The Issue of Marijuana Legalization in the United States

Should marijuana be legalized? This has been an enormous controversial issue for the last couple of decades. It’s a drug that can be good for you, yet cause many great dangers. There are many views supporting and opposing the legalization of cannabis. A patient suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and other serious conditions often find marijuana the most effective treatment. In some cases it may be the only remedy. (2nd or not) As of November 2000, there are only 8 patients receiving marijuana legally as a form of medication.

There are thousands of people using the drug illegal to help them cope with their disease. Presently, patients can be arrested and sent to prison for using marijuana — even those who have their doctors’ approval. A 1990 scientific survey found that 54% of oncologists with an opinion favored the controlled availability of marijuana, and 44% had already broken the law by suggesting at least once that a patient obtain marijuana illegally (Doblin).

Marijuana has not yet been determined as addictive.

Both cigarettes and marijuana both contain a certain amount of nicotine. Yet a person who smokes 2-3 joints a day will intake the same amount of nicotine as a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Then why would one be legal and not the other?

On the other hand, marijuana should remain illegal because of the enormous side effects and addiction that results after using the drug. First, marijuana is what it is, a drug! You can’t change that no matter how many people vote on it.

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Sure, there are prescription drugs on the market that are potentially dangerous but there are effects are nothing compared to that of marijuana. Such a comparison can be made between a knife and a gun, prescription drugs being the knife and marijuana the gun. They are both potentially lethal and incredibly dangerous but they have their differences. With a knife, you have to be careless enough to fall on it. With a gun, all you have to be is stupid enough to mess with it.

Legalization will increase use of the drug. However, many supporters of continuing the illegalization of drugs believe that by legalizing drugs they will become more accessible and use will therefore increase. They base this argument on past experiment dealing with alcohol prohibition. After the end of prohibition with the 21st amendment, alcohol consumption doubled while prohibition decreased use by 50 percent (Light). They also cite that use of marijuana peaked in 1979 when there was a decriminalization of drug use by eleven states. When researching to find if a particular solution will prove to be fuse, it is important to look at historical examples and learn from them. In Liverpool, England, after a recent legalization of drugs in a regulatory program that focuses on the medical benefits of drugs, most drug pushers have left town because there is no longer a market for them (Cotton). This shows that legalization actually decreases use because of the increased emphasis on rehabilitation and the decrease of drug pushers. In conclusion, I believe that marijuana should be legalized. It can help people with many serious illnesses. Also, it can’t be proven to be addictive, and can’t do any more damage than a person smoking cigarettes.

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The Issue of Marijuana Legalization in the United States. (2021, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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