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WhyMarijuanashouldbelegalized Paper

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Paper type: Essay , Subject: Economics

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Why Marijuana Should be Legalized, an argu mentative essay

Article · June 2011

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MARIJUANA SHOULD BE LEGALIZED

By Luke Crocker Thursday, June 09, 2011

Much debate has been conducted regarding the legalization of marijuana , with an unusual

amount of contradicting research. There are many perspectives to take into account, and they always

seem to come down to the personal motives of the debater. Whether it’s being argued from a medical,

political, or economical perspective; it continually co mes down to whether Federal Government should

be our dictators or we should be responsible for our actions.

The Canadian medical Association Journal reports many testimonies of the successful use of

medical marijuana. One such case is Jean Charles Pariseau (30) who is an AIDS patient. Were he to stick

to his legally prescribed medications, Mr. Pariseau would probably be dead now [Gray] . He was unable

to keep food or medication in his system, weighed only 82 pounds, was bed ridde n, and getting worse.

His doctor Kelby reports that, “He is doing remarkably well because he can now digest his medications …

…The HIV has been suppressed because of his improved immune function, he has put on weight and he

has lea rned to walk again, with a cane ” [Gray] . Marijuana has shown to alleviate , and in some cases

stunt or repress the development and expansion of HIV, AIDS, multiple sclerosis , Glaucom a, Epilepsy ,

and many other ailments that affect millions of people around the world [Gray] .

The Chinese have used Cannabis throughout history, the earliest evidence being that of the

“Shennung Ben Ts’ ao King ” (????? ). This documents origin has been attributed to Emperor

Shennung who has said to have lived around 2,800 BCE. Within its volumes is written a vast explanation

of the use of plants and herbs regarding medicine ,

and in the section regarding “Ma ” (Cannabis ; ? ),

great detail is written about the preparation and

purpose of the herb, they literally used ever y part

of the plant, but never smoked it as smoke is bad

for the Ch ’i. For example the flowers of the

cannabis plant was used to relieve menstrual

disorders and open wounds, while the seeds were

prescribed for internal use for post -partum

difficulties, aco nite poisoning, vermillion

poisoning, const ipation, and obstinate vomiting

[Smith] . This Document does warn against

excessive use of the herb because it may cause

“hallucinations and a staggering gait. ”

Figure 1 A modern transcription of the Shennung Ben Ts’ao

King , regarding the Chinese medical use of herb s. (University

of shanghai)

In America, marijuana has been legalized and is even sold publically to those with the

appropriate permit . Currently there are fifteen states that have enacted laws that legalize marijuana 1

[Procon.org] Unfortunately the federal government overrules such state laws as unconstitutional.

Although the populace has voted in favor of legalizing the medical use of this substance , the Drug

Enforcement Administration (DEA) can arrest, charge, and otherwise impose upon the people of

America for the personal, recreational, and medicinal use of Marijuana as per the Controlled Substances

Act (CSA) . [D.E.A.] According to an online survey involving 1010 adults from across Canada , 53% support

legalizing Marijuana [Canseco] , this shows that the Majority of Canadians also support the use of

marijuana. This shows that the current laws in both America and Canada are not supporting the people’s

demands which suggest that there’s more involved than is publically kno wn. The most common suspect

is that it would be difficult to tax this controlled substance.

Regarding the economical angle of this topic, several

important studies and statistics have been brought up. Firstly,

according to the Canadian Police Association , there were

29,562 marijuana related arrests in 2009, while America had

1,663,582 during the same time. [US Department of Justice]

This shows that an enormous amount of money is needed to

keep up with these “crimes, ” while it could instead be taxed.

Jeffery A. Miron, the professor of economics at the University

of Boston discusses the potential legalization and the

implications th at it may have on the economy of

Massachusetts in his paper “The budgetary implications of

marijuana legalization in Massachusetts .” According to the

paper, Massachusetts would save $120.6 million annually in

government expenditure towards criminal justice enforcement . Similarly, the state would also yield tax

revenue of $16.9 million annually . [Miron]

It may also seem silly that the human race has been using this herb for thousands of years for its

medi cinal purposes and only in the past hundred years has it become a prohibited substance because of

those who may abuse their bodies with it as a narcotic. Although , its abuse pales considerably when

compared to that of legal pharmaceuticals such as oxycodon e (a pain -killer that is derived from opium),

or ketamine (a cat tranquilizer ). Both of these prescription drugs are legal, readily available at any

shopper’s drug mart, and are extensively abused recreationally. These pharmaceuticals are also highly

addic tive, cause a myriad of damaging short and long -term side -effects, as well as a very real chance of

fatality in those that continue its use. [Hanson] [Hargreaves, Hill , Iversen] These facts strongly suggest

that it is the easy taxation of these drugs that make them legal. On the other hand , marijuana has been

home -grown for thousands of years and is a sturdy plant, therefore easy to grow.

1 Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Hawaii, Maine , Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New jersey, New Mexico,

Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. [Procon.org]

Figure 2 Cannabis leaf (experimental growth

project, Calgary, Alberta).

Considering the above facts, were the medi cinal and/or recreational use of marijuana be

legalized, many medical issues can be solved, our government will show that it can still function as the

democracy it claims to be, and millions of dollars more will be available to be put towards our nation’s

debt. That is something that has been pushed down the governmental priority list for many years and

needs to be taken seriously as the very nature of our democracy is at stake over this .

Works Cited

Canseco, mario. “”majority of canadians wou ld legalize marijuanan, but not other drugs.”” 15 April 2010.

Angus reid Public Opinions. 17 January 2011 .

D.E.A. MARIJUANA . March 2010. 17 January 2011 .

Gray, Charlotte. “”Legalize use of marijuana for medical.”” 10 Febuary 1998. National Center for

Biotechnology Information. Ed. Charlotte Gray. canadian Medical Association. 12 January 2011

.

Hanson, G. R. OxyContin: Balancing Risks and Benefits . 30 January 2003. 19 January 2011

.

Hargreaves, R. J., R. G. Hill and L. L. Iversen. “”Neuroprotective NMDA antagonists: the controversy over

their potential for adverse effects on cortical neuronal morphology.”” Acta Neurochirurgica.

Supplementum (1994): 60: 15 -9.

Miron, Jeffery A. “”The Budge tary inplications of Marijuana Legalization in Massachusetts.”” August 2003.

Change the Climate. Boston University. 12 January 2011 .

Procon.org. 15 legal medical marijuana states and DC . 7 December 2010. 1 7 January 2011

.

Smith, frederik Porter. Chinese Materia Medica: Vegitable Kingdom . Shanghai: American Presbyterian

Press, 1911.

US Department of Justice. Crime in the United States 2009 . Sep tember 2010. U.S. federal Government.

16 January 2011 .

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This sample is done by Scarlett with a major in Economics at Northwestern University. All the content of this paper reflects her knowledge and her perspective on WhyMarijuanashouldbelegalized and should not be considered as the only possible point of view or way of presenting the arguments.

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