The legalization of marijuana is considered a controversial issue, something that can benefit people for medical purposes, but what about recreationally? Marijuana has been illegal since 1937, but there’s never been a bigger push for legalization. There are several reasons why it is illegal, because of government propaganda and big industry not wanting to lose money, but this will be discussed later. The purpose of this paper is to educate, theorize, and discuss various aspects of marijuana, such as its history, development, and the advantages and disadvantages of marijuana legalization. Finally, my personal reflection on legalization and marijuana in general will be discussed.
History of Marijuana Prohibition Marijuana has…show more content…
These reports continued to increase in number well into 1937. There was a call to arms, and the FBN did two important things. First, the Bureau prepared a legislative plan for Congress, which would place marijuana directly under control of the federal government. Secondly, Anslinger launched a campaign against marijuana on radio stations and at major forums (Harry J. Anslinger, 1961). This campaign also included several racist remarks and comments such as “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men” by Harry J. Anslinger (Szalavitz, 2014). The government also based many of their arguments on false studies, and instead chose to spread propaganda to push their agenda. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed by different reports and hearings, despite the American Medical Association (AMA) being opposed to it (Schaffer Library of Drug Policy, 2014). The AMA opposed the act because the tax was imposed on physicians prescribing cannabis, retail distribution, and medical cannabis cultivation (Woodward, 1937). Some people have argued that the goal of the act was to reduce the size of the hemp industry. Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst, and the Du Pont family have been accused of helping the campaign and supporting the act for their own interests (French, 2004). These parties wager that Randolph Hearst felt that it was a threat to his extensive timber holdings. Andrew Mellon, Secretary of the Treasury and the wealthiest man in America at the time, invested
Legalization of cannabis has been a very controversial issue in the United States for a long time; even more so after several states have already passed the legislation lifting the ban. Should all marijuana be legal? Is it dangerous? What are the possible implications of this? It is one of these topics that people just cannot help but have diametrically opposite viewpoints on.
For decades marijuana was considered to be a dangerous drug, leading to criminal behavior and personal degradation. However, by now most of these beliefs have been discredited – there is little to no proof that cannabis in and of itself has any adverse effects. Some studies even show that it is far less dangerous than many completely legal prescription drugs – both for its users and those around them.
In addition to that, there is corroborative proof of marijuana’s positive medical effects. Cannabis is beneficial for epilepsy patients, it eases nausea caused by chemotherapy and shows good results when used by people suffering from AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and a number of other conditions. In other words, legalization of cannabis can greatly improve the quality of life of all these people, while proof of its lasting or even temporary adverse effects remains more than scarce.
But even if we take medical use of cannabis aside, let’s ask ourselves a simple question: the war on drugs has been raging for decades, billions of government spending have been poured down this sinkhole, hundreds of thousands of people were convicted on drug charges, tens of thousands are getting killed in drug wars in Mexico and South America – yet the results are less than nil.
Drug trade is running rampant, tens of thousands die in drug-related shootings and gang warfare, prisons are overfilled with people charged with possession or selling drugs (and a large percentage of them has been arrested over finding a tiny amount of marijuana on them), time in prison makes it difficult for these people to find proper jobs later on, again pushing them towards criminal activities, thousands of addicts die due to overdose.
It seems that Prohibition era should have taught us that criminalizing an activity doesn’t make it disappear – it simply procreates organized crime. Most narcotic drugs are relatively simple and cheap in production – their high prices are caused by their illegal status and dangers accompanying producing and selling them. The war on drugs is exactly what causes drug mafia to exist in the first place – and in the long run, losses from the war on drugs by far exceed any positive effects it may have.
That is the prime reason to legalize marijuana and, ideally, drugs in general. It is impossible to eliminate them. It is impossible to protect people from themselves. If somebody wants to follow his or her self-destructive tendencies, it is not the state’s job to be his or her nanny. If drugs are legalized and cheap, a drug addict is very unlikely to harm anybody but himself – and we should take into account a greatly diminished risk of overdose, infection and other dangers accompanying illicit drugs.