Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

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Marijuana is currently illegal in the United States, and according to popular belief, is considered a dangerous substance like any other and decriminalization of this substance would send a message to the nation’s youth that marijuana use is acceptable, resulting in higher use rates. Some believe that it is dangerous and needs to be contained, while others believe it should only be a civil infraction, and not a crime punishable with steep fines and jail time. Marijuana offenders can experience jail time and fines up to $1000. First time marijuana offenders however, are offered drug treatment programs instead of prison time. There are several court cases involving the fight for, and against marijuana. Some of these include Ravin v. State and Gonzales v. Raich. The Gonzales v. Raich court case was the closest the Supreme Court had ever come to suggesting that marijuana use should be decriminalized in any manner. Marijuana should be decriminalized due to the consequences of possessing something that is basically harmless and could potentially have medicinal uses. Possessing small amounts of marijuana should be only a civil infraction, not a crime punishable with steep fines and jail time. The first and second times being prosecuted it’s considered a misdemeanor, with the first offense having one year incarceration with a one thousand dollar fine. The second, having 15 days incarceration with a $2,500 fine, and that’s with any amount regardless how small the findings are. The

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