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

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

The legalization of marijuana has been a topic ***** controversy for sever*****l years. Many proponents of the drug argue that marijuana should be legalized for both medical and recreational use. Others say that it should at least be decriminalized, meaning ***** 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 of legalizing the drug. The paper will present six valid reasons for ***** the drug, as well as background statements ***** support these arguments.

Reasons for Legalizing *****

There ***** many reasons that 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 marijuana, according to the NORML Board of Directors (NORML, 1999), means that: ***** adults use ********** users do not drive under ***** influence; users resist abuse; ***** that the rights of others are respected. Still, despite these factors, many citizens have been arrested and penalized for ***** of marijuana.

According 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, *****)" Although marijuana is ***** ***** ***** 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 *****. Greg Norris, the author of the essay "The Issues at H*****: Legaliz*****ion of Marijuana," says (University of Michigan-Dearbourne, 1999):

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

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

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