Legalizing Marijuana

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 7 pages 5.0

Past Solutions and Current Thought On: The Legalization of Marijuana for Medical and Recreational Purposes Often times, the opinions of an individual are derived from those of another or many others. This happens all too often in today's society especially. These opinions are often uninformed and illogical, but there is no one there to explain why. Most people when they hear of marijuana legalization think to themselves something along the lines of "those damn hippies are trying to ruin the country with their drugs."� Again, that may be somewhat exaggerated but it is not far from the truth. Marijuana legalization for both medical and recreational use has advantages that overshadow all of the common misconceptions about this beneficial plant in today's society.

History has shown America past solutions regarding the effective uses of the marijuana plant. Marijuana prohibition is actually rather young. Marijuana has been cultivated in the United States for approximately 400 years.

Marijuana was planted mostly for the use of the fiber "hemp,"� which proved to be very useful on colonial ships among other things. Most of the sails and ropes were made from hemp, as were many of the colonists' Bibles, clothing, and even maps. This continued in America through the turn of the 20th century. So marijuana was not actually seen as an intoxicant until the 1920s and 30s. Even then it was primarily associated with Mexican-American immigrant workers and the African-American jazz musician community. This is when a major change occurred. "The plant's long-standing history as a cash crop was replaced with a new image: "˜The Devil's Weed.'"� (NORML.ORG) The road to prohibition for the useful little green plant called cannabis had begun. The federal government founded the Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. Misinformation about the beneficial marijuana plant were spread all around from...