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


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Legalization of Marijuana

Introduction

Marijuana is one ***** 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)."

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

***** legaliz*****ion of marijuana has been a topic ***** controversy for sever*****l years. Many proponents of the drug argue ***** marijuana should be legalized for 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 *****rgument in favor ***** legalizing the drug. The paper will present six valid reasons for legalizing the drug, as well ***** background statements to support *****se arguments.

Reasons ***** Legalizing Marijuana

There are many reasons ***** can be listed in ***** of legalizing *****. It is a common belief that marijuana is not a dangerous drug and many people use it responsibly. Responsible use of *****, according to the ***** Board of Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: only adults use ********** users do ***** drive under the influence; users resist abuse; ***** that ***** 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 ***** arrests ***** 1 million, marijuana 285,000 (Turnpike.net, 1999)" Although marijuana is more ***** ***** 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 of cigarettes per day, which is ***** twenty cigarettes, while the average ***** ***** smokes about two joints a *****. Greg Norris, the author of the essay "The Issues at Hand: Legalization of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, *****):

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

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

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