Did you ever wonder why smoking tobacco is legal went it is addictive and has basically no heath benefits. I feel that the US should legalize marijuana, a non addictive drug that can actually be beneficial?

Four million Americans smoke marijuana on a regular basis.

USA Today states that in 2001, 34% of Americans 18 to 49 year olds favor of legalization of marijuana in the United States. The 62% of people that oppose marijuana are the elderly, regular church goers, and republicans. Marijuana should be legalized. I will provide you with the many benefits on the agricultural production of marijuana in this country. Also I would like to point out that if it was legal we could do even more research on the positive aspects of this natural herb.

I. There are many benefits in the agricultural production of marijuana.

A. Fist of all, I would like to provide you with some background information on this plant.

B. Hemp is a crop that both presidents, Washington and Jefferson raised. It was valued for its fibers which were used for rope and canvas, and its seeds were used for soap and lamp oil.

C. In 1619 the Virginia assembly passed legislation that required all farmers to grow hemp. It was exchanged as legal tender in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. In the late 19th century, marijuana was a popular ingredient in many medicine products and was sold openly in public pharmacies.

D. Also during World War II, the import of hemp was crucial to our military. It was used for parachutes and other necessities. The US Department of Agriculture called on the ‘Hemp for Victory, requiring farmers once again to plant hemp. In 1943, the US had over 375,000 acres of land committed to hemp.

II. Secondly there are many beneficial uses of the plant.

A. Hemp is the male part of the plant that contains less than 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol (the primary ingredient in marijuana that gets you high). Hemp has over 50,000 non-drug uses. For example, fuel, food, plastics, cosmetics, and clothing. Its seeds are well balanced protein having the highest content of essential fatty acids.

B. Cannabis is the female part of the plant. It also has very strong fibers. Its seeds are used in food production and oil that is used as a base for paints and varnishes. The pulp can be used in fuel and paper. The resin in the blossoms and leaves can used in medicines.

C. Another benefit of the plant is actually smoking the buds and blossoms of the female plant. It provides relief of suffering seriously and terminally ill patients dying of AIDS and cancer. AIDS patients smoke this drug for an appetite, and cancer patients smoke it to relieve the nausea they get from chemotherapy. Doctors also recommend using this drug for epilepsy, arthritis, migraine headaches, and glaucoma. Time magazines poll stated 84% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized for medical uses. Marijuanna has been proven to have therapeutic benefits on these people who want to enjoy and not suffer in pain the little life they have left.

III. Thirdly, marijuana can benefit our economy. Legalization doesn’t mean that there won’t be restraints to govern its use. Done properly it allows the government to control distribution and quality of marijuana.

A. The state and federal government would be able to tax it and regulate its distribution. This would enable the US to cut the cost on the drug war by 50% and focus on the more harmful and deadly drugs. Legalizing marijuana would also reduce health care cost by reducing the probability of accidental ingestion of an unintended drug, through state sponsored standardization of purity in production and sale.

B. Marijuana could raise the job economy. The retail value of marijuana grow in Vancouver was $750 million. This is 3 times greater than dairy production. A bushel of corn sells for a couple dollars, while a bushel of marijuana sells for about $70,000. Marijuana could become a legitimate agricultural operation leading to more jobs for farmers.

C. And finally, legalizing marijuana decrease prison overcrowding. With the 3 strikes your out law, it sends people away for life. Some of these people are murders and rapist, but most are low level drug offenders. This means that they are predominately taking up room in jail, forcing