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Legalization Essay Research Paper Legalization Legalization of

Legalization Essay, Research Paper


Legalization of marijuana has been a controversial issue in the U.S. for

the past several years. The people vs. the federal government is just one of

the main debates over legalization.

In the past marijuana was required to be grown on most plantations in

the southern region. It could be purchased in one ounce packages for only

twenty five cents. Further down the time line we find that marijuana is

increasingly being used in the inner cities and suburban areas. Marijuana was

considers legal in the late 1800’s but a bill was passed and marijuana was

quickly considered to be illegal. The federal legislation prohibiting marijuana

passed at the end of 1937 congressional session was virtually scare enacted.

people feared the effects of it and wanted to stop the growth and importation

of it. Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, which “requires all persons

who import, manufacture, produce, compound, sell, deal in, and dispense pay

a graduated occupational tax.” This tax was an attempt to make it harder for

dealers of marijuana to make money off the export and import of marijuana.

Attempts that he government has made to pass bills that decriminalize

marijuana were shot down by legislature and the federal government. A

survey taken says that although illegality should be maintained, the penalties

for it should be lessened. There is a theory that marijuana stimulates

violence, yet it has not been proven as a fact. In several states, such as New

Jersey, the marijuana regulations and penalties have been lessened. Governor

Cahill, from New Jersey, recommended that criminal penalties for a small


possession of marijuana should be reduced by making it a disorderly person


Several states have lessened their penalties for possession, but none

have legalized it. Dr. Tod Mikuriya, from the Indian Hemp drug commission,

proposed a list of regulations for the control of marijuana if it were to become

legal. It stated that possession without intent to sell shall not be considered

to be a crime, all growers importers shall be regulated and watched over like

a typical industry, public places where marijuana is sold for on premises use

shall be licensed like any alcohol serving bar, and determination of the THC

potency and purity shall be regulated by the U.S. Drug and Food


Attempts to legalize have also been made by presidential issued

commissions. A commission issued by president Nixon researched marijuana

and reached a conclusion that it would be okay to decriminalize marijuana.

This, was of course, quickly shot down by the president and the congress.

Jimmy Carter, another president of the United States, also wanted to legals


In the present day there are groups such as, NORML (National

Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) , that issue petitions and

bills to the DEA and federal government that try to persuade the legalization

of marijuana. NORML compared marijuana to alcohol and reached a

conclusion that alcohol is more lethal than marijuana. Their studies have

shown that prolonged use of marijuana causes lack of ingenuity severe

bronchitis, and it lessens reaction speed. Alcohol has been named for

hundreds of thousands of death in the United States. It causes liver disease, a

severe mental and physical dependance, and depression. Marijuana is only


psychologically addictive and use of it can be stopped easier than alcohol

abuse. Also no deaths have ever been recorded that were accused by the use

of marijuana.

Marijuana is considered to be a Scheduled I controlled substance. that

means that it is considered to be a drug that can be easily abused. NORML

has made attempts to get the DEA to reschedule marijuana, but they were

rejected. If the opinions of major contributors to the illegal view of marijuana

could be changed, marijuana might be legalized. Too many studies and too

many federal officials tell us that it is wrong for our country to condone a so

called “life threatening drug.” Legalization of marijuana could bring extra

income to the country and also help in the decline of alcohol abusers. If

legalization was to happen the united states would only prosper.



“Reefer Madness” Atlantic Monthly; August 1994.

Eric Schlosses; p. 45-63

“Marijuana” Crime and Delinquency Literature; June 1970.

Linda Whitlock; p.363-382

“Pot Law Experience” The Washington Star; May 6, 1975

Lee Johnson; p.A1-A10

“Marijuana Alert” Peggy Man Copyright: 1985

p.261, 101, 444

“International Drug Traffic” Edward F. Dolan, Jr. Copyright 1985

p. 85-86


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