- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Nature's Remedy - Legalizing Cannabis Sativia

Essay by   •  August 20, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  3,475 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,072 Views

Essay Preview: Nature's Remedy - Legalizing Cannabis Sativia

Report this essay
Page 1 of 14

  Nature’s Remedy: Legalizing Cannabis Sativa

Jennifer Jenkins

South University Online

Composition III ENG2001 S06

October 22, 2013

Nature’s Remedy: Legalizing Cannabis Sativa

        Cannabis Sativa, also known as: weed, ganja, Mary Jane, hemp, and marijuana, is a natural-growing herb. This herb can be grown and cultivated in two forms; hemp (industrial) and marijuana (psychoactive drug THC).  Cannabis has endured a long controversial history ranging from the first attempts by state and federal governments to limit the access to marijuana in the early 1900’s to the complete criminalization of Cannabis Sativa, labeling the herb a Schedule I drug in compliance with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. The U.S. Federal Government is infringing on people’s freedom of choice, enabling economical progression, and depleting nature’s raw materials with the prohibition of Cannabis Sativa.         

        The American government is infringing on the American people’s right to freedom by blocking their right in choosing to use a natural-growing herb like marijuana. Cannabis Sativa, alcohol, and tobacco all have been linked to: the term “gateway” drug, mind alterations leading to cognitive impairments, and health issues. Cannabis Sativa is the only one that has the potential to produce medical, industrial, economical, and environmental benefits, however, out of the three it is the only one that is illegal. Cannabis and alcohol both alter a person’s mind causing cognitive and psychological impairments, however, the consumption of alcohol claims more lives a year than smoking marijuana. The War on Drugs, gangs, and cartels claim thousands of lives a year in the international black market demand for marijuana. However, these deaths are due to the effects of intimidation, high demand, and greed, not as a result of the effects of smoking marijuana. The 2011 FARS data report generated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recorded 9,878 people including 226 children perished as a result of drunk driving or some other alcohol related incident, averaging out to roughly one person every 53 minutes (MADD, 2013). The CDC (Center of Disease Control) released their ARDI report (Alcohol Related Disease Impact) stating “teen alcohol use kills about 4,700 people per year, more than all illegal drugs combined” (MADD, 2013, par. 22). As a result of no accidents being reported due to marijuana impairment alone, there have been several studies done to determine the effects cannabis has on a person’s driving capabilities and mentalities. Two studies performed on the effects of THC and alcohol on driving performance, have almost mirrored findings. According to a study conducted by Robbe in 1998 “their findings support the belief that drivers become over confident after drinking alcohol, but may become more cautious and self critical after consuming small amounts of marijuana” (Ronen, Chassidim, Gershon, Parmet, Rabinovich, Bar-Hamburger, & Shinar, 2010, p.10). This mirrors Ward & Dye’s findings in 1999, when they found that people who smoke cannabis demonstrated knowledge of behavioral consequences by applying decreased speeds, increased distance following a car, better lane control, as well as sign detection, sudden lane change task, and the detection of hazards, but when alcohol was involved none of these where detected (Ronen, Gershon, Drobiner, Ravinovich, Bar-Hamburger, Mechoulam, & Shinar, 2008). These studies and reports support the claims that marijuana use while driving is not as deadly or dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. There are well known documented facts proving smoking tobacco can lead to lung disease, cancer, and eventually death. It is a typical belief that smoking marijuana can lead to all the health issues including death that tobacco does.  Therefore, a twenty year study conducted on the effects of marijuana use on the lungs was conducted, and it echoed the results done in smaller studies conducted by Dr. Tashkin, an UCLA professor, and Dr. Ware, a professor at McGill University. According to Dr. Tashkin “habitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function…studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer…overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking” (Targeted News Service, 2013, par. 5). Dr. Ware concluded “cannabis smoking is not equivalent to tobacco smoking in terms of respiratory risk…in fact, there is even a suggestion that at lower doses cannabis may be protective for both conditions” (Targeted News Service, 2013, par. 6). These studies show that the typical belief in smoking marijuana can be just as unhealthy and deadly as tobacco is invalid.  If Americans have the right to choose to consume dangerous and mind altering drugs like tobacco and alcohol responsibly or not based on laws passed by the American government, then the American people should have the right to smoke marijuana, if they want to or not. After all it has been proven that alcohol and tobacco both have far more dangerous health risk and side effects, than marijuana.

        The American people and the federal government are feeling the sting of an economic down fall. Nature has provided a way for the federal government to stop the stinging, legalizing marijuana, its side effect; saving and creating revenue. The federal government spends every year roughly 15 billion dollars, averaging $500 a second to support a war on drugs that is mainly targeting the Marijuana consumer (Miron & Waldock, 2010).  According to drug war facts there are an estimated 200 million drug users worldwide and 162 million of them use marijuana recreationally (Drug Sense, 2013). Now think about the money the government would save on the war on drugs if they eliminated marijuana from the equation. Not to mention how much in tax revenue would be gained if marijuana was legalized and taxed. At least 72% of Americans feel as if the government’s effort to enforce the war on drugs is not worth the cost to the American tax payer (Gieringer, 1994). One person is arrested for cannabis violation every 30 seconds, resulting in an estimated 685,000 people incarcerated in prison for cannabis violation, 89% of which was for minor possession of the drug (FBI Uniformed Crime Report, 2013).  The rate and speed of incarceration over cannabis compounds the issues of an already overcrowded and crippled prison system. Between the war on drugs and incarcerating cannabis violators the federal and state government spends over 32 billion dollars a year (Drug Sense, 2013).  America is in one of the worst economic crisis since The Great Depression, and this type of spending has helped put this once proud financial juggernaut on its knees. To help turn this failing economy and prison system around, marijuana should be decriminalized. It is a proven fact that ex-convicts are not as productive and make less money than the average person in society. Most ex-convicts are in and out of the prison system their entire life. The majority of prison convicts begin their prison careers with minor cannabis violations; in return they lose their jobs, default on their bills, and become a burden to the American tax payers. By decriminalizing cannabis, these users still remain an active taxpaying member of society, helping the economy by maintaining their jobs and paying their bills. According to a study performed by Dr. Gieringer “by imposing a ‘harmfulness tax’ of 50 cents to 1 dollar per marijuana cigarette (joint) this excise tax could raise tax revenue ranging from 2 to 6 billion dollars a year” (Gieringer, 1994, par. 35). Following this suggestion for every two joints sold, the government would collect 1 dollar for taxes. There is an estimated 1 million habitual smokers of marijuana, if each one was to buy two joints a day the government would stand to make an estimated 7 million dollars a week in tax revenue. Dr. Gieringer also suggests helping control the underground market for the home growers of cannabis, the government should sell and tax licenses for the purpose of growing one’s own crop at home for personal use (Gieringer, 1994). Dr. Gieringer also points out the booming spinoff industries found in Amsterdam where the selling and consumption of small amounts of cannabis is legal, “Amsterdam boasts 300 coffeehouses retailing cannabis, scaled to the U.S. population this would estimate 60 thousand coffeehouses and100 thousand jobs” created by the legalization and taxation of marijuana (Gieringer, 1994, par. 40). Legalizing marijuana can provide the rapid boost and long term economic stimulus in the form of taxes and job creation that the American people desperately need.



Download as:   txt (21.1 Kb)   pdf (239.7 Kb)   docx (15.2 Kb)  
Continue for 13 more pages »
Only available on