Legalize It: The Necessity For Marijuana Law Reform

1456 words - 6 pages

Legalize It: The Necessity For Marijuana Law Reform

When I think about social issues that should be discussed more often than they are, I think about the topic of legalization of marijuana. As a person that has consumed marijuana both in legal settings, and illegal settings, I can say that the title “illegal drug” should not apply to cannabis. The reason that I believe this is because I do not feel that marijuana is a threat to my personal safety, nor is it a threat to the safety of people that are around me if I was to be smoking it in their vicinity. I am not a violent person, and do not consider myself to be a criminal based on what plants I have smoked. While I believe that cannabis should be legalized in every way, there are some people that sit on the fence on the issue. The problem is that they either don’t know enough about marijuana to make an informed decision or do not have any personal feelings on the matter. I believe that these people should consider choosing a side. I believe that this particular paper can show the injustices of marijuana laws and why they provide unnecessary hurdles for hardworking citizens that want nothing more than to be given their right to get “high” after a long day of work. Everyone should know more about the topic because it is more than likely that someone they know will be adversely affected by the unjust system of laws that govern American society. This paper will provide all the information that a reader needs to make an informed decision, including a history of the cannabis plant, and biased and unbiased information regarding the topic and why law reform is the only conceivable solution to the debate over marijuana.

The history of marijuana reaches back thousands of years to the time before the birth of Christ. Assessing marijuana's use as an intoxicant in the historical sense is difficult because for many people around the world, its importance as an intoxicant has been secondary to its use as a folk medicine or a ceremonial adjunct (Grinspoon, 173). Because of this, I will focus primarily on the use of marijuana as an intoxicant because when used as an intoxicant is when the law is the harshest on marijuana law offenders. The use of marijuana as an intoxicant was first documented in India around the time of 1000 B.C. and was used mostly as a part of Hindu culture (Snyder, 125). Reasons for why the plant was used are unclear from the texts that are left behind. I would guess that it was first introduced because of the somewhat euphoric state that cannabis can induce. The marijuana was consumed in three different forms in ancient India (27). The first was called bhang, which was made from hemp and was consumed in a drink form. This was mostly consumed by the lower classes and was ingested to relieve one from the stresses of a long days work (Grinspoon, 173). The first of the other two forms was called ganja and was taken from the tops, or bud, of the...

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