The Advantages of Being Legal
There are many arguments on the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana. The benefits of legalizing marijuana include its medicinal value and its many uses to produce commercial products like paper, rope, oil, textiles, and canvas. Another good reason to legalize marijuana is that hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders are overpopulating prisons, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. Legalization would also put marijuana dealers out of business and it would bring revenue to the government like alcohol and tobacco does.
Some opposition to legalizing marijuana is that traffic atalities would increase, and that more people like school teachers and bus drivers would be smoking legally purchased marijuana. They also believe that more young people would smoke more marijuana. Marijuana is medicine and has been used as medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide variety of ailments. It is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known. Marijuana is often useful in the treatment of cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain.
For cancer patients, marijuana alleviates the nausea, vomiting, and loss f appetite caused by chemotherapy treatment. It does the same for people with AIDS. By reducing intraocular pressure, marijuana helps slow or halt the gradual increasing eye pressure suffered by glaucoma patients. Marijuana reduces the muscle pain and spastically caused by multiple sclerosis. It also helps some patients control their bladders. With some epileptic patients, marijuana prevents seizures. Marijuana is also a very effective pain reliever. Hemp, a plant mainly grown for its use as a fiber source, is from the same plant that produces marijuana.
It is different because industrial hemp is grown with minute amounts of delta-9 and tetrahydrocannibinol, abbreviated as THC, which is the element in marijuana that gives the high sensation’. Industrial hemp is one of nature’s strongest and most versatile agricultural crops. It can be used to produce various things such as textiles, paper, clothing, plastics, cosmetics, food stuffs, insulation, and animal feed. Hemp seeds can be used to make high protein foods and the oil can be used to produce non-toxic paint, varnish, detergent, diesel fuel, ink, and lubricating oil.
One acre of hemp produces as much fiber as two to three acres of cotton and one acre also produces as much paper as two to four acres of trees. The advantage of using paper products produced by hemp is that hemp’s growing cycle is around one hundred days, while it takes trees years to grow to produce the same amount of paper. Hemp was cultivated in the U. S. until 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act outlawed marijuana. In 1942 the government encouraged American farmers to cultivate hemp for the war effort, but then in 1955 prohibitionists had reasserted a total ban on production.
Now the DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration, remains firmly opposed to any notion of revising the federal laws to allow hemp’s domestic cultivation. Every year 400,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana and thousands of them are sent to prison. Marijuana users and dealers account for sixty percent of all prisoners today. Because of new anti-drug laws, these prisoners can be jailed for up to thirty years, and most are, even for minor crimes. Federal and State governments are spending billions to build more prisons to house hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders.
Legalization would kill the black market for marijuana. Marijuana sales would be regulated by state and federal governments. It would also help the economy by a reduction in law enforcement costs, and police could focus more on dangerous drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth. Some people who oppose the legalization of marijuana say that traffic fatalities would increase. The myth is that 40% of drug related emergency room visits are marijuana related. The fact is that this statistic purposely excludes the legal drug of alcohol, a drug notorious for causing violence and accidents.
A marijuana related emergency room visit does not mean marijuana caused the incident. If the patient admits to using marijuana days or weeks before the incident or if someone involved in the incident is found only possessing marijuana, then the emergency room admission is counted as marijuana related. At first, the amount of people using marijuana may increase. The idea that people like school teachers, day care providers, and bus drivers smoking legally purchased marijuana and endangering others is something that should not be worried about.
Do these people drink alcohol before going to work or smoke igarettes during work They are mostly responsible adults and if they choose to smoke the legally purchased marijuana, they would do it responsibly. Most recreational marijuana smokers will continue to smoke even if marijuana is never legalized. I was forced to temporarily quit smoking because of the system. I used to occasionally smoke until my room was searched at the college I attended freshman year. I felt that my personal rights were violated when every room on my hall was searched after someone set off a firework.
The search was conducted by a R. A. a person who is my age, and it was done without my roommate or I present. Nothing was left in plain sight, in fact, all of the paraphernalia was found in a backpack which was in a filing cabinet that was in my closet. I felt as though I did not commit a crime, but as though I was the victim. As former president Lincoln said, Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation, and a makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
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