Decriminalization of Marijuana

Essay by aqualite_College, UndergraduateA-, February 2006

download word file, 9 pages 4.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 50 times

Marijuana can have negative health effects when abused but more damage is done to our society by keeping marijuana illegal. More people are thrown in jail each year for possession of marijuana even though marijuana has proven no threat to society; therefore, it should be legal to buy or sell marijuana for recreational use.

Hollywood stars are regularly accused of all types of drug use. Some movies such as Comedy Central's Half Baked or the more classic Up In Smoke even base their plots around drugs for humorous antics. Some of these drugs can be highly addictive such as heroin and cocaine, leading to the hopeless addiction of its users. Others are considerably less harmful, less addictive than cigarettes, and do not invoke violent temperaments from its users like alcohol. Marijuana, the tried leaves of the Cannabis plant, is also known as Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica, and I believe that marijuana has been wrongly categorized as a harmful and lethal drug throughout recent history.

One night in El Paso, a group of Texans were attacked by a Mexican who had allegedly gone crazy on the killer weed. The city of El Paso moved swiftly and passed a ban on the possession of marijuana in The El Paso Ordinance of 1914 (New Mexico Laws, 1923) . This first law that started it all was intended to be a way for the city to control marijuana; however the law was instead used to control the Mexicans. Many Americans had never heard of marijuana. Most of the Americans were concerned about the rising addictions to opium, heroin, cocaine, and morphine. Though marijuana is much less destructive or addictive than those drugs, it was falsely given the same classifications and criminalized as though it were equally as dangerous.

Harry Anslinger of the Department...