Marijuana Legalization Essay

865 words - 3 pages

Running Head: WHY MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGALIZED IN JAMAICAInternational University of the CaribbeanInstructor: Ms. D. MorganJordon WatsonID# 1215417Due January 29, 2014The legalization of Marijuana is a highly heated and controversial issue in Jamaica today. Data shows that over 25% of Jamaicans believe marijuana should remain illegal and the remaining 75% believe the pot's legal status should be altered. Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption of the drug simply haven't worked. It has simply just places a burden on tax payer's money and has been a wasteful usage of police enforcement. The prohibition of marijuana is also a direct infringement of our personal liberties, President Abraham Lincoln once stated that, "Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes." Marijuana prohibition laws strikes a fatal blow at the very ideologies and principles of freedom upon which our republic was founded and to the very civil liberties which government was set up to defend.There are three main reasons marijuana hasn't been legalized yet. Firstly, it is perceived as addictive and dangerous. The perception is that people who try marijuana get addicted to it and suffer physical and mental injuries or even death and marijuana begins to dominate their lives. Both of these assumptions are false most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally. A small amount of Jamaicans, less than 10 %, smoke marijuana on a daily basis. An even smaller minority develop a dependence on marijuana. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty! Furthermore, there is no convincing scientific evidence that marijuana causes psychological damage, mental illness or death in either teenagers or adults. In fact, in marijuana's long history there has never been a reported death because of smoking it.Secondly, it is linked with stereotypical lifestyles. Marijuana is often thought of as a drug for hippies, low lives and trash at the bottom of the social pyramid due to Hollywood's brainwashing and the conservative, bureaucratic mass media. The truth is that some of society's most successful and famous people have smoked it, from Bob Marley to the wide variety of other artistes, and even hardworking businessmen, who comes home after a hard day's work to relieve stress.Lastly, inertia is a powerful force in public policy. If something has been banned for only a short period of time, then the ban is seen as unstable. If something has been...

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