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Should The United States Legalize Marijuana?

1519 words - 6 pages

Ever since marijuana’s introduction to the United States of America in 1611, controversy of the use and legalization of the claimed-to-be Schedule I drug spread around the nation. While few selective states currently allow marijuana’s production and distribution, the remaining states still skepticize the harmlessness and usefulness of this particular drug; therefore, it remains illegal in the majority of the nation. The government officials and citizens of the opposing states believe the drug creates a threat to citizens due to its “overly-harmful” effects mentally and physically and offers no alternate purposes but creating troublesome addicts hazardous to society; however, they are rather misinformed about marijuana’s abilities. While marijuana has a small amount of negligible effects to its users, the herbal drug more importantly has remarkable health benefits, and legalizing one of the oldest and most commonly known drugs would redirect America’s future with the advantages outweighing the disadvantages.
Before Americans can make accusations that marijuana can only be used for the sole purpose of euphoric pleasure, they should first become knowledgeable of cannabis’s original and highly valuable uses that gave the plant its primary popularity. The herbal plant was actually a food source around 6000 BC, and it was used as a fiber two thousand years later. Another couple thousand years later was when cannabis obtained its first medical record in China and soon traveled to India and North Africa where cannabis began its use as a “recreational hallucinogen.” When Europe greeted marijuana at about 500 BC, users began classifying in what methods the plant can treat various medical conditions. The Americas were first introduced to marijuana via the Spanish in 1545; then, it was introduced to the colony of Jamestown via the English in 1611 where it was still being used as a medical practice and fibrous construction although it gradually became less popular and was replaced by cotton as fiber and cocaine as medicine by 1890. About thirty years into the nearer future, Americans rediscovered marijuana as a result of the notorious alcohol prohibition of the 1920s when “people looking for oblivion from their own troubles turned to a new way of getting high.” Consequently and realistically, America can only blame itself for marijuana’s recreational popularity, seeing as “from 1850 to 1945, the … plant was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia.” Almost a decade after the alcohol prohibition ended is when marijuana was first perceived “as a dangerous, addictive, ‘gateway drug’” by the United States Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Then, “in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed … [which] classified marijuana, [alongside Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)] and heroin, as a Schedule I drug, meaning that [the drug] had a high risk of abuse [with] no acceptable medicinal use.” Within the following decade, “marijuana use in the United States declined,”...

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