Marijuana: Approval or Disapproval
The purpose of this paper is to present a research proposal designed to investigate the legalization of marijuana; arguments for and against the chosen topic; as well as certain conclusions reached during the course of researching the subject matter. The study design proposes that the legalization of marijuana is perceived by the public arguably. The United States of America has divided into those approving the bill and those strongly disproving the issue. Yet, the majority still approves a proposal of marijuana legalization on the basis of this act being a display of state awareness.
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Estimates suggest that from 20 to 50 million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision. Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible reports to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death. By contrast, aspirin, a commonly used, over-the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year (Young, 1988).
From this citation, it is possible to clearly see all the unintelligibility of the state power allowing using aspirin that has already caused many deaths, on the one hand, and ignoring the legalization of marijuana on the other. For thousands of years, cannabis has been produced and utilized in the whole world. From the antique times of China using the herb for its medicinal goals to current day America where it is used recreationally and medically, legally and illegally. Despite all these facts cannabis still remains a drug and demands serious attention (SAMHSA, 2009).
As for marijuana, we need to take into consideration the fact that it was the drug that revolutionized a generation during the Vietnam War; it is the same plant that the very constitution is grounded upon; yet, a little over twelve percent of convicts in the United States are imprisoned due to marijuana referred crimes also containing possession. Speaking about the process of legalization of marijuana in the United States, it is clear that this bill is still coming in turn, with states including the following ones: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. All these states have already legalized medical marijuana. As for California being the pioneer among the states in the legalization movement, it has adopted a legalization proposal on the 2010 ballet; although it has not been passed, it has remained a landmark step in the legalization process of cannabis.
The usage and cultivation of cannabis have a quite long and rich history throughout the world going back to ancient China 12,000 years ago. The cannabis plant was initially used for its medicinal qualities, from ancient Himalayan stories the god Shiva took pity on all people and delivered cannabis from the Himalayas to provide health and content (Zimmer & Morgan, 1997). The initial herbal encyclopedia originated about 100 A.D. explains the use of cannabis to lessen pain and to heal various illnesses. From Asia cannabis expanded throughout the Middle East and Africa, turning into the main part of antique history from Fang rites with people sacrifices were given the herb before dying or before heading into a struggle for mental integrity. Then, in the fifth century B.C., cannabis spread through Europe, being used medicinally and recreationally. Famous Europeans who allegedly used cannabis included Queen Victoria for its meditative qualities, and also Shakespeare, as traces of the drug were depicted in pipes around his home. The first papers of cannabis were found in the New World 1545 A.D. when the Spaniards brought it to Chile; yet, the first time the plant was seen in America was not until 1611 where it was cultivated for fiber to make various things including rope, clothing, paper, and other goods. To be precise, all Jamestown farmers were required to cultivate cannabis as a booming cash crop. Even our founding fathers grew hemp plants on the fields; George Washington was an avid proponent of hemp but also may have dabbled in its medicinal qualities. George Andrews has argued, in The Book of Grass: An Anthology of Indian Hemp (1967), that Washingtons' August 7 diary entry clearly manifests that he was growing the plant for medicinal aims as well as for its fiber (Stanford, 2009). Later on in American society cannabis was widely-spread and used as medicine in the nineteenth century; it is really where it made its boom. Cannabis was acknowledged to be medicine in 1850 under the name of Extractum Cannabis or Extract of Hemp; it was extracted in form of oils and elixirs for ill people with a wide variety of sicknesses ranging from headaches and sore throats to serious infectious diseases. Dr. J. Russell Reynolds Physician Queen Victorias Household reported in Lancet in 1890 that he had been prescribing cannabis for thirty years and that he considered it one of the most valuable medicines we possess and also Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, said in his 1898 discussion of migraines that cannabis is probably the most satisfactory remedy for that distressing condition (Nutt, 2010).
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We have to clarify that the reason for the illegalization of cannabis really does not come from the harmful qualities of the drug at all but vividly from a political and economical motives. In the late nineteenth century mostly all the paper goods were made from hemp fiber, even our very own United States constitution is printed on paper made from cannabis (Hashibe & Cui, 2006). Cannabis is a much more efficient method of making paper than wood pulp, and it is highly superior. But before cannabis could move any further in American society an influential newspaper publisher by the name of William Randolph Hearst possessed millions of acres of northwestern forestry corporations that created newsprint. To foresee his investment and his business he was obliged to get rid of the rivalry. Logically, he lobbied to make cannabis illegitimate. To complete this task, he needed to worship the plant, thus, he named it the despised Mexican weed, and came up with a new name Marijuana to sound in a more international manner. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act made cannabis illegal on the official level and made it almost impossible for doctors to prescribe it to their clients. Consequently, by 1941 it was fully extracted from the medical and common world. It wasn't until 1996 when California lobbied proposition #215 that finally made medical marijuana officially legal in the state of California, yet cannabis is still not recognized as legal to the federal government, only at the state level. Ever since then many states have passed their own medical marijuana laws in an act to bring back the medicine. California recently put proposition #19 on the ballet to officially legalize recreational usage of marijuana, but it did not pass due to its many loopholes, earmarks, and not enough maintenance. Over 858,000 people were held and prosecuted for marijuana disobediences in 2009; that number is said to definitely jump to over a million in 2011 (National Conference of State Legislators, 2009). The legalization of cannabis would decriminalize these men and get them out of the prison system; that would help the state powers save 24,000,000,000,000 a year alone in just cannabis mobsters.
