The Legalization of Marijuana

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Since the dawn of the trade, drugs have been a hot commodity. There is an incredibly large market for drugs all over the world. Infact, many governments attempt to squash this trade by criminalizing drugs, their dealers and their users. However, does this really work? As witnessed in many of the lessons provided during class, the war on drugs seems to be a moot point . Instead of banishing the drug trade, all the war on drugs seems to be doing is creating power vacuums to be filled by the most ruthless and terrorizing citizens of those countries producing drugs. Not only that, but two American states (Colorado and Washington) have recently legalized the recreational use of Marijuana, and 20 states have laws which allow medical marijuana (Network, 2014). Public opinion is in favor of the legalization of marijuana, and states are slowly starting to come around. The changes in the laws concerning marijuana will of course have a big impact on the American public. What are the potential benefits and drawbacks from legalizing marijuana? Does marijuana have any health benefits? And how has marijuana affected countries who have already decriminalized its use?

To begin, we shall give a brief history of marijuana. Marijuana was used pharmacologically during the 1800's. "The drug was accepted into the United States Pharmacopeia in 1850 and remained there until 1942. It was recommended for a variety of ailments, including neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, hysteria, insanity, uterine hemorrhage, and tetanus, among many others" (Faupel, 2014). As Faupel states, for almost 100 years marijuana was widely accepted as a valid medical treatment. However, anti-foreigner sentiments as well as the anti-drug hysteria sweeping the country would ultimat...

... middle of paper ... used to treat patients with severe illnesses. Not only this, but medicines that treat the same illnesses can be just as if not more dangerous.

Works Cited

"DrugFacts: Is Marijuana Medicine?." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. .

"DrugFacts: Marijuana." National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2014. .

Faupel, Charles E., Alan M. Horowitz, and Gregory Weaver. The Sociology of American Drug Use. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

Network, Jolie. "Which states have legalized medical marijuana?." USA Today. Gannett, 6 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
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