Legalizing Marijuana
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There is a major debate that is going on all across this country, the debate? Whether or not Americans should legalize marijuana. For every debate there are two sides to the issue. Concerning this issue, there is one side that feels it should be legalized. Then there is the other side that feels it should remain a controlled substance, thus keeping it illegal. Each side of this debate makes many valid points for one to consider when deciding, which way they lean towards. I personally feel that marijuana should be legalized, and I will explain later on why.

The first side that I will talk about is the side that feels marijuana should become legalized. One major point that this side makes is that compared to the use of alcohol which is legal. Marijuana has never caused a known fatality which compared to alcohol poisoning, kills over 1,300 people a year (Boston University). Marijuana also offers medical benefits that alcohol and tobacco do not offer, however the last two remain legal in the U.S. Marijuana in the medical community has been used in a wide range of settings. One setting is with people inflicted with Cancer, who smoke marijuana to help with the nausea they get from chemotherapy (Intermix Network). Doctors have also recommended marijuana to treat a number of other problems including epilepsy, arthritis, migraines and glaucoma (MLO). Another issue that the pro marijuana side mentions is the illegal black markets and the overcrowding of our prison system due to marijuana. In the U.S a bushel of corn can sell for between $5 and $10 dollars, while that same bushel filled with marijuana or cannabis can bring in as much as $70,000 dollars (Intermix Network). When you start talking about that kind of money, crime and the black market have a way of getting involved. If marijuana were legalized the growing of marijuana could be controlled by the government and taxed by the government as well, thus cutting out the black market aspect that is tied to marijuana now. Legalizing marijuana could also play a huge role in the way our prison system is run. The prison system as it is now is overcrowded and a major reason for this is that people that have been sent to jail for possession only carried a very small amounts of marijuana. Prisoners convicted of manslaughter are getting let out early, just to make room for people convicted to mandatory life in prison thanks to three strikes laws for possession. On average, we sentence nonviolent drug offenders to five times more jail time than those convicted of manslaughter (Intermix Network). Another reason that marijuana should be legal is because from the same plant you get marijuana from you also get hemp. Hemp fibers which are processed from the cannabis plant can be used for many different things, including rope, paper and cloth to make clothing. Hemp oil which can also be made from cannabis contains nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. Hemp oil also has industrial applications, such as a lubricant and a can be used as a source of fuel (MLO).

On the other side of this debate are people who feel that marijuana should remain an illegal drug. One of the points that this side brings up in keeping marijuana illegal, is that marijuana is viewed as a gateway drug. This means that a person who smokes marijuana is more likely to move on to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin (Intermix Network). In 1988, a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey found that marijuana smokers are thirty times more likely to use cocaine than those whove never smoked it. Another point that is made by this side is the health problems that the smoking of marijuana can lead to. Smoking one marijuana joint is more then four times more carcinogenic then smoking one cigarette (Intermix Network). Also marijuana stays in your body for weeks at a time and is also proven to be more psychologically addicting then cigarettes (NYADMC).

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Major Debate And Overcrowding Of Our Prison System. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from