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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
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
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
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Drug policy reform, Cannabis in the United States, Cannabis, Legality of cannabis, Decriminalization, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Drug Enforcement Administration, Marijuana Policy Project, Decriminalization of non-medical cannabis in the United States
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