Legalizing Marijuana

Essay by Tozzy_77College, UndergraduateA+, March 2002

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Should Marijuana be Legalized?

The proposal for legalizing drugs has entered the mainstream of public debate in recent years, mostly focusing on marijuana. This brings about the following essay centred around the main question -- should marijuana be legalized?

A wide range of viewpoints exist on this single controversial issue. Some believe this supposedly potent substance should remain illegal and associated with heroine and cocaine. They see it as a harsh illegal substance; and that it became illegal for a reason and should remain that way. Others view marijuana through different eyes. They see the differences between marijuana and "hard" drugs. The following essay hopes to convice the reader that legalization will not cause harm. As a society, we have much bigger problems to deal with than marijuana. Marijuana should be legalized.

Cannabis sativa, is one of the most widely used drugs. It is more commonly known by its Spanish name, marijuana.

Marijuana has a long history of being considered legal and a relatively short history of being illegal. Mankind has known ways of using marijuana for various applications thousands of years.

The first accounts of cannabis cultivation appeared in Chinese records from as far back as 28 B.C., though the plant was likely cultivated for thousands of years before that. The Chinese writings indicate that the plant was grown for fiber for weaving cloth, but they also recognized its intoxicating and medicinal properties. The Chinese recognized the painkilling, fever-reducing, anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-emetic properties of cannabis, as well as its cure for insomnia. By around 1000 A.D., use of the cannabis plant as an intoxicant had spread to the eastern Mediterranean region. Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome tell stories of the fascinating stories of the effects of hashish. Europe, too, acquainted itself with hashish in the early 19th...