George Washington once said to one of his servants at Mount Vernon, “Make the most of the hemp seed. Sow it everywhere.” Yet today in the United States, simple possession of a marijuana or hemp plant can cost a person up to 10 years in prison. What has changed? The plant certainly has not, simply the perception of its use and applications have. Hemp has useful and practical uses. It is legally grown in over 30 countries worldwide and can grow successfully without pesticides or fertilizer. It can be used to make paper products, lubricant, fabrics, and plumbing pipes. Hemp takes only a single growing season to reach maturity and a single acre can produce five tons of useable hemp products. Why level forests when hemp can be used as an eco-friendly way to make paper? Why use synthetic materials for oil paint products when hemp can produce nonpolluting drying oil that was used to paint masterpieces? Why kill trees when hemp is already successfully producing pulp for making particleboard and plywood? This list could go on and on, and these are the exact arguments being raised by pro-legalization groups like MPP (Marijuana Policy Project) and NORML.(National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) (Rosenthal)
Marijuana also has many medical uses that have proven to be effe...
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...s of the drug should be legal: solicitation, use, and distribution. Many survey responses included the concern that the reason that marijuana use is so popular because it is illegal, being compared to alcohol prohibition in 1920’s. One response stated, “Part of the reason people do these drugs are because they are illegal. In the past, alcohol used to be the big drug that people would smuggle. Now that it's legal, it doesn't seem to be as much of a controversial topic as it used to be.” This view on marijuana use reflects other survey responses as well as Sergeant Kevin Smith’s view on the subject. (Smith, Chandler)
Marijuana is safe, useful, and practical. Legalization is favored by law enforcement and the citizens alike. Legalization can create jobs and revenue. It is past time for the United States’ marijuana laws to be reformed, and it needs to happen now.
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