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Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

Marijuana is derived from the cannabis plant which contains several compounds that are often
used to create a drug for medicinal or psychoactive purposes. Common street names for
marijuana include, but are not limited to; grass, ganja, Mary Jane, pot, reefer and astro turf.

Marijuanas primary chemical THC, is a chemical that alters the brains receptors and gives the
users a relaxed feeling along with heightened mood and altered perception.

Regular marijuana use can be addictive and lead to deteriorating behavior, particularly in
young people. According to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH),
marijuana users account for the highest rate of past year dependence or abuse among all illicit
drug use. Of the 6.5 million persons aged 12 or older classified with illicit drug dependence or
abuse in 2011, marijuana accounted for 4.2 million (63.8%).

Alexander Stingl, a research consultant for the Institute of General Medicine in Germany and
professor of medical humanities states that cancer patients often smoke marijuana to battle the
nausea cause by chemotherapy.

Jacob Sullum, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of SayingYes: In defense of Drug
Use, takes a look at the first six months of Colorados legalization of marijuana. He states that
although the prospect of more money for the government to spend has always struck me as a
pretty weak argument for legalization, Colorado is happy to have tax revenue from the newly
legal marijuana industry. The economic activity associated with the new industry, including not
just marijuana sales but various ancillary goods and services, is bound to be much more
significant than the tax revenue.

Mitchell Pickerill, Professor of American Government and Public Law cited

several agencies such as law enforcement, universities, hospitals, and the
FBI, show that marijuana related crimes have decreased in the areas
immediately surrounding dispensaries.

Americans like their drugs whether it is a cigarette, a pill that calms you down or an illegal
substance that takes away your pain. While there are some valid points that stem from the
opposition to legalization, most of those objections can be overcome with the benefits of

Works Cited
Rich Stingl, Alex K. Alexander. "Legalization of Marijuana." Salem Press Encyclopedia (2016):
Research Starters. Web. 5 Mar. 2016.
Alcabes, Philip. "Medication Nation. (Cover Story)." American Scholar 85.1 (2016): 20.
MasterFILE Complete. Web. 5 Mar. 2016.
Sullum, Jacob. "How Is Marijuana Legalization Going? The Price of Pot Peace Looks like A
Bargain." Forbes Magazine 10 July 2014.
Pickerill, J. Mitchell. "Medical Marijuana Policy and the Virtues of Federalism." Publis (208):