Marijuana Legalization Research Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Sports - Drugs Type: Research Paper Paper: #58309039 Related Topics: Marijuana, Legalizing Marijuana, Prohibition, Chemical Dependency
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana, also known as marihuana, is a drug that is taken from Cannabis sativa, a hemp plant. It is one of the most frequently used and popular drugs in the world along with caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol. The United States of America is one of the world's leading producers of marijuana where it is generally smoked and is also referred to as weed or reefer by the citizens ("marijuana").

Marijuana has been known for lowering testosterone levels and sperm counts in males and raising testosterone levels in females. It has a damaging effect on the fetus of the pregnant women and consequently results in poor development of the child. Evidence has proved the affects of marijuana on the normal maturation of teenagers. It is also found to affect the short-term memory and intellectual capacity of its users. Intense users of marijuana frequently sustain lung damage and its heavy usage can also in dependency ("marijuana").

Although law enforcement agencies have been continuously making efforts for the reduction of illegal drugs supply (as required by the war on drugs), there has been no significant reduction in the availability of a majority of drugs. The unfortunate thing is that even the public mood has shifted and there has been less concern regarding the suppression of drug accessibility and usage. This is because over the past few decades, the drug dealers have killed a number of people who were exposed by media in curbing the issue. The recent trends have demonstrated crystal clearly that the tighter controls have helped in the increasing emergence of a black market and the war on drugs is not a success as it was hoped to be. Therefore, the countries that are highly affected by the drug mafia activities have concluded that as far as drug prohibition is concerned, the consequences of entire embargo is more harmful as compared to the outcomes of a program of extremely restricted accessibility (Cooper, 1993).

One of the issues in the war of drugs is that of legalization of drugs which has turned out to be an issue of immense public interest. Although authorities are not in favor of legalization of drugs, many of them are of the opinion that having a tight control as a result of drug war can further cause the issue to increase instead of any solution (Cooper, 1993).

1. The Legalization Question

The policy of barring the sale and use of marijuana is of immense public interest (Thornton, 2007). During 1960s-1970s, the number of middle-class marijuana users increased. Due to this rather greater acceptance of the drug, supporters of marijuana asked for the relaxation of U.S. laws regarding it. As a result, The Drug Abuse Prevention Act (1970) relieved federal fines and punishments to some extent and eleven out of the fifty U.S. states legally recognized its possession. However, drug laws were rewritten by many of the states during the 1980s after which more severe penalties were imposed against the use and possession of marijuana. People against the easing of marijuana laws emphasize that it is an intoxicant that is less controllable as compared to alcohol ("marijuana"). I am also a strong opponent of marijuana legalization because our drug-using society does not require a new commonly used intoxicant. It is exceedingly important for the United States government and authorities to not act to deteriorate the policies of United Nations which strongly oppose the use of marijuana for other than potential remedial reasons.

Why Marijuana should not be Prohibited and Made Legalized?

There are a number of people that advocate the alleviation or elimination of the prohibition of marijuana use. There are some who even support the idea that sanctions against the marijuana distributors must be eased out or totally eliminated (Duke, 2013). They consider marijuana prohibition as useless due to a number of factors that are discussed underneath.

Firstly, they hold the opinion that there are several legal and regulated drugs that are more harmful than marijuana. Therefore, marijuana use and circulation, according to its supporters, must not be prohibited as the drug is less harmful. There have been innumerable studies in the years gone by in which the researchers were not successful in finding out any solid proof about marijuana being a grave threat for the physical or mental health of an adult individual. On the other hand, researchers have concluded that


Marijuana use does not have a chemical linkage to violence and crime. On the other hand, alcohol consumption is always categorized as catalyst for criminal activities and lawlessness (Duke, 2013).

