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Gabriel Guerra

Alyssa Nephew M.A

English Composition 1

Legalizing Pot

Recently the sales of marijuana have reached over five billion dollars and 60% of American are in

favor or legalization of recreation marijuana the highest rate approval in modern history. Recent research

has proven the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes, and together with its low risk of addiction and

no negative short term effects for recreational users one may wonder why it was banned in the first

place. With the historical use and modern practices of medical marijuana along with that now that the

majority of the country supporting legal pot, I believe that it is time the federal government take action

and remove it as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act and allow recreational sales of


The benefits of medical marijuana are diverse and effective for many health issues such as

insomnia, epilepsy, glaucoma, cancer treatments, anorexia, and muscle spasms. The Institute of

Medicine conducted research as special request from the White House and found cannabinoids, the

active incidents in marijuana can ease pain, nausea, and vomiting in patients. But the medical benefits of

marijuana have been recorded as early as 5,000 years in China, Shen-Nung listed more than 100 different

ways cannabis could be used as treatment. And in America up to the 1930s marijuana was still

prescribed by doctors. It was not until Harry J. Anslinger, the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics

started a campaign against the drug and imposed a heavy tax and registration system that made it more

difficult for doctors to prescribe, and soon doctors stopped prescribing it all together. Currently there are

now twenty-eight sates with legal medical marijuana thus proving that the DEA’s scheduling and
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outdated and needs to be changed immediately. Marijuana has been labeled as a schedule 1 drug since

1970, this scheduling means that the drug has “no currently accepted medical use” and “high potential

for abuse”, the law restricts medical research for marijuana which limits scientific research. With 89

percent of American’s in favor of the use of medical marijuana, and with public attitude becoming

accepting toward marijuana use every single year it is time the government did something that reflects

the majority

In a democratic society the government should reflect the will of the people. This has been the

view that our founding fathers wanted for our early nation and a view that most Americans still hold

today. Despite the majority of people approving of pot and 47 percent admitting to trying pot once,

about half of all drug related arrest in American are due to marijuana. It is unfair for citizens of which

they are the majority to pay for outdates and harsh laws. Because of the governments lack of action, a

large amount of American are being put in danger in the industry side of the issue. The marijuana

industry is booming since the majority of people approve of legal pot. The 28 states that have passed pro

pot laws employ over 100,000 people are employed by the marijuana industry and the industry has to

work in a cash only basis, The Oregon Department of Revenue said it has received individual cash

payments as large as $90,000. Many dispensaries have hired security guards to protect their employees.

Even with this added protection his summer, a former Marine working as a security guard was shot and

killed during an attempted robbery at a Colorado dispensary. The lack of federal action is putting

American lives in danger.

I must admit that the taxation of marijuana is one of the major problems facing legalization.

Marijuana advocates promised and a large amount tax revenue and the removal of the black market by

moving the cannabis industry out of the shadows. The truth is that legal pot has not done either, heavy

taxation explains why licensed stores only provided sixty percent of pot consumed in Colorado, while the
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remaining 40 % is distributed by untaxed home growers, illegal dealers, and unlicensed caregivers. In

return Colorado legislator decided to reduce the special sales tax on pot, understanding that setting

taxes to high is undermining the legal state-licensed this high tax only accounted for less than one

percent of the states spending. While Colorado reduced its tax two percent’s, the state made $66 million

dollars in marijuana tax that only accounts to .3% of the state’s budget. The economics show some light

in the tunnel as the industry grows and prices go down consumers generally go for the cheaper product

and hopefully putting the drug dealers out of work

Although it is still considered a dangerous drug to the DEA, marijuana has proven to be very

beneficial for health issues. As we have seen from those states that have completely legalized marijuana

we have seen newer schools, improved roads, drop in crime, and no rise in teen marijuana use. Although

we do need to find better ways to deal with people driving under the influence, we are on the way

towards are more profitable, and less criminalizing United States and one that our founding fathers

would be very proud of.

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Works Cited

Sullum, Jacob. "Americans Love Pot Taxes." Reason 47.9 (2016): 42. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 8 Dec.


Koch, Kathy. "Medical Marijuana." CQ Researcher 20 Aug. 1999: 705-28. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Gallup, Inc. "One in Eight U.S. Adults Say They Smoke Marijuana.", 08 Aug. 2016. Web. 08

Dec. 2016.

Foerstel, Karen. "Marijuana Legalization." CQ Researcher 23 Aug. 2016. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Johnson, Michelle. "Legalizing Marijuana." CQ Researcher 25 Mar. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2016.

Robaton, Anna. “Where the Jobs Are: America's Pot Industry.” CBSNews, CBS Interactive, 29 July 2016,