Marijuana Legalization

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When one approaches the issue of marijuana legalization, it is natural to wonder why the plant was made illegal in the first place. A short consultation of the internet can take one to the legislation that originally made its possession illegal, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This act is historically regarded as the fruition of suspect business motives of William Randolph Hearst, Andrew Mellon, and the Du Pont family (Marihuana, 2010). Such legislation of the 1930’s, a time when the dangers of cigarette smoking were not known, hardly seems a fit role model for our health and drug policies today. After all, do notions of the 1930’s align with today’s research? Should such notions be the bases for our modern society to incarcerate 60,000 people a year for possessing a plant (Hickey, 2010)? Finally, should our society turn a blind eye to the positive economic implications of legalizing a plant whose biggest crime was its taboo reputation? The following paper answers a resounding no to all these questions. Marijuana should be legalized when considering its large absence of harmful health effects and its potential health, social, and economic benefits. No effect is more harmful to one’s health than that which causes mortality. However, the United States shows a legal tolerance for two drugs responsible for quantitatively eye-catching mortalities. These drugs are cigarettes and alcohol, which, according to the Center for Disease Control, are responsible for over half a million American deaths each year (Adhikari, 2008), (Midanik, 2004). This legal tolerance is not extended to marijuana which has no annual reports of mortality (Tetrahydrocannabinol, 2010). This is not surprising when one considers marijuana’s toxicology. Wh... ... middle of paper ... ... Dis., 63(2). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16128224 Tashkin, D. P., Hashibe, M., Morgenstern, H., Cui, Y., Zhang, Z. F., Cozen, W., . . . Greenland, S. (2006). Marijuana use and the risk of lung and upper aerodigestive tract cancers: results of a population-based case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 15(10). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17035389 Tetrahydrocannabinol. (2010, July 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tetrahydrocannabinol&oldid=374974369 Whitfield, L. (1998). Stimulating your appetitie. Posit Aware, 9(2). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11365223 Williamson, E. M., Evans, F. J. (2000). Cannabinoids in clinical practice. Drugs, 60(6). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11152013

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