Pros & Cons of Legalization of Marijuana

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Introduction The legalization of marijuana is considered a controversial issue, something that can benefit people for medical purposes, but what about recreationally? Marijuana has been illegal since 1937, but there’s never been a bigger push for legalization. There are several reasons why it is illegal, because of government propaganda and big industry not wanting to lose money, but this will be discussed later. The purpose of this paper is to educate, theorize, and discuss various aspects of marijuana, such as its history, development, and the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana legalization. Finally, my personal reflection on legalization and marijuana in general will be discussed. History of Marijuana Prohibition Marijuana has been illegal for less than 1% of the time that it’s been in use (Guither, 2014). Going back to 1619, the Virginia Assembly passed legislation requiring every farmer to grow hemp. Hemp was allowed to be exchanged as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland (Block, 2014). It was actually a crime in some states to refuse to grow hemp in the 1700's. In the late 19th century, marijuana was a popular ingredient in many medicinal products and was sold openly in public pharmacies (PBS, 2014). However, in the early 1900’s things changed, a prejudice and fear began to develop around marijuana because it was being used and associated with Mexican immigrants. In the 1930’s, the massive unemployment rates increased public resentment and disgust of Mexican immigrants, which escalated public and governmental concern (PBS, 2014). In 1930 a new federal law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was created. Harry J. Anslinger was appointed the first commissioner of the FBN in 1930 (... ... middle of paper ... ...s/jacobsullum/2014/01/30/dueling-pot-billboards-at-the-stoner-bowl-marijuana-is-safer-vs-marijuana-will-ruin-your-life/ Szalavitz, M. (2014, January 13). Don't Believe The (Marijuana) Hype. Retrieved from TheFix: http://thefix.com/content/Maia-Szalavitz-pot-addiction-health2100 Vozick-Levinson, S. (2013, June 20). Is Weed Really Bad for You? Retrieved from RollingStone: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/is-weed-really-bad-for-you-20130610 WebMD. (2012, July 23). Marijuana Use and Its Effects. Retrieved from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/marijuana-use-and-its-effects WHO Expert Comittee on Drug Dependence . (2003). Thirty-Third Report. Retrieved from who.int: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_915.pdf?ua=1 Woodward, D. W. (1937, May 4). Taxation of Marihuana. Retrieved from DrugLibrary: http://www.druglibrary.org/Schaffer/hemp/taxact/woodward.htm
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