Legalizing Recreational Drugs Within the United States Essay

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A recreational drug is defined as "any controlled substance used to alter one's mind state or for non-medical purposes, without the permission or supervision of a physician" (Recreational Drug). Recreational drugs include both illegal and legal substances, some of which are extremely prevalent in the United States. The most popular recreational drug in the world is caffeine. Nearly, "80 - 90% of adult Americans consume caffeine every day" (Caffeine addiction). Other popular recreational drugs include nicotine (found in cigarettes), alcohol (found in beer, cocktails, wine, etc.), and cannabis (a.k.a. marijuana or weed) (Recreational Drug Use). These three drugs are found throughout the world and are used by a wide variety of cultures. Some…show more content…
(History of Alcoholic Beverages). Alcohol can be found at bars, liquor stores, gas stations and supermarkets for sale to anyone 21 years or older. Alcohol was not always legalized; from 1920 to 1933 there was a prohibition of alcohol, outlawing all alcohol consumption within the United States (Prohibition). "Initially, alcohol generally produces feelings of relaxation, euphoria and general cheerfulness, but further consumption can lead to blurred vision and coordination problems". Large amounts of alcohol consumption can lead to loss of consciousness, vomiting, diarrhea, anger, aggressiveness, sadness, depression, alcohol poisoning, and eventually even death (Short-Term Effects). Both nicotine and alcohol are highly addictive but are still legal within the United States.
Cannabis also known as marijuana, weed, pot, dope, hash and a variety of other names is derived from Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa. "According to the United Nations, cannabis is the most widely used illicit substance in the world" (Cannabis Drug). Cannabis originated in Central Asia where it was believed to be discovered in the 3rd millenium B.C. The first culture to discover cannabis' smoking properties were the Aryans who used the drug for religious ceremonies. Cannabis is the fourth most frequently used recreational drug in the world and the most popular illegal recreational drug in the United States. Cannabis is
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