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Research Paper

2895 words - 12 pages

English 110 Freshmen Composition17 November 2013Research PaperTo Smoke or Not to SmokeGeorge Washington once said, "Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!" (1). There are many different types of drugs that are being used in contemporary society. People look to gain physical, mental, and/or emotional relief by taking drugs. Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is one type of drug that can be ingested or smoked. It is a mild hallucinogen that is commonly used by millions of Americans. It intensifies sensory activity and makes a person have short-term memory loss. Although, it is a very commonly used drug, marijuana is still illegal to possess or distribute under federal ...view middle of the document...

Accordingly, if one fails a drug test for marijuana, then their life is forever stained. Many companies and corporations are required by the Department of Transportation to conduct drug tests as part of the pre-employment process. Most of these drug tests are done on safety-sensitive transportation employees. After failing a drug test, the individual's personal record will state the drug they have used and how much of it was found in their system. This failed drug test can stay on their record for several years to life. It is extremely difficult to remove this drug offense off one's record. Meanwhile, finding another employer in the transportation industry is highly unlikely.Is it morally acceptable to put so many non-violent drug possessors in prison for very long periods of time? It is not acceptable because the severity of the crime is low. There are many other serious crimes that should consequently lead to long jail time; marijuana shouldn't be one of them. During an interview with Eric Schlosser, a renowned writer on marijuana, he said, "Under the laws of fifteen states, you can get a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana offense. And the average sentence for a convicted murder in this country is about six years. In the state of California, the average prison sentence for a convicted killer is about 3.3 years" (1). This is a very disproportionate amount of jail time. In some cases, a nonviolent marijuana offense might be worse than actually killing someone in regards to prison sentence.Meanwhile, due to the high demand of marijuana, drug cartels are making every effort to distribute large quantities of marijuana to local sellers. They will continue to do such illegal activities even if it means the death of several thousands of people. Murder rates are significantly high due to illegal drug trafficking. Dan Riffle, a reporter for CNN, he said, "Marijuana is universally available, used by almost half of Americans at some point in their lives, and we've enriched murderous drug cartels fueling violence in Mexico that has claimed more than 60,000 lives" (1). These drug cartels are ruthless, corrupt, and dangerous. They will continue to fight amongst each other, and try to maximize their profits, as long as marijuana remains illegal.Besides the high murder rates being a reason for concern, there is also a financial burden on the United States government to fund the jails in order to imprison all of the people who are arrested for possession or distribution of marijuana. "About one out of every six federal inmates is in federal prison for marijuana" (Schlosser 1). That is a lot of people who need to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and trialed. A lot of United States capital could be spent elsewhere if marijuana was legal. Crime rates would also lessen because possession of marijuana is currently a common federal crime. All the marijuana users would be relieved to know that they are not in danger of being jailed.Furthermore, the government can...

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