Marijuana Legalization Research Paper

2751 Words May 11th, 2012 12 Pages
Should Marijuana be legalized in the U.S.? Grass, skunk, kush, mary jane, chronic: just a few of the slang terms for Marijuana. Marijuana (of Indian origin) is the brown, green and gray assimilation of dried leaves, seeds, and stems. This plant is the most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States of America, and the third most used recreational drug behind only tobacco and alcohol. It has been used by nearly 100 million Americans. According to government surveys, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year, and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use (“Medical Marijuana”).
The drug comes from the Hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa), which contains hundreds of compounds, the main
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The locals claimed that the marijuana "incited Mexican immigrants to violent crimes, aroused a lust for blood and generated superhuman strength." (Berger 23). These statements stemmed more from the racist ideas of the time than from actual fact. There were similar headlines all over the country with subtitles such as "MARIJUANA MAKES FIENDS OF BOYS IN 30 DAYS; HASHISH GOADS USERS TO BLOOD LUST." (“Use of Marijuana Spreading in West”). Because of these headlines (mainly fueled by racism), Marijuana has never been able to drop the horrible image, in part because politicians continue to press these opinions in the media today. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the United States under federal law, excluding medical and industrial uses. (“Medical Marijuana”)
In the country’s more recent history, known politicians have stepped to the podium and dealt with Marijuana. During the Kennedy administration in the 1960's, Vietnam was a major issue, and the public, especially college students, turned to marijuana to rebel. As this happened,
Hawkins 4 enforcement lessened. Courts dismissed marijuana charges or imposed only "modest fines." (Berger 34) In 1960, there were only 169 marijuana related convictions in the entire United States. During this time, marijuana was seen more as an escape and protest. Crime rates did not rise, and no major health problems had appeared to be caused by the drug. The 1962 White
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