Legalization of Marijuana

Chad Simmons


Dear reader,

The legalization of marijuana is a hot topic in today's society. Should this drug be legalized? Why should it be or not be legalized. This is a huge affair in our country currently. It is intriguing to me how this drug works and how it could potentially help or harm our society if it were to be legalized, either medically or recreationally. I want to learn more about it and what others know and feel about the drug to better my understanding and help draw conclusions on whether or not legalizing marijuana is the right thing. This multi genre paper will discuss many topics and ideas about the situation from both sides, including my own. I hope this is fun and informative to you, the reader, and you will also have a better understanding where you and your country stands on this topic.

My Poem

Marijuana, filling the body,senses are aroused

Body screaming with emotions, can't hear a sound

I try to escape my boring life

I no longer feel stressed, no longer full of strife

People may judge, call me as you wish

But my own wish, is for people to see

I mean no harm, so let me be

See some may drink, others may smoke

Others my cry, or even tell a joke

We all have ways we deal with stress

No need to judge, just try and do your best

To open your eyes, go on a new quest

Put yourselves in other people's shoes

This is what I call the marijuana blues

Poem against marijuana


I wake up in the morning, see your not there.

By 10am I feel sick, I need you my dear.

Why can't I have you all the time.

I need you. It hurts me it makes me cry.

I can't handle the truth, reality and life.

You are so good you make me feel unreal.

I would rather be with you then anyone else.

I can't eat or sleep without you baby, you are my world.

You drive me insane.

All I want is your pleasure,

but hunting for you is pain.

What the heck am I going to gain.

forgetful, always broke and looking dopey.

who wants to be friends with a phony.

I will pay you back, maybe next month.

24/7 its a full time job.

Now I'm bored with life

God why did you let me see.

at such a young age, how good marijuana can really be.

It has ruined me from time to time,

I'm just hanging in there I will be just fine..

Fighting fighting and more abuse.

I'm lost in my own world and can't anybody see.

now nothing is making sense to me

I don't know who I am any more.

I've lost the plot until the very end.

I have no feelings my friend.

I'm not a person nor human, male or female.

I am a doped up scumbag and I can never change.....





Poem for marijuana


Of all ailments cannabis can cure my heart especially.

Nature has never been so natural to me.

I am only a criminal because you make me out to be as such.

But i'd rather not disappoint society.

There will never be a girl perfect enough to replace my love of

Mary Jane.

- Keegan games, Dec. 2012

Research Paper

Chad Simmons

Mrs. Dianna Grubbs

English IV Honors


Legalization of marijuana

Marijuana is very prevalent in today’s society. Over forty percent of the U.S. population above the age of twelve has tried marijuana at least once ("8 Reasons…Legalized” 1). So why is it illegal? Legalizing marijuana would benefit our country in a number of ways. Our government would be able to control the distribution of marijuana and put a tax on it as well, which would benefit the economy and lower crime rates. There is a huge debate whether marijuana should be legalized. Many states in the U.S. have already legalized it. As a society, many would be able to reap the benefits if marijuana were to become legal.

Cannabis is a mixture of dehydrated flowers, leaves, and stems that come from hemp plant cannabis sativa. This plant can be used for other things such as clothing. Developed outdoors, the cannabis plant can attain adulthood within three to five months ("Cannabis…Plants” 1). If nurtured indoors under appropriate lighting and heat, the cannabis plant can reach maturity in as little as sixty days. Cannabis is usually smoked but can also be eaten or brewed in tea. It is usually inhaled either with a cigarette or a vaporizer. Marijuana is typically green or brown ("Cannabis…Plants” 1). There are over two hundred different slang names for marijuana such as weed, pot, Mary Jane, ganja, 420, dope, grass, chronic and many more (“History of Marijuana” 1). Weed is among the top five most used recreational drugs in the U.S. ("MARIJUANA …MYTHS"1).

Marijuana is often abused because it makes the user feel “high,” or in a state of well-being. Consumers prefer inhalation because people experience the effects almost immediately after being smoked. Some short-term effects of marijuana are red eyes, dry mouth, short-term memory loss, and impaired motor skills (Jeffries 1). Not many people know that marijuana can impair learning, memory, and thinking for weeks after use. Effects that people experience may depend on the strength of the cannabis and whether it is eaten or smoked. Users may experience euphoria, paranoia, and hallucinations as a result of high amounts of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the foremost ingredient in marijuana. THC is a cannabinoid that is a chemical compound. Cannabis contains more than four-hundred of these chemical compounds ("National Geographic Society" 1). THC is immersed into the bloodstream and distributes throughout the lungs and then through the rest of the body. THC then fastens to nerve cells with cannabinoid receptors and alters the cell’s activity. Most cannabinoid receptors are located in the parts of the brain that effect pleasure, concentration, memory, time perception, and sensory ("National Geographic Society" 1). Scientists have discovered and identified about sixty unique cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids possess documented therapeutic properties. Cannabis, however, only contains about one percent of THC ("National Geographic Society" 1). Scientists worldwide continue to study marijuana and its effects on living creatures.

