Drugs Essay

1728 words - 7 pages

Marijuana has had a profound affect in North America. Since the 1960 governments have been pumping massive amounts of tax dollars to engage in a “war on drugs”. The governments continued efforts have changed the perception of marijuana amongst the average person. In America four decades after Richard Nixon declared the war on drugs in 1971 $1Trillion Dollars have been spent (Shepard & Blackley,2005).To date, there has not been a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of Federal and State drug enforcement policies (Miron, 2003). Psychological experiments have shown the vast stigmatization that marijuana has received. that the word “drug” is commonly linked with “choke” ,”knife”, and “fight”, in their associative memory systems (Bushman,1996). Prohibition this system makes it a criminal offence to produce, import distribute or possess controlled substances for non-medical purposes. Total prohibition, in which all offences are strictly penalized. However, the contemporary society’s views are changing as more Canadians accept marijuana. Moreover, many states and provinces in North America are adapting to the new perception on drugs. Although slow, legalization of marijuana seems to be getting closer every year. But will legalization be for the better of society? This paper will discuss the history of marijuana, its effect on individuals and society, clarify common misconceptions, compare marijuana to legalized drugs and explain why marijuana has been unjustifiably criminalized and why it should be legalized.

The creation of fear in regards to drugs can be traced back to the early 1930’s to the 1960’s. Harry J. Anslinger was appointed as the first commissioner as the United States’ Treasury Department’s Bureau of Narcotics. Over the 30 years as commissioner Anslinger constructed a general fear amongst the public towards drugs and eventually created the war on drugs which continues to affect legal policy in north American. Anslinger was a moral crusader who truly believed that he was rights regardless of the scientific evidence that suggested many of his claims were false. However, a deeper analysis of history reveals that an individual called Randolph Hearst played a significant part in fueling Anslingers claims. A very profitable portion of the marijuana plant is hemp. Hemp is relatively cheap to grow, easy to regenerate, and are suitable for various uses such as ,paper, clothing, and food. Randolph was a true capitalist and wanted to monopolize the paper market. As a result Anslinger began to demonize hemp and marijuana in an effort to prevent the much more affordable hemp from dominating the market. Anslinger created moral panic in North America. Propaganda campaigns, claims that children were experiencing psychological effect, women becoming more sexual, and that society’s moral fabric was coming undone resulted in a general fear towards marijuana amongst the public. Anslinger appeared to have the moral high ground and as a result the marijuana...

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