Marijuana Legalization Essay

1982 Words 8 Pages
The legalization of marijuana in the United States is a long and historically debated subject. Pro-legalization advocates provide many reasons for the decriminalization of marijuana; some of the reasons include, zero recorded deaths from direct use, wasting tax-payer money prosecuting non-violent offenders, and prohibition promotes organized crime. Anti-legalization organizers condemn legalization due to marijuana being considered a gateway drug, moral and religious opposition, legalization could lead to harder drugs being legalized, and the fear that legalization would enable the drug to be more accessible to children. There are many positive and negative aspects of legalization, but personally I am in favor of legalization and …show more content…
The beginning of prohibition of marijuana in the United States was marked by the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937; the act was drafted by Harry Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN). Anslinger was the catalysts to “reefer madness”, the fear that marijuana can kill and make ordinary people go insane; he was repeatedly criticized for his harshness towards marijuana, “critics allege that Anslinger and the campaign against marijuana had an hidden agenda, DuPont petrochemical interests and William Randolph Hearst together created the highly sensational anti-marijuana campaign to eliminate hemp as an industrial competitor.” (Wikipedia) This misinformation spread like wildfire in the United States and still has roots in many Americans, as they pass this information down to newer generations. The criminalization of marijuana began with the Boggs Act of 1952, and was reinforced by the Narcotics Control Act or 1956. Mandatory sentencing began with these laws; “first-offense marijuana possession carried a minimum sentence of 2-10 years with a fine of up to $20,000.” (PBS) However, in 1970 Congress repealed mandatory sentencing for marijuana offences. Under the Nixon administration in 1972, the Shafer Commission was appointed to consider laws regarding marijuana and determined
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