Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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The decision whether to legalize marijuana, the third most popular drug in America is still a very debatable issue today. Some supporting arguments for legalizing marijuana include that the drug is not any more harmful than alcohol or tobacco if used in moderation, there are medical benefits of certain use, police and court systems would be freed up, it would create a source of additional tax revenues, the FDA could regulate quality and safety, less people would be subject to lifelong criminal behavior due to arrests associated with marijuana that trap people in the system, and the plant also has several industrial/commercial uses, over 25,000 products can be made from crop. Opposing arguments include that marijuana is a stepping stone/gateway to harder drugs eg. heroin and cocaine, driving and other dangers would increase, and that it would increase the chance of kids gaining access to the drug at an early age (Messerli, 1). To go back into a little bit of marijuana 's history, it wasn 't until the 1920 's that marijuana smoking became a noticeable occurrence. Many marijuana establishments started to emerge in major cities and were not a concern to authorities at that time, marijuana was not illegal and there seemed to be no societal threat as there was no disturbance to the community from people using marijuana. However, by the end of the 1920 's and early 1930 's the perception of marijuana usage changed. "Even though millions of people had never heard of the plant,

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