Up In a Puff Of Smoke: Legalism and Marijuana Essay

People have been smoking marijuana for thousands of years while also using hemp for everything from fabric to make clothes and other items. Unfortunately, Harry J.

Anslinger with a bit of power and enough determination decided pot was evil and addictive. The struggle continues to this day to overcome the lies about marijuana (“Marijuana (Weed) History and Facts”). There are many benefits to legalizing marijuana and the government should take advantage of it. Marijuana is even more popular now then it was in the sixties or seventies.

Someone knows someone who smokes it.It is almost as easy to get as a pack of cigarettes now, maybe even easier. People always give it a bad reputation because it is an illegal drug and kills countless amounts of people. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2007, 14. 4 million Americans aged 12 or older used marijuana at least once in the month prior to being surveyed, which is similar to the 2006 rate. About 6,000 people a day in 2007-used marijuana for the first time—2. 1 million Americans.

Of these, 62. 2 percent were under age 18. (“Marijuana – InfoFacts – NIDA”) These statistics are truly astounding.The fact that kids under the age of twelve are already exposed to something like that shows that it is becoming widely spread and known.

This just shows that it is reaching so many people in the United States and thinks the government should take advantage of that. The biggest pro for marijuana becoming legal would be for medicinal purposes. There are people out there now who use medicinal marijuana but technically they are breaking the law but it helps with their illness. Some of the biggest users of it are people who are on cancer chemotherapy, AIDS-related wasting, pain and muscle spasms, and Glaucoma (“Pro’s of Marijuana Legalization).

It must be noted that there are two major differences between medicinal marijuana and commercial or “street” marijuana. Commercial marijuana can come from any number of cannabis strains. Different strains have varying pain relieving potencies. The potency of commercial marijuana can’t be guaranteed.

Medicinal marijuana strains, on the other hand, are chosen for specifically for their potency and effect. Also, some commercial marijuana has been fertilized with unsafe fertilizers. These fertilizers may contain metal derivatives and other toxic substances or by-products.

Medicinal marijuana is fertilized carefully, with the health of the patient in mind, with nontoxic fertilizers (Pranger para 4). CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain, spinal cord, and periphery. CB2 receptors are on the immune tissues. Specific molecules are produced by the body that interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors, much like endorphins interact with the body’s opioid receptor system. These findings initiated a new era of scientific interest and research in cannabinoids.

There are many components in marijuana and probably the most abundant would be THC.THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) disrupts the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed. This key component in marijuana helps reduce vomiting, nausea, and helps alleviates anxiety. The usage of marijuana was treating twenty-one adults who complained of chronic pain. They would take a single inhale of a small dosage of marijuana. They would do this process three times a day for five days straight. Also, there were three different levels of strength to the THC that was in marijuana and a control substance that had no THC in it.

Patients smoking the highest potency marijuana reported less pain than those smoking samples containing no THC. Patients also reported better sleep and less anxiety, according to the Canadian study. Side effects are a real problem with using smoked cannabis.

While recreational users are seeking an altered state of mind, research shows that legitimate medical marijuana users are not looking to get high. Instead, they only want to smoke what they need to reduce their pain so they can work and function more normally.Marijuana legalization offers an important advantage and allows legal distribution and taxation of cannabis.

In the absence of taxation, the free market price of legal marijuana would be extremely low, which would lead to five to ten cents per joint. The easiest way to hold the price at this level under legalization would be by an excise tax on commercial sales. An examination of the external costs imposed by cannabis users on the rest of society suggests that a “harmfulness tax” of $. 50 -$1 per joint is appropriate. It can be estimated that excise taxes in this range would rise between $2. and $6. 4 billion per year.

Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year. Altogether, legalization would save the taxpayers around $8 – $16 billion (Gleringer Para 1). Legalization would allow greater regulation. Cigarettes come with warnings. Alcoholic beverages are clearly marked with the amount of alcohol. Currently legal drugs contain a listing of all active and inactive ingredients.

Illegal drugs could be sold legally with ingredients lists, warnings and purity levels clearly marked. On the other hand, legalization would save the considerable economic and social costs of the current criminal prohibition system. Current federal drug enforcement programs run at $13 billion per year. State and local programs are probably of similar or greater magnitude. A sizable chunk of these costs involve cannabis, which accounts for 30 percent of drug arrests nationwide.

Legalization of cannabis would also divert demand from other drugs, resulting in further savings.If legalization reduced current narcotics enforcement costs by one-third to one-fourth, it might save $6 – $9 billion per year (Gleringer Para 43). Legalization would mean a lower price; which means most all-illegal drugs are higher in price because the production, transportation, and sale of the drugs carry heavy risks. When people develop drug habits or addictions, they must somehow come up with the money to support their cravings. Unless a person is wealthy, he or she must often resort to robbery and other crimes to generate the money needed to buy the drugs. Legalization would reduce the risks and thus reduce the prices.