People have consumed and cultivated marijuana for a very long time throughout history. It is not only prevalent in today’s society. Scientists have done extensive testing on samples they found in a 3,000-year-old grave of a mummified Shaman. They concluded that the Shaman people used it for psychoactive, pharmaceutical, and divinatory purposes. In 1545 the Spanish brought Cannabis to the Americas ("History of Marijuana" 1). It did not become very popular until the nineteenth century when Hippies and Beats began to become attracted to it. They were a rebellious group and liked it because it was illegal. In the 1930’s the U.S. created the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics to stop marijuana (Wenner 1). At first, Congress imposed federal bans outlawing marijuana’s industrial, therapeutic, and recreational use by passing the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937. This prohibition was reasserted by Congress’ conclusion to classify cannabis-and its active compounds- as a Schedule I substance by the Controlled Substance Act in 1970 (Wenner 1). The classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug means that by definition, it possess a great potential for abuse ("The Bong Store 1”). On the contrary, methamphetamine and cocaine-which are still unlawful for recreational use however are permitted as prescription drug agents- are categorized as Schedule II drugs. This classification avows by statute that weed is as equally hazardous as heroin, another Schedule I drug. Anabolic steroids and Valium are examples of Schedule III and IV drugs. An example of a Schedule V drug would be any cough suppressant that contains codeine. This classification by the federal government represents the least dangerous drugs ("MARIJUANA…MYTHS 1”).

Many people believe that the Schedule I classification of marijuana is a bit strict. Does marijuana really pose as much of a threat as heroin? Marijuana may not be as bad for people as the government portrays it to be. Cannabinoids, the most prominent compounds found in cannabis, have a fairly unique safety record, especially when matched to other therapeutically effective substances ("Should…Legalized 1”). A systematics evaluation of clinical trials over a forty-year time span discovered no greater incidence than severe adverse effects from subjects absorbing cannabis. Also in some of the tests, the cannabinoids revealed neuroprotective properties against lethal agents. They also display profound anti- cancer properties ("Should…Legalized 1”). Consuming cannabinoids, regardless of vigor or quality, cannot provoke a lethal overdose because, unlike opiates and alcohol, they do not have an effect on the central nervous system as depressants. There are no recorded cases of a deathly overdose credited to cannabis consumption. The projected lethal dose for humans concluded, from studies done on animals, is so great that users cannot reach it ("Should…Legalized 1”). Besides the damages related to smoking, the effects of cannabis use are similar to effects tolerated for other medications.

Also, the cannabinoids in cannabis could be used for medical reasons and scientific studies. The cannabinoids found in marijuana may be beneficial in cancer treatment and side effects of cancer treatment as well. Cannabinoids in treatments could result in the following: reduction in swelling an pain, blockage of undesirable cell growth, stoppage of blood vessel development that supplies tumors, and anti-viral activity ("National Geographic Society 1"). The cannabinoids contain well over a dozen therapeutic properties such as anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, and neuroprotective properties. Since marijuana has the power to help heal, many people across the country have been leaning towards completely legalizing medical marijuana. Medical cannabis comes from a specific part of the cannabis herb and is used as a form of herbal therapy or medicine. The following states have already legalized marijuana: Montana, Vermont, California, Maine, Nevada, Alaska, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Oregon and Hawaii. Colorado and Washington State have recently legalized marijuana as well. Eight out of the ten states that had legalized medical cannabis by 2006 saw a decrease in teen use ("8 Reasons…Legalized”1).

The government could aslo make a tremendous amount of money off of tax income if they legalized cannabis. "We don’t know the size of the marijuana market right now, and we certainly don’t know what would happen to the price and the demand for marijuana under different levels of legalization" Carl Davis, senior analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy told The Huffington Post. "But we do know that legalization would lead to a positive revenue impact on the income and sales tax side." CATO (Cato Institute is a public policy research organization devoted to the values of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its specialists and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a extensive range of policy issues) did a study in 2010 that predicted marijuana would produce roughly 8.7 billion dollars yearly in tax revenue. Researchers assumed that legalized cannabis would be taxed similarly to tobacco and alcohol and that the money manufacturers made would be subject to sales and income tax. Taxes are not the only source of income that would derive from making cannabis legal. State and local governments could be saving billions of dollars that are currently spent controlling the use cannabis (Fairchild 1). These are all benefits of legalizing cannabis, whether for our government or our society.

