There has been a debate over the legalization of marijuana since it was made illegal in the 1920s. There are opponents on both sides of the issue. There are many benefits to the legalization of marijuana, but there are also detrimental effects to society that are caused by marijuana use. These issues need to be debated to determine if the legalization of marijuana would benefit the United States. According to a 2003 Zogby poll, “the government should treat marijuana more or less the same way it treats alcohol: It should regulate it, control it, tax it, and only make it illegal for children.” (Nadelmann, Ethan)
Cannabis has been around since ancient times. The first use of marijuana dates to 7000 B.C. Marijuana was used as a medicinal herb by ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Cannabis was legal to use in the USA until the 1920s’. In 1913 California became the first state to outlaw Cannabis. Other states quickly followed suit with marijuana prohibition laws and eventually the federal government outlawed it as well. “In many western states, it was simply a matter of prejudice against Mexican-American and Mexican migrants, with whom marijuana was popularly associated” (Nadelmann, Ethan). Because of medical studies, many people believe marijuana is helpful for some medical conditions which led to the legalization of marijuana but only for medical use. As California was the first state that outlaw the Marijuana, in 1996 California become the first state to allow it for medical use after the voters approved a statewide ballot issue. Today, there are sixteen states in the United States that have legalized medical marijuana.
Marijuana is a prevalent recreational and medicinal drug. It is the third most common drug used in the United States after tobacco and alcohol. Marijuana is not more harmful than alcohol or tobacco. It causes less fatalities and loss of inhibition than does alcohol. In fact most of the research says that alcohol is more dangerous and harmful than marijuana because it damages organs such as the liver and pancreas. Build up of toxicities after liver failure can cause confusion, agitation, and loss of life. Tobacco is legal, yet it is one of the largest causes of death in the United States. It has been proven to cause heart and lung disease and contributes to the majority of hospitalizations and health care costs. . On the other side Marijuana has proven medical benefits, and can be used responsibly with the right controls. These controls could include restrictions on growth, dispensing it, and taxes. The United State government spends billions of dollars every year on the drug war.
The war on drugs is expensive. A lot of resources go into trying to catch who sells it or buys it, and taking them to jail. It also costs a lot of money to house citizens who are arrested for using or selling marijuana. If marijuana was legalized, it could be taxed. Marijuana is in high demand, and the taxes collected from the growth and...