Think for a minute about alcohol. It's something we are well accustomed to in our every day lives. We associate it with celebrations, parties, relaxation, and many other things that involve leisure. What else do we associate alcohol with? How about drunk driving and the deaths that occur as well. The thought of alcoholism and the destruction of the body as well families might spring in to mind. Now think about marijuana. Pot is something we all have been taught is next to sin. " Pot will make you stupid and lazy." "Pot will ruin your life." These might be a few examples of phrases that accompany the mentioning of the marijuana in any context, and the government has spent a lot of time and money in keeping it that way. They have also kept up a strict policy of administering jail time to any persons caught using or in possession of the drug. Should someone be imprisoned for having a beer ? A night of drunkenness beats down on the body far worse than marijuana (Fortgang 53). The little ill effects the drug possesses is why marijuana should be decriminalized. When I say decriminalized, I don't mean legalized. Politicians should at most in a case involving pot issue a fine, not years and years of a persons life in prison.
The hard facts about the drug marijuana are quite different to the beliefs of the U.S. society. The way it actually alters the brain, and it's addictiveness are quite minor. The chemical THC is what does the majority of the work when someone smokes marijuana. This chemical borrows the pathway of molecularly similar neurotransmitters in the brain called anandamides. The THC sits in the receptors for a time, making use of already functionin...
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... the punishments up close.
In all, the war on pot is a more negative situation that positive. It wastes money, sacrifices excessive amounts of time in the lives of people, and is not taken seriously even by the men who advocate it. The best solution is decriminalization. In the 70's, the 11 states who did decriminalize marijuana experienced no rise in crime of any kind (Schlosser 49). Scarce prison cells should be reserved for violent criminals, not pot smokers. Impose fines and create a little revenue for the state, not spend it all trying to eradicate a substance that is less harmful than the alcohol we consume everyday.
Fortgang, Erica. "Is Pot Bad For You? Six Questions Answered." Rolling Stone Feb. 1999: 53, 101.
Schlosser, Eric. "The Politics of Pot: A Government In Denial." Rolling Stone Mar. 1999: 47-52.
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