Legalisation of marijuana in Australia.

Essay by jaselUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2003

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Marijuana is, and probably always will be, one of the most widely used and accepted illegal drugs across the globe. Recently, however, there has been a significant amount of attention given to debates arising over the legalization of the drug. It has been suggested that in comparison to those legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, marijuana is less harmful to the individual and society. Road fatalities occurring as direct results of substance abuse, along with laboratory testings on both humans and animals can prove this. This essay will not so much explore the positive effects of the legalization of marijuana, but rather examine how the drug scores favorably against those which are legal today. In addition, it will look at theories relating to a link between marijuana and psychosis and how true or false this in fact is.

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in Western society.

According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey for Australia, 32 percent of people (aged 14 years and over) have tried marijuana. Expenditure of marijuana in 1995 was estimated to be a little over $5 billion, roughly equal to that spent on wine and spirits together (Clements, 1999).

In recent years, the debate concerning the legalization of marijuana has

intensified. The Morgan poll, conducted in Australia in July 2000 reveals that most

Australians believe smoking marijuana should remain illegal. 58% of Australians

were opposed to the legalisation of marijuana, 33% were pro, and 9% undecided.

This means that only one voter in three wants marijuana legalized (Australian Government, 2001). Some argue that legalization would be surrendering too easily, whilst others simply believe that the "war on drugs" is unwinnable. These people believe that rather than fight marijuana, it may be more effective to simply legalize it, as the consumption of...