The Legalization of Marijuana

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Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant which when consumed has psychoactive effects. It is believed to have been first used in the 3rd millennium BCE in what is now modern-day Romania (Rudgley). Throughout history, it has been known to be used during rituals and ceremonies, becoming an important aspect of numerous cultures. It has become illegal to possess, sell or use marijuana in various countries beginning in the 20th century, despite that it’s used quite commonly. According to a United Nations’ report, “cannabis was the world’s most widely produced, trafficked and consumed drug in the world in 2010” (Dockterman). Meanwhile, other, more-lethal substances such as alcohol and tobacco are legal and help benefit the economy. If two substances that can easily harm or kill people can be legal, then marijuana should receive the same treatment as they do. In America, we are warned continuously that drugs are harmful. Marijuana has shown to cause effects such as relaxation, euphoria and increased appetite, while its side effects include a decrease in short-term memory, dry mouth, impaired motor skills and reddening of the eyes (Hall). While those side effects may sound terrible at first, they are only temporary. Aside from respiratory damage, very few long-term negative effects have been documented. On the other hand alcohol and tobacco have much worse effects. Alcohol and tobacco are two very damaging substances that the United States sees as acceptable to be legal.

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