There are some pros, but what about the cons? Marijuana cannot be harmless. Why else would it be an illegal Schedule I substance? There are many valid points as to why marijuana should remain illegal. Divergent to the opinions of those who believe cannabis should be legal, the current balanced drug guidelines in the U.S. are operating judiciously sound and cannabis use in the U.S. has started to decrease. If marijuana became legal in the U.S, the number of cannabis consumers would rise. In today’s current society there are roughly15.2 million cannabis consumers in contrast to about 129 million alcohol consumers and 70.9 million tobacco consumers ("Do Not Legalize Drugs 1”). Though the amount of marijuana consumers might not rapidly scale to the present figures for tobacco and alcohol, if cannabis were to become legal, the growth in consumers would be both huge and speedy with ensuing upsurges in addiction. There are many lessons to be learned from these statistics about alcohol and tobacco consumption. Yes, tobacco and alcohol are both controlled and taxed, but many people overlook the vast consequences that heavily outweigh the welfare gained from taxes on these substances. Alcohol-related costs total more than $185 billion whereas state and federal governments have mustered an projected $14.5 billion in tax income. Also, tobacco use costs greater than $200 billion although only about $25 billion is gathered in taxes ("Do Not Legalize Drugs 1”). These statistics display that the prices of alcohol are twelve times greater the overall tax income collected, and the prices of tobacco are eight times greater than the tax revenue amassed. Economically, this is an unsuccessful interchange. The expenditures of legalizing cannabis would not only be economic. Firsthand cannabis consumers would not be restricted to grown-ups if cannabis were to become legal, similar to how policies on tobacco and alcohol do not prevent the youth from handling it. Swiftly amassing innovative research shows that cannabis use is linked with increases in a variety of grave mental and physical problems. Failing to realize this connection is reducing prevention efforts and hurting the countrie’s family and its youth (Jeffries 1).

Overall, by comparison with other drugs used mainly for recreational purposes, cannabis could be viewed at as a relatively safe drug. Nonetheless, cannabis shouldn’t be looked at as a harmless substance. People should have the right to decide if they want to use cannabis or not. As long as they are not harming others, the government should not tell people what they can and cannot do. Also the government could save a tremendous amount of money they currently spend on the "War on Drugs" (Wenner 1). Prohibition is not an effective way to stop people from using marijuana. Our country should evaluate the drug problem properly with education and treatment. Legalizing cannabis would allow the U.S. to take full advantage of marijuana’s industrial and agricultural use. The economy would grow, crime rates would drop, and this county would take a huge step forwards in all aspects if cannabis were to become legal.

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Persuasive essay

Should medical marijuana be legalized? This is the question everyone is asking as this hot topic is swirling in our society more now than it ever has. There are pros and cons of both legalizing the drug and keeping it illegal. With so many different perspectives on what to be done concerning this, it may be difficult to get a clear idea of what should be done. I personally believe it should be legal, and I believe the benefits will outweigh the problem.

Smoking marijuana can't be all good and dandy. Cannabis smoking has been shown to weaken the immune system. People who smoke marijuana and try to quit have difficulty, in most cases, suffering from lack of sleep, weight loss, aggression, and even strange dreams. That doesn't sound too pleasant. Many will argue that marijuana is a “gateway” drug and may lead to dependability on other,sometimes heavy, drugs. Also, if young kids who may be introduced to the drug for recreational use hear that it is used medically, they may associate that with the drug being good for them, or the right thing to do, which in most cases isn't true. The readability of this drug would create more consumers rather than stop current ones.

Now after hearing that, people might be slightly doubtful or unsettled about this drug becoming legal. There is a different perspective on this drug and potential benefits it could have to our society. Legalizing this drug and regulating its use could put an end or slow down the war on drugs. Using marijuana for medical purposes could greatly affect our country in a positive way.The Scripps Research Institute in California discovered that marijuanas active ingredients can prevent an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase from accelerating the formation of "Alzheimer's plaques" in the brain more effectively than commercially marketed drugs. Also, prescription over the counter drugs have killed over 100,000 in the past year, while there are zero recorded deaths from marijuana,medical or not. It has been proven to help treat diseases such as epilepsy, hepatitis C, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and other diseases. There are more benefits than downsides.

Now putting pros and cons aside, and getting back to the basics of what this country was founded, the use of marijuana should be the choice of people, and should be legalized. No drug eliminates free will. It is the people of America's right to have freedom. Obesity is a huge problem that millions of Americans die from annually,yet the government can't regulate what people eat. So how is the use of marijuana any different ? There is such a bad stigma floating around society about marijuana and how terrible it is, yet alcohol and tobacco have been shown to be far more destructive than marijuana. Therefore, marijuana should be legal in the United States of America.

Sources/ Notes

Sources :

Poem for marijuana :

This poem was very eye opening to me.It gave me an alternate view about people who do use this drug. We associate this drug with people being bad but this person is trying to express

how it it wrong for society to judge him based off activities he is partakes it.

Poem against marijuana :

This poem shows how dangerous marijuana can be in somebody's life. This person expresses hatred for themselves for letting their body be taken over by this drug. It's sad, but informative and precautionary for others who may be in similar situations or me be tempted in dealing with this drug.

Video :

I chose this video because it shows that medical marijuana actually can help people. It's a real life story of a family and a little girl who's life has been greatly affected by medical marijuana. The people in the video also go in depth about research and progress in discovering all that medical marijuana can really do!