Legalizing Marijuana

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Should New York State legalize marijuana? The question encompasses a history of presumptions. During the nineteenth century, the drug had become popularized as a medical remedy that was publicly sold in American pharmacies. Then, in 1906, the Pure Food and Drug Act required cannabis to be labeled in any over-the-counter prescriptions. The drug was slowly becoming a recreational habit as Mexican immigrants began flooding the borders. As the population began to grow, more crimes began being attributed to marijuana. Consequently, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which criminalized marijuana and limited possession to individuals that paid an excise tax for medical use. However, the tax did not prevent its usage all together. Ultimately, it was the voice of conservative parents that swayed political agenda. President Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act shortly afterwards, which raised federal penalties for drug offenders. Later amendments enacted a “three strikes and you’re out” policy for repeated drug offenders. Nevertheless, California retaliated against federal laws b...

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