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Legislature Of Legalization Medicinal Legalization Of Marijuana (Mla Format)

1440 words - 6 pages

Legislature of LegalizationMedicinal Legalization of MarijuanaFor many years now, there has been great controversy surrounding the illegal drug marijuana. Its widespread use since the Vietnam War has caused many people to speak for and against marijuana and its uses. However, in the recent past, a completely new controversy has arisen surrounding the use of marijuana: its medical benefits. After years of give and take, it is time for us to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. This is not the kind of use a common drug addict would seek, but rather a drug to comfort for terminally or critically ill people.In the past when "old-time" doctors prescribed a variety of medicines for ailments, drugs of all sorts were accepted. However, in modern times, as more stable drugs have been developed, public concern regarding recreational drug use has grown. It is ignorance and a fear of the unknown that has helped fuel this concern. Furthermore, governmental policies over the years have done less and less to dispel this ignorance. (Terkel 21).Marijuana use was restricted in 1937 by the Marijuana Tax Act. (Brecher 16). The bill, modeled after the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 that did not ban marijuana, but rather recognized its medical uses. The bill did specify, however, that physicians, veterinarians, druggists, growers, importers, manufacturers, and "compounders" of marijuana had to pay a tax in order to continue either prescribing or continuing their work with marijuana. Only non-medicinal, untaxed possession or sale of marijuana was outlawed. (Terkel 27). The tax, even in 1937, showed an awareness that marijuana was worthy consideration beneficial in the medical arena.During the Vietnam War, drug use among teens and soldiers increased tremendously, prompting President Nixon to declare a war on drugs in June of 1971. One of the steps in this "war," was establishing the Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. After two years, the commission suggesting to President Nixon that marijuana should be decriminalized. In an act of defiance to a commission established as part of his own program, Nixon chose to ignore this. (Terkel 29).President Carter was not ignorant of the commission's suggestion, and in the years from 1973-1979, Alaska, Oregon, Maine, Colorado, California, Ohio, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, and Nebraska followed the suggestion. Unfortunately, over the following years, celebrity deaths and drug tragedies received media coverage that caused those states to reconsider their policies. (Terkel 57). The states allowed the media to influence the decision of whether to permit marijuana use rather than taking a stand and deciding what was best for the people of each state.President Reagan declared a second war on drugs during his second term in office, which actually managed to decrease drug use by 1987. (Terkel 79). An unfortunate consequence of Reagan's war was that it did not discriminate between medical marijuana and other drug...

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