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Those figures are taxes lowered, economy boosted, and schools refunded, all from legalizing cannabis. The shock for legalization has had little support from political figures. With current federal laws, federal law is the only law, states are permitted to have their own laws but if the federal government or the DEA would like to shut down a medical marijuana dispensary they may do so if they please. Because of numerous protests for marijuana to be legalized and no politicians will touch it, many entertainers and mainly humorists are taking political standpoints on marijuana, such as Seth Rogen, James Franco, and even Jennifer Aniston.
Culture is constantly being bombed with cannabis, and it is seen as a banned fruit, which is just around the corner from a neighborhood drug dealer, not the safest way to get one's cannabis. Cannabis has also become a widely recognized source for movies and music themes. Additionally, modern pop culture is connected to cannabis intensely, and more than 83 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at least once. From this statement, it is possible to conclude that the push for legality is coming to the stronghold, and will soon be underway. The movement supported by the huge masses of people can be hardly stopped and ignored.
Penalties against possession of a drug should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself; and where they are, they should be changed. Nowhere is this clearer than in the laws against the possession of marihuana in private for personal use... Therefore, I support legislation amending Federal law to eliminate all Federal criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marihuana
The war on drugs is a pivotal item when speaking about the legalization of marijuana; some state that it will increase the amount of cruelty and need for the drug, adding more fuel to the flames. Others argue that the right laws in place will help ease the drug war.
We should keep in mind that there are different course strategies against this issue. Now, we shall speak about Portugal's direction in the field of the legalization of marijuana. Portugal took a step in another direction and has been extremely successful. Contrary to widely-spread belief it was the first European state to officially decriminalize all drugs in 2001.
Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10 percent. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8 percent. Proportionally, more Americans have used cocaine than Portuguese have used marijuana (UNODC, 2004).
Portugal created a new approach to its users; instead of putting them in jail, they offered users support, special therapy, and rehabilitation process. It has also shown that since decriminalization teens have used less, and fewer individuals have died from diseases related to drugs.
...between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1 percent to 10.6 percent; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5 percent to 1.8 percent (although there was a slight increase in marijuana use in that age group). New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17 percent between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half (UNODC, 2004).
Speaking about America, it is far away from decriminalizing all narcotics, but surely the legalization of cannabis is already inevitable. Regarding Europe, the numbers do not lie, and it is a dramatically positive change. If cannabis were legal in the United States it would not only help save money on the number of convicts but also the government could tax marijuana bringing in a hefty amount of revenue such as they do for alcohol and tobacco production further helping the state and national deficits. In fact, there is a huge impetus of tobacco companies ready to purchase land and produce cannabis products when legalization has been finally put in effect. We cannot but indicate that if cannabis is legalized it could help save our country's woods from deforestation due to hemp being used for some of the forests' needs. Hemp can produce 3-8 dry tons of fiber per acre; this is four times what an average forest can produce. It is also stronger, longer-lasting, and can do more than wood.
Medical marijuana is seen to denote some parts of herb cannabis as the probable medical alternative prescribed by physicians in terms of herbal therapy. In medical practices, we can sometimes notice the use of a Cannabis plant that does not have any toxic and potentially lethal effects. In most cases, the doctors may prescribe two types of medical marijuana, which are Sativa and Indica. Sativa has skinny leaves and it has some uplifting and energetic effects. Sativa can induce a hallucinogenic effect when consumed much. The second type of medical marijuana, Indica, has a stout appearance. Effects of this plant are linked to gratifying body buzz. This plant is the best solution for curing pain and depression.
There are sixteen states that enhanced the law to legalize medical marijuana in medical practices. Those are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. In other states and cities, the use of medical marijuana is highly restricted.
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Speaking about meditation, we can say that medical marijuana is not always helpful. Although it helps people to release stress, revise their views, emotions, perception, and identity, it frequently leads to addiction. A dozen of states do not acknowledge the use of medical marijuana for meditation as they suppose that this is only the retrieval from a person's self. It has all properties that accelerate psychological maturation and facilitate multiple perspectives and cultivate creative thinking. In order for both sides to achieve mutual agreement on legalization, they must ensure that meditation will be done under the clear supervision of the doctor who prescribes it for his patient. Personal freedom will only increase the overall level of addiction. Thus, both parties need to agree on exclusively medical practices and develop strong policies regulating their use in everyday life.
I personally believe that medical marijuana needs to be legalized. Currently, we have enough medical benefits and enough reasons for the alternative line of treatment. I suppose that medical marijuana is very helpful for many people who suffer from cancer and stress and they should have the option to be provided with a natural method of treatment devoid of any chemicals. If people enhance their awareness, our authorities will be more motivated to legalize it.
Having done research on the matter of legalization of marijuana, it is possible to make certain conclusions. Too many cannabis proponents, taking the drug is not only an art form but also a lifestyle. With all the investigation being completed by scholars and doctors all around the world it will take a long time before medical cannabis will be lawful in all states and then recreational use will be as well. The usage of cannabis for its fiber to make paper, clothing, and different other products are already being emphasized today and could obviously save millions of acres of wood in the whole world. All in all, our research paper is favorable towards the utilization of cannabis in all ways, and not only its psychoactive qualities.