Should marijuana be legalized?

Essay by daryaUniversity, Bachelor's September 2006

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If your every waking moment was consumed by pain and nausea, wouldn't you ask for medication? What if the only medication legally available would leave you unconscious or do nothing at all? If you were the one suffering, would you resort to the only treatment that allowed you to live normally even though it was illegal? Thousands of people across the country are forced to break the law to ease their pain. They have chosen marijuana, a plant, known as Cannabis Sativa, over anything legally available because it has various medicinal properties that cannot be found anywhere else. Due to these many unique medicinal uses, marijuana should be reclassified as a valid, legal form of treatment.

The first and most basic reason that marijuana should be legal is that there is no good reason for it not to be legal. Some people ask "why marijuana should be legalized?" but we should ask "why should marijuana be illegal?" From a philosophical point of view, individuals deserve the right to make choices for themselves.

The government only has a right to protect people and their property from others; not to protect them from themselves. This argument does not apply to marijuana, since the individual who chooses to use marijuana does so according to his or her own free will. The government also may have a right to limit individual actions if the actions pose a significant threat to the individual. But this argument also does not logically apply to marijuana because marijuana is far less dangerous than some drugs which are legal, such as alcohol and tobacco. No doubt, marijuana contains almost 30% THC, which is more than alcohol; however, 50% of that is destroyed when it is burned, such as when it is smoked (Shereen 751). The smallest amount...