Iycee Charles de Gaulle Summary Hunter most discussed problems. A large majority

Hunter most discussed problems. A large majority

Hunter Simmons

Ms. Hauser

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ENG 111

24 November 2017

The
Fight for Marijuana Legalization in the United States

            There are many issues that effect today’s modern America,
with the legalization of marijuana always being one of the most discussed
problems. A large majority of people who are against the legalization of
marijuana argue that there would not be much gained from it, or that the
effects of marijuana legalization may be dangerous to the public even though
data suggests that these opinions are invalid. If we help to pass legislation
in the united states to legalize marijuana the damage done by the opioid crisis
will be reduced, billions of dollars could be used from excise taxes to fund
public schools or other things used by the public, criminals with only
marijuana-related charges could be released saving billions of dollars, and the
police force in the united states would be able to focus on more dangerous
activities than marijuana.

            Marijuana is a naturally growing plant that has been
around for centuries, but it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that marijuana
became criminalized in the united states. The first piece of legislation passed
against marijuana was the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, which was designed to make
it illegal to possess or sell marijuana. While the laws coming from the
Marijuana Tax Act were somewhat not enforced, that changed with the Boggs Act
in 1952 which called for mandatory minimum sentencing for marijuana as well as
several other much more harmful drugs. Marijuana began to gain popularity in
the 1960’s in the United States with the whole hippie scene, which shed more
light on people consuming marijuana and led to the public declaring a drug
crisis in the United States. In 1970 the Controlled Substances Act was passed
which labeled marijuana as a schedule 1 substance and carried stricter
punishments on those who were caught with the plant. This meant that marijuana
was declared to be very addictive and have no health benefits whatsoever, and
was put into the same category as ecstasy and even heroin (Lopez).

             It is no secret
that the opioid crisis in the United States is horrible and continues to get
worse each and every year. Marijuana is a safe alternative to any type of
opioid used to treat pain. In a study done by a group of doctors studying
marijuana and opioid addiction related deaths, it was shown that in Colorado
which has legalized marijuana for recreational use the amount of people dying
each year from opioid related deaths is decreasing by 8.4 people per year
(Livingston, Barnett, Delcher and Waganaar). If marijuana was legalized it
would also reduce the number of opioids prescribed, the number of opioids
consumed, and even accidental opioid overdoses due to incorrect self-dosing
(“Marijuana as Medicine”). So, in order to truly help the opioid crisis in
America and steer people away from potential crippling addiction doctors could
begin to prescribe a naturally growing plant with zero recorded deaths and
nothing but the benefits that people who want to take opioids are looking for.

            While marijuana is most commonly used as a treatment for
pain, it has several other uses as well. It has been proven in a study done by
the National Eye Institute that marijuana can help slow the progression of
glaucoma by reducing the pressure inside of someone’s eyes, thus preventing
blindness (Loria & Welsh). In the United States over 480,000 people die
every year from cigarettes (“Smoking and Tobacco use”) it has been shown that
marijuana can reverse the carcinogenic effects of cigarettes in smokers over
time (Loria & Welsh) meaning that marijuana could potentially save millions
of lives if used in replace of cigarettes. Marijuana has also been shown to
help with epileptic seizures in a study done on epileptic rats performed by Robert
J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University. The rats were able to go on
for a period of nearly 10 hours completely seizure free and has been used to
now treat humans as well (Loria & Welsh). CBD, the chemical in marijuana
that does not have psychedelic effects has been shown to slow the spread of
cancerous cells by turning off a gene called ID-1. The cancerous cells then
make more duplicates of this gene as opposed to continuing to spread cancer (Loria
& Welsh) Marijuana can also be used as a natural treatment for anxiety and
depression by being used to improve the user’s mood and could even be used as a
light sedative for someone who may be having a panic attack (Loria & Welsh).

             Not only can
marijuana be used to treat addictions to harmful medications and also be used
to treat many horrible diseases, it can also be used to benefit the united
states government by providing more tax money. If the united states treated
marijuana like it was alcohol or tobacco and had the same taxes on it than
billions of dollars of tax revenue would be coming in and benefitting the
publics interests such as schools, parks, and national recreational areas. On
top of providing funds for the government, legalizing marijuana would allow for
the police in the United States to focus on matters that needed more attention
as opposed to trying to arrest people for petty charges related to marijuana.
Billions of dollars could also be saved if the people in prisons who were
arrested for marijuana related crimes were released, thus creating much more
available money to be spent on other issues in the United States.

Even
though Marijuana is illegal in most states, it has been shown to provide natural
health benefits and not be as addicting or harmful as other pain-relieving
medications. States that it may be illegal in need to look at the positive
aspects when considering marijuana legalization for medical use as well as
recreational, and the positive benefits it could have on the economy. The United
States could help the opioid crisis if marijuana was legalized, have more money
to spend on anything the government felt the need to spend it on, and overall have
a safe and healthy alternative to cure many diseases.