legalize marijuana Essay

Submitted By nsiknsak
Words: 1629
Pages: 7

Legalization of Marijuana One of the major topics going around the United States is the legalization of marijuana. According to Misty Millhorn, Megan Monaghan, Darrel Montero, Maria Reyes, Tony Roman, Roy Tollasken, and Becca Walls, Americans are moving toward legalizing marijuana. A few states have already made marijuana legal for medical use. Marijuana should be legalized because it has healthy benefits, it will end the war on drugs, and it will make prisons less crowded. Marijuana plants come in a number of different types and are usually classified by their taste and look, for example Bubblegum and Ice. Bubblegum gets its name because it has a bubblegum taste and Ice comes from the crystal looking leafs that hang off of the plant. Marijuana has many benefits. For instance, it can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS. So why is marijuana still illegal? Also, when smoked, marijuana can damage the brain as well as the heart, lungs, and immune system. Although changing the policy on marijuana is said to represent a weakening of our national war on drugs; I feel that cannabis should be legalized because it can be taxed, has medical ailments, and on the contrary, can strengthen our national war on drugs. Only people that are a part of the Forbes list or Bill Gates are not suffering from the recession that is currently swamping the United States. The US gross federal debt has grown in 2011 to a total of approximately 15.5 trillion dollars, and is projected to climb to 16.7 trillion by 2012 (Chantrill). An idea that is being tossed around currently within congress is whether or not to legalize marijuana. The Federal Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says that approximately 14.4 million people over the age of twelve illicitly used marijuana within a month’s time in 2007 (SAMHSA). The Federation of Tax Administrator’s website said that the average state excise tax on a package of cigarettes as of January 1, 2008, was around one dollar and ten cents ( SAMHSA also states in 2002 that eight out of ten of the 14.4 million users, were regular monthly users (SAMHSA). That makes about 11.5 million regular users, which are estimated to consume two packs of marijuana cigarettes per month. At two packs a month and one dollar and ten cent tax, the United States would be making 1.27 billion dollars per month. In a year, the tax revenue would be a total of approximately 15.28 billion dollars per year. Although this doesn’t completely make up the United States’ total debt, this is easily a turn in the right direction. There are many positive ways the medical marijuana can assist people. Joycelyn Elders, a former US Surgeon General, says that, “Marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms caused by illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and AIDS” (Elders). Elders also claimed that marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day. For the treatment of AIDS, medical marijuana is a better choice for patients instead of placebo. “Patients had improved their immune system and gained four pounds more on average than those patients that were receiving placebo,” according to Donald Abrams with the Annals of Internal Medicine (Abrams). On top of that, marijuana can relieve stress. Unlike cigarette smokers, most users do not take the drug on a daily basis according to Colin Blakemore and Leslie Iversen. Also, unlike nicotine, alcohol, and hard drugs, there is no withdrawal syndrome when stopped (Blakemore, PhD, Iversen PhD). On a negative note, according to John Walters, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, “Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs, immune system, and contains cancer-causing compounds” (Walters). Lester Grinspoon, an Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at