"Marijuana in the Land of the Free".

Essay by Mercutio356High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2003

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Marijuana in the Land of the Free

Bob Marley once said, " The herb is the most beautiful of things. Clarity; oh what a beautiful clarity herb can give. It can give that clarity to a nation, to a world so desperately in need of it. All the people do not smoke herb, but all the people can benefit from those who do. False-prophets there are many; the herb itself is nothing like this. It is not a lie, but a sublime truth."

Cannabis, an herb of countless uses, has been, since the 1940s, an illegal substance in these United States of America. This should not be so. For many, cannabis is a medicine; for others, a spiritual tool of enlightenment; and yet others use it as a way to relax and enjoy themselves. It is not, as governmental propaganda would like to suggest, a drug which causes people to lose touch with reality.

Television has made an attempt at slandering the name of cannabis, or marijuana. These commercials portray images of a young girl having sexual intercourse because she was too "high" to decide otherwise. This notion is simply preposterous. The United States Drug Awareness Council masks the true effects of marijuana.

Approximately forty-two percent of people imprisoned in a federal penitentiary are incarcerated because of marijuana possession charges. This does not include those imprisoned for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis, which adds around three percent to the statistics. Billions upon billions of American tax dollars are being spent on men and women who simply possessed marijuana at one time. Could not these monies be spent on the dilapidated school systems of this nation, or perhaps on the thousands of starving people in our backyard? Our government says no.

If legalized, marijuana should be taxed as all...