The Pros And Cons Of Legalizing Marijuana

1708 Words7 Pages
Before 1937, marijuana was freely bought, sold, grown, and smoked in the United States. Since that time, all of these activities have been illegal, but many groups and individuals have fought to decriminalize marijuana. The congressional decision to classify marijuana as a Schedule I drug in 1970 has made the legalization campaign more difficult, since it officially established marijuana as a dangerous, addictive drug with no medicinal benefits. Much of the opposition to legalizing marijuana has to do with the perceived immorality of marijuana use. One popular argument in favor of legalization takes an economic view of the problem, claiming that the taxes collected on legally sold marijuana would be a boon to the economy. Those in favor of legalizing marijuana have often based their arguments on the medicinal value of the drug, citing the fact that cancer patients often smoke marijuana to battle the nausea caused by chemotherapy. People on both sides have criticized this argument, claiming that it clouds the debate by making an ancillary issue the main focus of the pro-legalization argument. Anti-legalization activists, as well as the United States Supreme Court, have argued that the federal government should have the power to supplant state and local laws, since people in states with permissive drug laws could conceivably trade with people in states with restrictive laws. The debate over rescheduling and decriminalizing marijuana has ensued for years, with one side
Get Access