Legalizing Marijuana in the United States

557 Words3 Pages
We’ve all been told not to use drugs starting at a very young age. We’re told they very bad for you and can even cause death. As a child, we always believed what we were told; the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to realize that not all of these “drugs” are as bad for you as we were taught. The particular drug I am speaking about comes from the dried leaves and flowers of a hemp plant (Cannabis Sativa), and goes by the name Marijuana. Marijuana has been prohibited since 1968. You would think that because it is illegal, most would stop using the substance. But in fact, in the past 30 years, 10 million people have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the U.S. (Glasser, 2000) With so many people getting in trouble for this “harmful drug”, there has not been one death directly from the use of marijuana. Marijuana is a relatively harmless drug, argues Rich Lowry in the following viewpoint. In fact, he asserts, alcohol and tobacco are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans every year while marijuana has never killed anyone. (Lowry, 2004) So if the drug isn’t killing anyone, why is it still illegal? Major medical reasons that are supposivley caused by consuming marijuana are lung and brain damage and memory loss. It was found in a study that marijuana does not impair long term memory but can only cause short term memory loss while under the influence. Brain damage that does occur is not because of any chemical property in ganja, but because the brain is deprived of oxygen for so long that brain cells are killed. The UCLA School of Medicine conducted a study over marijuana and lung function. The results showed neither the continuing nor past marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different ra... ... middle of paper ... .... Document URL Lowry, Rich. "Marijuana Should Be Legalized." The War on Drugs. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Weed Whackers." National Review (20 Aug. 2001). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 6 Dec. 2013. Document URL
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