To Be Legal

To Be Legal

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To Be Legal

     Marijuana smokers are generally mildly intoxicated, giggle, laugh, bother no one, and have a good time. They do not stagger or fall, and wouldn’t ordinarily attempt to harm anyone. It has not been proven that smoking marijuana leads to crimes of a violent nature or to crimes of a sexual nature. Smoking marijuana has no unpleasant after-affects, no dependence is developed on the drug, and the practice can easily be stopped at any time. So why is marijuana illegal? Although marijuana usage is frowned upon by society, marijuana can be used for industrial, recreational, and even medical purposes.
     The industry could certainly benefit from marijuana. Hemp (processed marijuana) is among the oldest of industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginning of pottery. Surprisingly, Hemp can replace many of the elements used in products today. One acre of hemp in annual rotation will produce as much pulp for paper as 4.1 acres of trees during the same twenty-year period. Hemp can be grown and harvested every year, unlike trees that take a lasting fifty to one hundred years to grow back. Also, making paper from trees creates over five times more pollution than making paper from hemp. Hemp could also have an effect on the clothing industry producing three times as much fiber per acre as cotton. While cotton is grown on only 3% of the world’s farmland, it uses a devastating 26% of the world’s pesticides per year. Hemp requires no pesticides or herbicides to grow.
     In regards to recreational use, marijuana is about as benign as you can get. It is not addictive. It does not cause violence. It creates no hangovers and no one has ever died from an overdose. Marijuana serves as a natural relaxant, unlike alcohol, which produces more hyper emotions. Personally, I noticed that people attending college parties based around the consumption of alcohol tend to be more aggressive than those under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana users tend to be more jovial in a social atmosphere such as a party/club and do not pursue things that involve large amounts of energy. Although there are some that claim marijuana usage is harmful to the body, impairing the normal flow of thought, causing loss of coordination, and even brain damage, it can also be a way of enjoying yourself, socializing with friends, and escaping the troubled reality of the world.

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     Medically, marijuana could bring to the surface ways of curing even the deadliest if diseases. Marijuana has been reported to, relieve migraine headaches, stop the advancement of glaucoma, relieve asthma attacks, improve breathing, alleviate nausea and pain associated with cancer chemotherapy treatments, block epileptic seizures, relieve the pain of arthritis, help with depression, and etc. Though there is some evidence that marijuana may suppress the immune system, marijuana’s use has been known to eliminate the drug-induced stupor suffered by many AIDS patients during end stages of the disease. During this stage the patient usually loses his appetite and becomes chronically nauseous. With marijuana use the patient doesn’t have to worry about the nauseous feeling that results from certain medications. They are then able to enjoy foods that they’ve been accustomed to eating.
The health issues listed in the previous paragraph are all problems that our society suffers from on a day-to-day basis. Most importantly, they are problems that can be cured by elements that we’ve known about for years. In truth, marijuana could probably surpass the things we use for industrial recreational and medical purposes, but we are living in a world that doesn’t promote change, even if it is detrimental to our survival. We’d rather pay doctors billions of dollars a year to discover new antidotes than use hemp just because we think it’s immoral. But the irony is that in this society everything is immoral until we make it legal.
     Probably the most dangerous feature of marijuana is that it is a gateway drug. It teaches disrespect for the law and would complicate drug enforcement. If it were legalized, that role would disappear. There would be no need for the average teen to have anything to do with drug pushers at all because they could buy it publicly. If marijuana were legalized, the drug could be government inspected, guaranteed of standard potency, and without pesticide residues. Also, the lower cost would allow people to start eating marijuana in brownies or other specialty foods rather than smoking it, which would reduce the health risk considerably.






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