Even people who have been using marijuana for years share their experiences and assess that marijuana use has not made them out of their minds. Regardless of the fact that marijuana is a powerful drug; it is not hazardous. A majority of marijuana users lead a hale and hearty life in good physical shapes. It is also one of the benefits of marijuana use that it does not have a "gateway effect." In simple words, the marijuana users do not tend to try stronger drugs. Studies reveal that 2/3 of marijuana users do not attempt to try harder drugs (cocaine or heroin) at all. If truth be told, marijuana helps people to abstain from using any other drug that is more powerful and is also far dangerous. It can be said that marijuana use is like that of a moat instead of a gateway to hard drugs consumption (Duke, 2013).

Secondly, marijuana legalization supporters hold the opinion that marijuana regulation is possible simply on the condition that there is an abolishment of the prohibition. The laws in the United States of America refer to drug prohibition in the most incorrect ways and call it drug control. Bar on marijuana is not in agreement with control for the reason that whatever is made legalized, the law cannot regulate it. The supporters of marijuana legalization thus present the idea that marijuana legalization can be made possible as alcohol is also legalized and controlled. Thus, it is possible for the government to use a model like that of alcohol use and circulation for marijuana. However, "it might retain some restrictions against interstate commerce in drugs that are unlicensed, mislabeled, inadequately identified, or lacking appropriate disclosures and warnings" (Duke, 2013).

Thus, marijuana use may be legalized by the federal government if the authority to tax the production and supply of the product is shared with the states. Federal government may leave the regulation of marijuana to the individual states, just as in case of alcohol. Marijuana legalization supporters suggest that a number of states may use their power to confine the division and circulation of marijuana to the institutions that are owned by the states. On the other hand, some states could use their power to authorize manufacture and supply to private people or organizations. Every one of the states would, without a doubt, restrict the settings where there are possibilities of marijuana allotment and utilization. Sanctions can be imposed by all states "against providing the drug to minors, using, in addition to criminal punishment, the revocation of licenses, a tool not available to prohibitionists" (Duke, 2013).

Thus, marijuana should be legalized as its legalization would have certain benefits including the fact that its use if far harmless than the ones that are already available in the market as legalized drugs like alcohol and tobacco. It is an untold secret that drugs that are regularized are far safer than the ones that are banned. Users have then the advantage of depending upon the quality and declared influence of the product. In addition, regulated drugs can neither be toxic or infected (Duke, 2013).

Also, there are huge amounts of money that are needed by the governments, both federal and state, for the investigation, arrests, prosecution and imprisonment of people who are involved in the production and distribution of marijuana. Legalization of marijuana is also supported for the reason that most of the states arrest blacks who are involved in the marijuana production and distribution as compared to whites who are involved in the same. This makes it significantly important to let marijuana be legalized to inhibit the spread and occurrence of racism in the society (Duke, 2013).

In addition to this, there are a number of countries all over the world where marijuana is produced originally (along with other prohibited drugs) and there are those countries which consume these drugs. The countries that consume these drugs blame the producer countries over and over again or bribe them to enforce the drug laws in their countries in a more effective manner. American people consume marijuana that is produced in Mexico. This is the reason why the government of the United States of America takes the mentioned position with Mexicans who are the main suppliers of marijuana and other prohibited drugs to Americans. There are also other countries other…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cooper, M.H. (1993, March 19). War on Drugs. CQ Researcher, 3, 241-264. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from

Duke, S.B. (2013). The Future of Marijuana in the United States. Oregon Law Review, 91, 1301-1318. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from

"It Is Time to End the War on Drugs." (2009). Judicature, 93(2), 48+. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from

marijuana from The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. (n.d.). Questia. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from
Marijuana Legalization. (2010). White House. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from
Stimson, C.D. (2010, September 13). Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved May 25, 2013, from Thornton, M. (2007). Prohibition vs. Legalization: Do Economists Reach a Conclusion on Drug Policy?. Independent Review, 11(3), 417+. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from
Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana. (2010, April 20). CNBC. Retrieved May 24, 2013, from

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