Reasons For The Legalization Of Marijuana

1341 words - 5 pages

The "War on Drugs" has been fighting a tough opponent over the past few decades. Aimed at cutting down on drug use and sales, this "war" has brought many negative side effects along with it. Aside from limiting the freedoms of millions of Americans, The War on Drugs has caused many more problems while also managing to fail at drug deterrence and distribution. Since many citizens already back the legalization of marijuana, as demonstrated by Oakland's passing of Measure Z, which makes marijuana related offenses the "lowest priority" to Oakland law enforcement officials (Hill 2004), marijuana should be legalized.

First off, marijuana isn't even that bad of a drug. It is a plant ally and hasn't been proven to do any major harm. Many patients are prescribed medical marijuana for their own personal use to relieve pain. The label on a bottle that contained legally prescribed marijuana says, "To be taken for: cancer, malaria, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines, and any other illness for which marijuana provides relief." If marijuana was legalized, many more people could have easy access to this drug that has been proven to help people. On top of helping people, marijuana isn't linked to nearly as many health concerns as other legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol. The side effects of smoking cigarettes have been causing enormous numbers of deaths every year both from smoking and second hand smoking. In studies done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Bureau of Mortality Statistics, we can some proof of the harmlessness of marijuana. The study shows annual American deaths caused by drugs and is topped by tobacco with 400,000 deaths. In second comes alcohol with 100,000 deaths. At the bottom of the list sits marijuana, with an astounding zero deaths. Even aspirin had more deaths than marijuana with 500 (WWW2). Although the burning of marijuana creates some of the same harmful chemicals that you get when you burn a cigarette, marijuana smokers do not smoke nearly as much marijuana as cigarette smokers smoke tobacco, and there are many more toxic chemicals in cigarettes. The other legal substance that causes much more harm than marijuana is alcohol. Alcohol can kill people from poisoning, to drunk driving, to even walking off of cliffs. Alcohol also has the power to make people act violently. This is something that marijuana users don't experience. If the government allows people to use these substances, with some regulation of course, why can't marijuana become legalized with similar regulations?

The criminalization of marijuana has been limiting the freedoms of Americans for decades. Citizens have the right to make their own choices in life and in their daily activities. Smoking marijuana is a way for many users to gain medical relief and to relax and unwind from a hard day of work just like law abiding citizens like to do with a beer or a cigarette. Since it is illegal,...

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