Essay on Decriminalization and Regulation of Marijuana

Essay on Decriminalization and Regulation of Marijuana

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Marijuana has a long standing history of being one of the most controversial substances in America. While the history or the Cannabis plant indicates not only acceptance as a useful plant, but even advocated as a source of revenue and medicinal usage, much of the United States government propaganda over the last 100+ years has led Americans to accept very slighted and often false information about the plant and its uses. Based on the origin of the illegalization of marijuana and the inconsistent findings of its effects in comparison to other substances, both legal and illegal, marijuana should be decriminalized and treated as a recreational substance just as alcohol and tobacco are.
The cultivation and utilization of the Central Asia native Cannabis plant dates back over 10,000 years when plants were cultivated for their hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant used for the fibrous content. The first evidence of medicinal use found comes from a Chinese health publication from the reign of Emperor Chen Nung of the Chinese Dynasty over 5000 years ago (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1997). For thousands of years, the Cannabis plant was widely accepted in various cultures to be not only useful, but for many of those cultures it was a staple crop. Even in American history, hemp had its useful place and was advocated and cultivated by some of our Founding Fathers.
American colonists planted the first hemp crops near Jamestown, Virginia in 1611 (Mehling, 2003). The hemp was used for a variety of textiles, including sails, ropes, maps and even clothing because of its durability and resilience to mildew. With the New Land having an ideal climate for the growing of the Cannabis plant, King James I of England mandated the cultivation and relied heavil...

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...paign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol:
Grinspoon, L., & Bakalar, J. B. (1997). Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Institute of Medicine, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health. (1999). Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.
Mehling, R. (2003). Marijuana. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.
Miron, J. A. (2005). The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition. Cambridge: Harvard University. (2009, May 6). Medical Marijuana. Retrieved March 15, 2012, from
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. (2003). NORML Report on Sixty Years of Marijuana Prohibition in the U.S. Washington, D.C.: The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

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