Experience and Other Evidence

Experience and Other Evidence - Han 1 There are many names...

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Han 1 There are many names for it: pot, reefer, Mary Jane, Buddha. However, politicians and legal officials call it Marijuana. It is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and in 2004, 14.6 million Americans over the age of 12 had used it at least once ("NIDA InfoFacts: Marijuana"). The high which users experience is mainly caused by the chemical THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical compound). Marijuana use has been a controversial topic in the US, having fierce support and an equal opposition. Due to numerous anti-drug legislation passed over the years, its current use is punishable by strict laws, resulting in harsh fines, drug counseling, and even incarceration. Organizations such as the American Medical Association have researched the effects of marijuana on certain illnesses in order to reach overall goals of improved health. Some Medical professionals have started to use marijuana as an alternative to painkillers in order to treat cancer and glaucoma patients. And even these medical practices have become the center of criticism and law enforcement. Harsh propaganda and inaccurate scientific evidence has put an even greater stigma on marijuana users. As a freshman in college, I have seen how easy it is to obtain marijuana around campus and I know many people who use it for its recreational purposes. Let’s just say it’s easier to get pot rather than the answers to your math homework assignment. Is the use of marijuana really a harmful and violent act that can justify the government to enforce such critical laws against its users? Not only should its common use be tolerated, however, marijuana should be legalized due to the opportunities it will create for the government, the lack of evidence supporting its harmful effects to the body and society, and its origins for why it was first illegalized.
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Han 2 If the government were to legalize marijuana, the economical and monetary benefits would overshadow the costs incurred to the US criminal justice system by persecuting and incarcerating these so-called criminals. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, There were an estimated total of 1,889,810 state and local arrests for drug abuse violations in the United States during 2006 and of those drug arrests, 39.1% were for marijuana possession ("Marijuana"). Allen Wastler, a managing editor for CNNmoney.com, states “the government would save $7.7 billion a year if it didn't have to spend money policing and prosecuting marijuana activity” (Wastler). Keeping and maintaining marijuana related criminals also takes away space for criminals that have been prosecuted for harsher crimes, such as murder or theft. About two weeks ago, I was subjected to the harsh penalties for using marijuana. I was caught by the University of Maryland Police and given a $500 penalty. In addition to my already hefty fine I received a summons to the Prince George’s County Court. Not only do I suffer with the fine and the additional penalties, however the Maryland state criminal justice system
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Hoffmann during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.

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Experience and Other Evidence - Han 1 There are many names...

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