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Political Analysis Concerning The Legalization Of Marijuana

2925 words - 12 pages

America is in a midst of a revolution that isn’t about preserving the planet or choosing healthier alternatives to fossil fuels. Some citizens are deeming this revolution the “green revolution”. It is the heated debate on whether to legalize marijuana. Over the last 50 years, due to large amounts of research, the public’s awareness and perception of marijuana has changed. Whether this change is a beneficial or harmful to ones causes or beliefs is not argued in this paper. The purpose of this paper will be to take a look at the effects of the publics perception and public policy toward the issue and how that has a direct or indirect affect on politics, politicians and legislative actions.
Marijuana: also called grass, reefer, pot, Mary Jane, or most commonly weed, is a green-ish mixture of dried, shredded leaves, seeds, stems, and flowers of the plant known as Cannabis sativa. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient in the Cannabis sativa plant. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when the plant is smoked THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. Once entered into the bloodstream the chemical is transported through the organs, including the brain, and into the rest of the body. Marijuana can also be consumed in beverages or foods, although the effects begin to appear later, usually around one hour. Inhaling the smoke of the plant delivers significantly more THC into the blood streams and organs than eating or drinking the drug. Short term affects can include: the loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, the inability to comprehend or have long term memory of certain things, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, vision and hearing impairment, increased appetite and relaxed muscles. Although many condone the use of this drug, it has been found to treat some forms of medical ailments such as: glaucoma and in some cases cannabis may be helpful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment regiments. This is possible due to a chemical found in Cannabis known as Cannabinoids. These chemical bonds can possibly help in anti-inflammatory activity, blocking cell growth, preventing the growth of blood vessels that supply tumors and antiviral activity. Although both sides of the argument have valid claims, according to a Gallop poll conducted on July 10-14th, 2013, “ a clear majority of Americans (58%) say the drug should be legalized”(Gallop.com). The poll goes on to say “public support began inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011” and that “a sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug”. With public support at a record high, constituents now turn to their elected officials waiting to see what will happen next. As the issue is bursting out onto the national stage, governmental officials are struggling to gain a clear picture on the constituent’s thoughts toward this issue.
As some states are pushing for the drug to be...

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