The legalization of marijuana has always been a controversial issue in this country, and has recently been the cause of distinction between a conservative and liberal politician. The federal law prohibiting marijuana stemmed from the Prohibition Act also known as the Eighteenth Amendment during the 1920s. This era was defined as the Prohibition Era, in which, alcoholic beverages were banned from stores and other distributors. In the same decade, the Uniform State Narcotic act was passed in 1925 which enabled the police to seize any drugs, including marijuana used in illegal trade.
Twenty years later, the Narcotics Control Act of 1956 made possession of marijuana illegal with a minimum sentence of two years in prison. The government also established the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to enforce the Narcotics Control Act and oversee any cases in which marijuana, narcotics and etc. are involved. Recently turning eighteen, I now have the right to vote for the next election. The legalization of marijuana has always been controversial topic between politicians. Marijuana has always been attributed to gangs, criminals and etc.
Frequently, however, has the pros of this plant had always been overlooked by authorities. Historically, marijuana has been a medicinal herb used to ease pain and relax muscles. Marijuana should be legalized, and I support this position with three primary reasons: the legalization of marijuana allows permanent disbandment of gangs that distribute them illegally, racial equality, and allows the distribution of medicinal marijuana to those in need. Legalizing the distribution of marijuana would undermine the power projection of gangs, who mostly rely on drug trafficking as a part of their revenue.
The inclusion of marijuana trade into the private sectors of our economy would undermine drug cartels, which have monopolized selling marijuana, by selling marijuana to consumers at a much lower price. Without one of their primary revenues, drug cartels would weaken in power and would naturally disband. The permanent disbandment of these drug cartels would also decrease spending of law enforcement enforcing against the distribution and usage of marijuana. According to CNBC: “eight states each spend more than $1 billion annually enforcing marijuana laws: New York, $3 billion; Texas, $2 billion; California, Florida, $1. billion; Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, $1 billion. Arizona—another border state—spends $726 million, while Colorado spends $145 million. North Dakota spends the least—$45 million a year—reflecting both its location and population density. ” Instead of spending our taxes, resources and services against marijuana, we can invest it in other areas such as further research of the usage of marijuana, to discover more of its medicinal properties. The prohibition of marijuana has long been attributed with racial discrimination and profiling.
This attribution long predates the civil right movement. According to an editorial released in a 1934 newspaper “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice. ” The music industry during the jazz boom of the 1920’s, compromised of mostly African and Latino Americans were commonly seen smoking marijuana during their performances, as most Americans began urbanizing and living into cities around this time period.
To stop the influx of these “non-whites” moving into cities, usage of marijuana became prohibited to slow down the influx of “non-whites”. Even today, presently, some Americans attribute marijuana to Mexican drug cartels because anything related to illegal drugs are reported in the news; this directly affects the reputation of our Latino-American communities within the country. I grew up around Washington, DC, which boasts a very diverse population, with many of its residents were born from different countries. I have observed many instances that a Latino was stopped by a police officer for looking too suspicious.
Legalizing marijuana would allow equal footing to every American citizen and eliminate racial profiling, especially this attributing of illegal drugs to our Latino-American community. I stated earlier, marijuana’s medicinal purposes have always been overlooked by the notion that marijuana as a gateway drug or a precursor drug in which the user would later move into more dangerous drugs. Marijuana historically has been used as medical marijuana. In fact, Cannabis is considered one of the “50 Fundamental herbs of traditional Chinese medicine”.
Medical marijuana is used to relax patients going through anxiety, help reestablish an appetite with patients who have eating disorders and etc. As stated on my first argument, that if we are able to re-allocate our resources into discovering the medicinal properties of marijuana, we are able to save lives, and efficiently spend our resources into medicine rather than spending them in cracking down drug cartels, which rely on illegally trafficking marijuana. Recent studies have been shown that marijuana is a helpful medicinal herb in treating people with alcohol abuse, migraines, and asthma.
As a person who suffers from asthma, I know how it feels to have your breath shortened and restricted from an asthma attack. If asthma can be cured through medicinal marijuana based on recent research, then marijuana is worth legalizing for the millions of Americans who suffer from asthma. The State of California has allowed legal access to patients who need medical marijuana and recently, the State of Colorado, and Washington have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana. Although the federal law still stands that marijuana is still illegal and considered as a dangerous drug.
Opponents of the legalization of marijuana attribute the fact that marijuana is considered as a gateway drug to many drug-users and an overdose usage of marijuana destroys brain cells thus leading into mental retardation. This is relatively in correct as usage of marijuana has no influence in addiction of other dangerous drugs or the destruction of one’s brain cells. It is the person’s decision to become completely addicted with that specific dangerous drug and often blames the usage of marijuana as an excuse for their poor decisions.
Also, an overdose of any kind can have a negative effect in your body. Any kind of over the counter medicine has regulations in which how much a person should take; this is the same with marijuana, recreational or medicinal. People know their limits but choose not to stop, this is not the fault of the usage if marijuana, rather the fault of the person making decisions. Marijuana should be legalized and should be treated and regulated like any other medicinal herb available.