Marijuana: Legalization Essay

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From around 1,000 B.C. until after the American Civil War, the marijuana plant was the world's largest cash crop. Fabric, rope, lighting oil, paper, medicine, food oil, and a source of protein, were just a few of its uses (Overbeck, "Billion"). It's hard to imagine a plant this great had been outlawed. There have been many misnomers and lies that have been spread about the usage of marijuana. In Bruce Goldstein's book, Psychology, three major studies were conducted on the effects of long-time marijuana usage. These studies, one in each of Jamaica, Costa Rica, and Greece, all failed to find evidence of physical or psychological damage in long-time users. But others find that there is evidence that lung damage could occur as a result of…show more content…
The psychoactive effects occur much quicker in higher potency pot, meaning the person inhales much less of the smoke than normal (Zimmer and Morgan "Exposing"). Both the Federal Bureau of Mortality and the Institute of Drug Abuse have released information concerning deaths caused by certain drugs. Among these figures we see that tobacco kills 340,000 to 425,000, alcohol kills more than 150,000 Americans. Even over the counter drugs such as aspirin kills between two-hundred and one-thousand people per year. According to these figures, marijuana kills not even one person a year (Overbeck "Hemp World"). Marijuana is often called a 'gateway' drug, because it allegedly encourages users to experiment with Aharder@ drugs. It is true that most users of drugs like heroin, LSD, and cocaine, started out smoking pot. But it is also true that most marijuana users never try another illegal drug. Marijuana, has been illegal in America for some time now. While everyone knows about the downside of this plant, the majority of America does not know exactly why and the advantages of marijuana if legalized. In 1936, Popular Mechanics magazine printed a story hailing the invention of a new machine which could efficiently strip the fiber from any plant. The magazine predicted that, because of this invention, the marijuana plant would once again become the world's most important cash crop (Biafra). Hemp, also part of the cannabis family, is a cousin plant to the marijuana plant. It
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