September 21, 2008
What if the legalization of a naturally growing plant could contribute to: the well being of the terminally ill, a dramatic boost in our economy, and lower crime rates? Well marijuana possesses the ability to achieve all of these things. However, similar to the use of other, legal as well as illegal substances, there are drawbacks to marijuana use. There are several health problems as well as the topic of availability to youth, as well as the controversy over addiction. Cannabis is a plant that dates back approximately eight thousand years ago, and is now known as marijuana and hashish for drug use. Still Cannabis has been used in various ways during its history. Around four thousand B.C. Cannabis was used in China to make textiles as hemp and roughly twenty-seven hundred B.C.; the Chinese used the plant for medicinal purposes. The Hindu used dried Cannabis leaves, seeds, and stems ritually as a “Sacred plant” for offering around twelve hundred B.C. Not until the twelfth century was Cannabis used as hashish for recreational smoking throughout the Middle East. Beginning in the nineteenth century the plant started to see countless laws limiting and banning it entirely (Erowid). These laws are still in effect in almost every country, including the United States which completely bans the drug from all but 12 states, with strict limitations in those it is allowed.
While the legalization of medical marijuana would be a big step for the country, the overall legalization and decriminalization of marijuana would be in great favor of our government. In addition to the problems America faces from the drug war, legalizing marijuana could considerably help tackle our countries health issues, debt problems, overcrowded jails, unemployment, not to mention the wasted time and money spent in the enforcement of the associated laws. On the other hand, in efforts to make the transition as smooth and safe as possible, I...