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Legalize Marijuana Essay

3713 words - 15 pages

Introduction
“Marijuana has moved out of the back alleys, and into the open” (Weed - CNN Special Dr Sanjay Gupta).
Marijuana should be legalized in Canada because of its many benefits. It could benefit the government by bringing in revenue from tax dollars, it has many medical benefits to treat many ailments.
History
“Marijuana, weed, flower, bud; call it what you will, but humans have been using cannabis for a millennium” (The Future of Weed: HIGH COUNTRY). In 2737 B.C., the Chinese used cannabis medicinally. It was seen as medication for rheumatism, gout, malaria, and absent-mindedness. It spread from China to India, Africa, and Europe by A.D. 500. This shows we have been consuming marijuana for a very long time. Indians and Muslims both used cannabis recreationally. It was actually the Muslims who introduced hashish to the world (History of Marijuana). Hashish is a potent form of marijuana where they take the resin from the flowers of the plant (Hashish). The trend spread to Persia (Iran), and then to North Africa (History of Marijuana).
It was the Spanish who brought marijuana to America in 1545. Soon enough, it became a major commercial crop like tobacco in 1611. By 1890, marijuana was used in some medicines, and it began to catch on in the 1920’s, the same era of prohibition of alcohol. Hemp began to be one of the largest agricultural crops in the word. This was due to its incredibly robust and durable qualities. It was used for fabric, lighting oil, paper, fiber, dynamite, cellophane, and many more. Most textiles were actually made out of hemp at this time (The Union: The Business Behind Getting High).
Many people in the show business used marijuana recreationally. This is when “Reefer songs” became the rage of the jazz world. Marijuana clubs began to appear in major cities. Authorities didn’t do anything because cannabis was not seen as a threat to society. For a long time, marijuana was prescribed for conditions including labour pains, nausea, and rheumatism. 50% of medicine was made from cannabis! Did you know that Queen Victoria used marijuana for her menstrual cramps? (The Union: The Business Behind Getting High)
As marijuana started to become a booming business, Marijuana was added to the Confidential Restricted List in 1923. In the 1930’s, there was a campaign sought to portray marijuana as a powerful and addicting substance. Some authorities considered cannabis as a gateway drug. Part of the campaign was the film, “Reefer Madness” which was used to portray marijuana as a drug that would make you unproductive and insane. At this time, there were articles the made Black and Mexican people look like frenzy beasts who smoked marijuana, played the devils music, and disrespected white people. This view has defined our attitudes towards marijuana for 70 years (The Future of Weed: HIGH COUNTRY). It wasn’t until 1937 when the first appropriation of cannabis by Canadian police was put into place. In the 1960’s, marijuana became a symbol...

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