THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA

THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA Is the illegalization of marijuana

valid? The debate over the legalization of Cannabis sativa, more commonly

known as marijuana, has been one of the most heated controversies ever to

occur in the United States. Its use as a medicine has existed for thousands
of

years in many countries world wide, and is documented as far back as 2700

BC in ancient Chinese writing. (Jackson,pg.55) When someone says ganja,

cannabis, bung, dope, grass, rasta, or weed, they are talking about the same

subject: marijuana. Marijuana should be legalized because the government

could earn money from taxes on its sale, its value to the medical world

outweighs its abuse potential, and because of its importance to the paper and

clothing industries. This action should be taken despite efforts made by

groups which say marijuana is a harmful drug which will increase crime rates

and lead users to other more dangerous substances. The actual story behind

the legislature passed against marijuana is quite surprising. The acts
bringing

about the demise of marijuana were part of a large conspiracy involving

DuPont, Harry J. Angslinger, commissioner of the Federal Bureau of

Narcotics (FBN), and many other influential industrial leaders such as
William

Randolph Hearst, and Andrew Mellon. The Marijuana Act, which passed in

1937, coincidentally occurred just as the decorator machine was invented.

(Jackson, pg.57) With this invention, marijuana would have been able to take

over competing industries almost instantaneously. You see 10,000 acres

devoted to marijuana will produce as much paper as 40,000 acres of average

forest pulp land. William Hearst owned enormous timber acreage so his

interest in preventing the growth of marijuana can be easily explained.

Competition from marijuana would have easily driven the Hearst paper

manufacturing company out of business, and significantly lowered the value of

his land.(Jackson,pg.60) Even popularizing the term "marijuana" was
a

strategy Hearst used in order to create fear in the American public. You see

the first step in creating hysteria was to introduce the element of fear of
the

unknown by using a word that no one had ever heard of before…

"marijuana." The reasoning behind Hearst and others was not for any
moral

or health related issues. They fought to prevent the growth of this new

industry so they wouldn’t lose money.(Jackson,pg.61) In fact, the American

Medical Association tried to argue for the medical benefits of marijuana.

Marijuana is actually less dangerous than alcohol, cigarettes, and even most

over-the-counter medicines or prescriptions. Nearly all medicines have toxic,

potentially lethal affects, but marijuana is not such a substance. Marijuana,
in

its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances
known

to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used

within a supervised routine of medical care. To me it doesn’t make sense
for

marijuana to be illegal in the United States when alcohol poisoning is a
major

cause of death in this country, and approximately 400,000 premature deaths

are attributed to cigarettes annually. (Jackson, pg.64) Marijuana compares

favorably to nicotine, alcohol, and even caffeine. When drinking a person
will

experience an inability to stand or walk without help, near unconsciousness,

lack of comprehension of what is seen or heard, shock, and breathing and

heartbeat may stop. When smoking marijuana will do nothing more than put

you to sleep, while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will kill you.

Prescribed marijuana alleviates epilepsy, weight loss of AIDS, nausea of

chemotherapy, menstrual pains, and severe effects of Multiple Sclerosis. The

illness with the most documentation among doctors which marijuana has

successfully treated is Multiple Sclerosis. A doctor by the name of Lester

Grinspoon believes for Multiple Sclerosis suffers, "Cannabis is a drug
of

necessity." (Jackson,pg.63) Marijuana is also known to help patients
with

muscle spasms. It allows them to sleep properly, and helps to control the

patients bladders. Marijuana also proved to be effective in the treatment of

glaucoma because its use lowers pressure on the eye. We should be

concentrating on the serious business of heroin and amphetamines. If the

government were to legalize marijuana, they could reasonably place high

taxes on it. An entire industry could be created out of marijuana based

products. The oils extracted from seeds could be used for fuels and the

marijuana fiber, a fiber so valued for its strength that it is used to judge
the

quality of other fibers, could be manufactured into ropes, clothing, or
paper.

(Dennis,pg.86) Most importantly, the money the government would make

from taxes and the money which would be saved by not trying to prevent its

use could be used for more important things, such as serious drugs or the

national debt. The recreational use of marijuana would not stimulate crime

like some would argue. For