Marijuana is a drug that has been used for thousands of years. Marijuana was used in ancient China, as far back as 5000 B.C. The Incan’s and Mayan’s used marijuana in religious ceremonies. Marijuana also has roots in this country. The Indians of the plains used marijuana in their peace pipes as a sign of friendship and peace. After prohibition there was a sharp rise in the use of this drug in America, but after prohibition was repealed the use went down. In the 1920’s and 30’s the use of marijuana was primarily by the minorities. In the 1930’s it was common belief that minorities where inhumane and violent, and people believed that marijuana was part of the cause. Then in 1937 marijuana was declared illegal. This was done with no research. It was just assumed that marijuana caused psychological dependence, provoked violent crimes, and led to insanity. People were told that marijuana would make people want to take a gun, knife, or weapon and kill someone. Prohibition on marijuana was established due to a misunderstanding. Prohibition has not achieved its goal, and goes against an American philosophical approach. I believe it is time to look at the facts and benefits, and to reconsider marijuana prohibition.
Marijuana has a positive effect on patients with certain diseases. AIDS victims are sometimes prescribed marijuana to help increase their appetite. Victims of AIDS do not want to eat and thus they do not get the nutrients they need. Marijuana helps them to eat, and thus enabling them to get the nutrients they need. Marijuana also helps to increase the appetite in cancer patients. People who get glaucoma’s also use marijuana. It helps to ease the pain for many glaucoma patients. Marijuana is very helpful to these people. This is just one example of why marijuana prohibition should be reconsidered.
When comparing tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, there is evidence that marijuana has the least addictive power. During the Nixon administration, the government concluded that marijuana did not posses any physically addictive traits. The University of California did a study on the power of heroin, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and marijuana in terms of power to induce psychological dependence. Nicotine was first, marijuana last. Marijuana was deemed least likely to produce signs of withdrawal upon quitting, and last in terms of producing a physical tolerance to the drug. Marijuana is less addictive than two legal drugs in this country. This does not make sense, and so prohibition should be reconsidered.
The United States government spends too much money each year on prohibition of marijuana. The DEA spends 1.3 billion “ fighting “ marijuana, and that does not include the cost of prison management and construction. Overall, the government has spent 30 billion of the taxpayer’s money. Of felons convicted of crimes related to marijuana possession, production and trafficking through 1980-1992, 58% had no prior arrest history, 91% were not identified as organizers, leaders, managers or supervisors of drug-oriented organizations, and 92% did not own or posses a gun. In other words, the government is spending millions of dollars putting non-violent otherwise law-abiding citizens in jail and making the taxpayers pay the bill. The amount of money spent on “ war “ on marijuana is unreasonable. This is not worth it, and is another reason why prohibition of marijuana should be reconsidered.
The original motivation for marijuana prohibition was based on a lack of knowledge, and should be reconsidered. Even after research showing the drug to be much better than originally thought, people will not change their view on the matter. And so billions of dollars will continually be spent on persecution and enforcement, while is does not change anything. The patterns do not change and the use does not decline, and the government will not change their view on the subject. The prohibition on marijuana is costly, does not work, and should be reconsidered. It is time that we see and end to the prohibition of marijuana.
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