Mistakes Make Us Human (legalization Of Marijuana)

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

download word file, 8 pages 3.7

Downloaded 73 times

Mistakes Make Us Human One of the hardest things to do is accept that you are wrong, especially when your intentions were good. Have you ever tried to protect someone, but later found out what you did actually hurt him or her? If so, you are not alone. Many governments have done this to their own citizens.

In the 1600s, after Europeans brought tobacco products back from the Western Hemisphere, rulers from England and Japan banned the sale and consumption of tobacco. "These efforts failed everywhere and were quickly abandoned"�(Blum 97). In the 1920s, national alcohol prohibition became the law of the land in the U.S.; in 1933, widely regarded as a disastrous failure, it was repealed. At about the same time, in 1914, El Paso, Texas passed a law making the sale and possession of marijuana illegal. A few years later, in the 1920s, half the states of the U.S.

had passed a law outlawing marijuana. By 1937, every state in the union had passed such a law. However, during that same year, a federal law, The Marijuana Tax Act was enacted, allowing the sale of marijuana.

In the 1980s, two conservative presidents, Ronald Reagan and George Bush, waged a "War on Drugs."� Congress passed a series of harsh penalties for a wide range of drug violations. This figurative war became a literal one: the military was enlisted for surveillance, apprehension and search-and-destroy missions. By the late 1980s, it was clear that this war had failed; drugs were cheaper, purer and more abundant than ever. Abuse of dangerous drugs had actually increased during this period.

The problem with the United States' current policy is that it believes that the "hard"� or "strict"� punitive action by law enforcement can reduce or eliminate drug abuse. The government argues that...