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Legalize Marijuana

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Marijuana is one of the oldest cultivated plants. The first group to introduce the potential healing properties that marijuana contains was the Chinese. Approximately five thousand years ago, the residents of the plains of Central Asia began to cultivate the plant for oil and fiber. The United States was introduced to marijuana in the 16th century. The Spanish and the British brought marijuana over and used the fibers. The plant's intoxicating side effects, although, were discovered in the late 19th century. Marijuana was primarily used for the production of rope and cloth until the 20th century and now is a widely drug used preferably for the pleasure. Recently, there has been a lot of controversy over the legality of marijuana in the United States. I think that marijuana should be legal in the all states. In the United States, legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes is spreading fairly quickly to the state level. Even though marijuana is decriminalized in some states, marijuana remains illegal on the Federal level. To some individuals, marijuana is a relaxing herb, something that temporarily pulls the mind away from reality.Then, there are others who see marijuana as the downfall of the American society we know today.

In New York State, the law states that marijuana open to public view or being burnt in public is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $250 with a maximum sentence of 90 days. I think that law should be that citizens have the right to use marijuana for recreational purposes and

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marijuana being burnt in public or open to public view is legal. With that being said, the issue of how much should one be allowed to have in their possession at one time arises. If I was the lawmakers, I would say that in order for possession of marijuana to be a crime, is when a citizen is carrying more than one ounce of marijuana with them. If caught with more than one ounce at a time, the individual shall be fined a ticket of one thousand dollars. I would also say that all sale of marijuana, not from a local gas station, is prohibited and law breakers will face up to three years of incarceration.

We can all agree that regardless of the legality, marijuana is still a drug, and will always be a drug. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a drug as "something and often an illegal substance that causes addiction, habituation, or a marked change consciousness"("drug"). There are many drugs that are out there known to man. There's alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, heroin, and the list continues. Each drug has an effect on the human body, some are miniscule and others aren't. When doing daily activities, the use of drugs usually hinders those activities because the way the body responds to stimuli is different than normal.

Agreeing the opposing argument, whether or not marijuana has health benefits, the inhalation of smoke into the lungs is not good for them. Some scientists believe that marijuana can be harmful to the lungs when users hold their hits in as long as possible. While holding in a hit of marijuana, the smoke remains in contact with the lung tissues causing irritation and damages the way the lungs function.

Many say that there are no health benefits associated with marijuana, therefore should remain illegal. But, recently more and more studies are starting to report the benefits and potential benefits that marijuana holds. The main benefit of marijuana is the ability to lessen pain. Multiple studies have established that cannabinoids do in fact lessen pain and affects an array of bodily functions and symptoms. Cannabinoids are defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as "any of

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various chemical constituents (as THC or cannabinol) of cannabis or marijuana"("cannabinoids"). On Opposing Viewpoints in the article "Marijuana Has Been Proven To Effectively Treat Many Medical Conditions," David Bearman, a physician in California who specializes in pain management said that "Cannabis was in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) [the nongovernmental, official public standards-setting authority for prescription and over-the-counter medicines] from 1854 until 1941. During that time it was the third or fourth most common ingredient in patent medicines. Prominent drug companies, such as Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck, and Parke-Davis all had products that contained cannabis. People consumed these medicants with benefit and without reporting



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