Marijuana Should Be Legal Essay

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Abstract
The following is a proposal for a public policy that would legalize marijuana and have the drug be treated as alcohol. This is necessary because the current policy is detrimental to society and the legalization of marijuana would be beneficial. The prohibition of the drug is unfounded because tobacco and alcohol, legalized substances, are more dangerous than marijuana. Also, the legislation regarding the drug was created on racist sentiments, reducing the law’s credibility. The current policy also creates a dangerous black market and renders our prison system ineffective. The legalization of cannabis would bring undeniable medical and economic benefits to society and the government. Varying degrees of marijuana legalization have
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Thus, marijuana was originally banned for social reasons, not because it was seen as a dangerous drug in itself. In fact, tobacco and alcohol, two legalized substances, are far more dangerous than marijuana. First of all, marijuana is much less addictive than tobacco or alcohol. According to Paul Gahlinger, M.D., Ph.D, a professor at the
University of Utah, the medical value of marijuana is significantly higher than that of tobacco and alcohol and also has a much lower risk of abuse (Gahlinger 10). Nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is considered the most addictive substance ever found, even greater than illegal drugs including marijuana, heroin, and crack (192). Marijuana also has a very low potential for abuse in comparison with many other common psychoactive drugs such as cocaine or amphetamine (Mills 3). While it is debated whether marijuana is psychologically addictive, the drug does not cause a physical dependence (Gahlinger 335).

The relatively low threat of abuse undoubtedly contributes to the fact that marijuana causes significantly fewer deaths in the United States than tobacco or alcohol.
Alcohol causes at least 200,000 deaths annually in the United States. Tobacco smoking causes around 430,000 deaths in the US per year and 50,000 deaths due to secondhand smoke alone. All 178 illegal drugs in the United States combined cause about 8,000 deaths yearly (Gahlinger

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