It's Time To Make Marijuana Legal for Recreational Use

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The issue of legalizing marijuana has been prominent in news headlines recently with Washington and Colorado’s new laws on using marijuana for recreational use. The problems stem from the vast difference of opinion between those who support the new laws and those who oppose them. The supporters of legalizing marijuana argue that the police resources that are being used for trying to prosecute users of marijuana could be better used for violent crimes such as murder and rape. Supporters also argue that marijuana has far more positive properties than negative ones. Those who oppose the legalization state that marijuana is a gateway to other more harmful drugs such as methamphetamine and heroin. They also say that marijuana is a harmful drug and should be treated as such. The benefits of making marijuana legal for recreational use by the adult populace greatly outweigh the negative aspects. Marijuana has been legally used for almost as long as mankind has been around. The first time marijuana became illegal was in 1937, with the Marijuana Tax Act. One Gallup poll shows that in 1969 the percentage of people who believed that marijuana should not be legal was 84% and those who thought it should be was only 12%. In 2009 that poll was taken again and this time the numbers had changed drastically. The percentage of people who thought that it should be illegal was down to 54%, while the percentage of those who supported legalization was up to 44%. Marijuana is virtually harmless to the adult user. Several studies have concluded that even long-term use of marijuana is not associated with an increased cancer risk. This includes cancers of the lungs, prostate, breasts, or cervix among others under current study. A recent popula... ... middle of paper ... ...ucoma, Cancer, HIV, being used to treat depression, anxiety, A.D.D and many other diseases and conditions. So in retrospect, when it comes to marijuana, the good definitely outweighs the bad in my opinion and it does so while remaining natural, renewable, and cost efficient. One day, I hope to see marijuana being widely available to the general public, for little cost. Works Cited Morral, Andrew R.; McCaffrey, Daniel F. and Susan M. Paddock. “Reassessing the marijuana gateway effect.” Addiction 97.12 (2002): 1493-504. Inaba, Darryl S. and William E. Cohen. Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. 2nd ed. Ashland: CNS Productions, 1995. 174 Block, R.I. et al., “Acute Effects of Marijuana on Cognition: Relationships to Chronic Effects and Smoking Techniques.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 43 (1992): 907-917.

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