Should Marijuana Be Legal?

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To understand the controversy about marijuana, it is helpful to first look at its history. Marijuana (or Cannabis as it was originally known) has been found as far back as the 3rd millennium BC in burial sites in Romania. Over the centuries it has been found to have been used for medicinal purposes in China and other countries, as well as for religious and spiritual ceremonies in many different countries. Cannabis was brought to America in the early years, grown as a crop, and used medicinally. In the early 1900s, along with prohibition of alcohol, the attitude about the use of cannabis started to change for many people. On the other hand, the U.S. pharmaceutical farms were expanding production and by 1918 were growing 60,000 pounds…show more content…
Four states have legalized recreational marijuana in certain quantities. Twenty states have decriminalized marijuana, generally making it a minor traffic violation for first time offenders. The federal government has stated that it will not override what the states have passed, but it is still considered illegal. I believe that marijuana should be legalized by the federal government so the medical benefits can be expanded and regulated, to reduce and redirect prison and law enforcement resources, and for the economic benefits it will create. We know there are numerous medical benefits of marijuana, but others are uncharted territory since only limited research can be done on an illegal drug. We also know the therapeutic effects of marijuana are based on science. Marijuana contains 60 active ingredients known as cannabinoids (Zimmermann). The primary one is THC which targets the CB1 receptor in the brain, liver, kidneys, lung, and nervous system. The CB1 receptor helps the person handle pain. In fact, the FDA has approved two chemically altered forms of THC that are used for nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. Another cannabinoid is CBD which reduces pain and inflammation, has been shown to control epileptic seizures, and may even be a treatment for mental illness and addition. Recent animal studies of THC and CBD show that it may help kill
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