in their lives.

***** legaliz*****ion of marijuana has been a topic of controversy for several years. Many proponents ***** the drug argue that marijuana should be legalized ***** both medical and recreational use. O*****rs 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.

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 ***** background stat*****ents ***** support *****se arguments.

Reasons for Legalizing *****

There ***** m*****y reasons ***** 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 *****, according to the NORML Board ***** Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: ***** adults use it; users do ***** drive under the influence; users resist abuse; ***** ***** ***** rights of others are respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized for possession 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 drug arrests ***** 1 million, ***** 285,000 (, 1999)" Although marijuana is more dangerous of a ***** 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 ***** about twenty *****, while the average marijuana smoker smokes about two joints a day. Greg Norris, the author of the essay "The Issues at Hand: Legalization of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999):

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

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


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