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weed presentation - Bourjaily1 Jillian Bourjaily Teague...

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1 Bourjaily Jillian Bourjaily Teague Health for Living April 20, 2011 Should Marijuana be Legal for Financial Benefits? Since the reefer madness era, marijuana has been looked down upon. It became illegal in the early 1900’s, but the ban on marijuana hasn’t stopped people from using it. As knowledge about the drug increased, more people starting recognizing the enhancement it can bring to oneself. It’s obvious that views on marijuana since the reefer madness era have drastically changed. Medical marijuana is now acceptable throughout the country, and laws against marijuana for recreational use are undergoing change. The most recent proposition to legalize “the green” was in California with what was known as Prop 19. The bill would have allowed for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use only within the state of California. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass. The relevance of this topic lives on because there are many financial advantages linked to the legalization of marijuana. I believe that marijuana should be legal because of the positive social and economic benefits it could bring to our society. Today, the majority of people have always known marijuana to be an illegal substance, but what they don’t know is that marijuana has actually been legal for centuries. In fact, it has only been illegal 1% of the time it has been used (Guither par 6). In the early 1900’s Mexicans came to the United States to work hard labor, much like today. The Mexicans brought over a sensational plant, called hemp. Hemp could be used for clothes, jewelry, most commonly to smoke. People in the early 20th century associated hemp with the Mexicans. They blamed this valuable plant to be a dangerous drug which caused the violence and corruption Mexicans were 1
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2 Bourjaily known or blamed for in the United States. The people against the herb were more commonly racists people against Mexicans. California was actually the first state to outlaw the “preparation of hemp or the loco weed” (Guither par 7), but this law wasn’t heavily enforced or well-known so many people kept growing and using hemp. In the 1930s Harry J. Anslinger became head of the Bureau of Narcotics. He was against the use of marijuana, mainly because he was racist towards Mexicans. He pushed marijuana to be illegal and was successful with 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. The Act didn’t criminalize marijuana or hemp but it put a tax almost impossible pay on the plant, and violators of the act would be penalized and fined (Guither par 11). The Marijuana Tax Act further led to the ban and criminalization of marijuana through the nation. Views on marijuana have evolved since 1937. There was an outbreak of marijuana, and other drug usage, in the sixty’s with the peace and love era. Almost 60 years after the ban, users, doctors, and the government have seen the positive effects marijuana can bring, such as pain release, relaxation, and a regain of appetite. The effective use marijuana can bring to one’s body,
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