There would therefore be less need for the secondary crimes needed to raise money. If marijuana would become legal then that would mean numerous other benefits such as jobs would come up. Along with creating an industry would be creating a workforce. Farm lands would be needed as well as the laborers needed to help grow and distribute the plant. Pharmaceutical companies would then distribute the plant to pharmacies these places are going to need an extra helping hand too. The needed expertise of Marijuana would then have its effects on universities, community colleges, and certificate programs.They are going to call on the experts to help teach classes for our future pharmacists of tomorrow.

This will increase enrollment, which helps the local economy as well. Purchasing Marijuana and paying a proposed Marijuana Tax would be great for the economy but that’s if we can get our politicians to stop digging their hands into these tax buckets. The marijuana laws that are being voted on have some of the highest voting rates for any election.

In California, Proposition 19 is arguably the highest profile voter initiative in the nation and has unleashed a torrent of global interest.The initiative has generated thousands of international stories, explicitly discussing this alternative to our disastrous policies. In particular Prop. 19 has radically accelerated the public’s understanding of the relative harms of marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol, validating the widespread suspicion that a fundamental hypocrisy lies at the heart of the outright ban on marijuana (Chaussee). The immediate effect of Proposition 19, if passed, would be to provide legal protection to the individual marijuana consumers – who are presently using marijuana for non-medical purposes.Right now, many people in California are being prosecuted with minor marijuana offenses defined as the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana.

Others are charged with felony marijuana offenses, which include offenses such as: growing even a single marijuana plant for non-medical purposes punishable by up to 36 months in prison. The broader, long-term effect of this initiative will be to allow communities to finally come to terms with the fact that some 10 percent of Californians are already using marijuana, and that it is time that society regulates its sale, production, and distribution in a safe manner.Another thing that people would not expect from this being legalized would have to be the environmental aspect of it. Paper production from hemp would eliminate the need to chop down numerous amounts of trees. Many acres of forests and huge areas of wildlife habitat could be preserved. Trees must grow for twenty to fifty years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use.

Within 4 months after it is planted, hemp grows ten to twenty feet tall and it is ready for harvesting. Hemp can be grown on most farmland throughout the U. S. where forests require large tracts of land available in few locations. Substituting hemp for trees would save forests and wildlife habitats and would eliminate erosion of topsoil due to logging.Reduction of topsoil erosion would also reduce pollution of lakes, rivers, and streams. Hemp can also be substituted for cotton to make textiles. Hemp fiber is ten times stronger than cotton and can be used to make all types of clothing.

Cotton grows only in warm climates and requires enormous amounts of water. Hemp requires little water and grows in all fifty states. There are now many stores in the U.

S. hose sell hemp-derived products (Environmental and Economic Benefits of Hemp). The Annual deaths from Americans caused by drugs are a list made by the Bureau of Mortality Statistics.

This provides a statement that shows what the most harmful drugs are killing people. Cigarettes are number one with a total of four hundred thousand deaths per year. Then alcohol, legal drugs, illegal drugs, caffeine, Aspirin, and finally with a grand total deaths of zero deaths per year is marijuana (Legalizationofmarijuana. com). But people still will not legalize marijuana even though it is less harmful than all those other drugs even.There are numerous reasons why marijuana should be legal and probably the one that makes people the angriest would be it is an invasion of privacy.

If people smoke it at home and stay there they should not be prosecuted for it, especially if they are using it for medicinal purposes. Marijuana makes people feel good and if it is the only thing that makes them feel better than let them do it. But by all means if people go out and get in car accidents and kill people for it then they should be prosecuted, not the innocent ones who use it to make their illness better.Works cited Chaussee, Jennifer. “Capitol Weekly: Leading Democrats Opposed to Prop. 19.

” Capitol Weekly: The Newspaper of California State Government and Politics. 22 July 2010. Web. capitolweekly. net 22 Oct. 2010. capitolweekly. net “Environmental and Economic Benefits of Hemp.

” Memento : The Shamen, Organic Art and Electronica. nemeton. com. 2006. Web.

16 Oct. 2010. Gleringer, Dale. “CA NORML Costs of Prohibition.

” California NORML | Dedicated to Reforming California’s Marijuana Laws! canorml. org. 1994. Web. 16 Oct. 2010.Legalization of Marijuana, Legal Marijuana, Marijuana Laws.

Web. legalizationofmarijuana. com 17 Oct. 2010. “Marijuana – InfoFacts – NIDA. ” Web. drugabuse.

gov 16 Oct. 2010. “Marijuana (Weed) History and Facts. ” Brainz — Learn Something New Today. Brainz.

com Web. 16 Oct. 2010. Pranger, Bonnie. “Proven Facts on the Benefits of Marijuana For Arthritis Patients. ” EzineArticles Submission enzinearticles.

com Web. 30 Oct. 2010. “Pro’s of Marijuana Legalization. ” Marijuana Today – Pros and Cons of Marijuana Legalization. 11 May 2010. Web.

marijuanatoday. com 16 Oct. 2010.