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Ulices Gomez

English 1102
Professor Hughes
5 April, 2016
Should a Plant be a Drug?
When someone gets arrested and sentenced for 13 years, what do you
think that person did? Some people would think that they might have robbed
a store or even have tried to kill someone. The sad truth is that a trucker was
sentenced to around 13 years for a very small amount of marijuana in his
pocket. (NY Times) Marijuana shouldnt be considered a Schedule I
substance. Marijuana can benefit people with severe diseases which range
from cancer to epilepsy and schizophrenia. (NY Times) It is believed that
marijuana is used as a gateway drug but recent studies have shown
otherwise. (Rolling Stones)
Since marijuana has become legal in certain states, many people with
diseases have been using it as medicine. One of the diseases marijuana
helps with is cancer. After a patient undergoes chemotherapy they usually
experience nausea and vomiting. (NY Times Upshot) Even though real
patients with real diseases are using marijuana and are actually seeing an
increase in their health, the government still thinks that marijuana has no
medicinal benefits. These patients dont want to take more pharmaceutical
medicines so they use medical marijuana instead. Ever since this started to

happen, there has been a significant decrease in deaths from painkillers in


states that have allowed marijuana to be used medically. (NY Times Upshot)
There are more benefits in legalizing marijuana then just for diseases.
Since it is legal in certain states, that means that they will be able to tax it
which allows the government to make money from it. An example given in
the Times Magazine is Colorado collected almost $70 million in marijuana
taxes during that time, nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol
taxes. (Time) This will allow the states to invest that extra money theyre
getting to make their cities better by building better roads, more parks for
kids and other nice things. What we have to keep in mind is that were barely
in the first couple of years of the legalization of marijuana. In a couple of
years, the amount of money the states make from marijuana is expected to
go up.
Not only will legalizing marijuana give the state more tax money but it
will also decrease the money it uses to incarcerate people. In the Drug Policy
article, it states Marijuana possession arrests have dropped 84% since
2010 (DrugPolicy) This is expected to happen since it became legal but
what we fail to realize is that its saving the state money since they dont
have to spend on booking them and all those expenses. Something else that
decreased was traffic fatalities which they claimed was going to increase.
Challenging claims that the legalization of marijuana would lead to an
increase in traffic fatalities. (DrugPolicy) They believed this because they

thought more people would be driving while they were on marijuana but the
opposite happened since the traffic fatalities dropped.
For years it has been widely spread that marijuana is used a gateway
drug. They start of using marijuana and then end up into harder drugs.
According to the New York Times, this is not the case. We showed no hint of
an increase at all after the laws were passed (NyTimes) Although that
survey came up negative on marijuana being a gateway drug, there is a
concern. That concern is, since marijuana is going to be easier to access and
also be more widely accepted it will attract teenagers to it. Even the DARE
program, which is supposed to stop kids from doing drugs, has recently
removed marijuana from their list regarding gateway drugs.
Schedule I substances are considered to have a high potential for
abuse, have a potential for addiction and have no accepted medical use.
Marijuana has been classified a Schedule I substance by the DEA for years
now. The reason for this is because in the DEAs website it state that Drugs
with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse (DEA)
With some of the research they have done lately they have found some
medical benefits from marijuana. Studies have confirmed that marijuana
and cannabinoids can help with refractory pain. (NyTimes) Cannabinoid is
found inside marijuana which can help with pain as it was stated in the
quote.
Marijuana can be a crucial asset to our society not only will it lower
crime rates and increase state revenue. It will also help people with diseases

that have tried to use medicine but did not work for them. Even though it will
be easier to get their hands on marijuana, it wont affect how many people
will actually try it and use it. All in all, there are many more positive effects
than negative effects that marijuana will bring us.

Citation
Carroll, Aaron E. "How Medical Is Marijuana?" The New York Times. The New
York Times, 20 July 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.
Carey, Benedict. "The New York Times." Medical Use of Marijuana Doesnt
Increase Youths Use, Study Finds. The New York Times, 15 June 2015. Web.
05 Apr. 2016.
"DEA / Drug Scheduling." DEA / Drug Scheduling. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Apr.
2016.
Fox, Chloe. "Why Hemp, The Sustainable Wonder Crop, Is Sweeping The
Nation." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 03 May 2014. Web. 05
Apr. 2016.
Ingraham, Christopher. "Colorados Legal Weed Market: $700 Million in Sales
Last Year, $1 Billion by 2016." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 12
Feb. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.
Wegman, Jesse. "The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests." The New York Times.
The New York Times, 28 July 2014. Web. 05 Apr. 2016.