Argumentative Essay Paper on the Legalization of Marijuana

The legality of marijuana has been a hotly debated subject for decades. Until the government of US and many other established countries outlawed its use, smoking marijuana had been a widespread activity for thousands of years. Marijuana has been illegal in America since 1923. Since the authorities banned the recreational use, sale, and growth of this substance many groups have sprung up and protests have been organized to fight for the right to possess and use the plant.

Opinions appear to be pulled in two directions: that the use of marijuana is an extreme social, moral, and health ‘danger’ that must be stamped out, or that it is an innocuous, pleasant pastime that possesses health benefits and should be legalized. It may be some time before all the truths concerning the use of this ancient drug in our society are fully known. An understanding of the history and attitudes of peoples who have long used the plant may play a large role in furthering our handling of the situation in modern society.

It behooves us to consider the role of marijuana in man’s past and to learn what lessons it can teach us: to maintain wise restraint in our urbanized, industrialized life or, to free it for general use. It appears that Marijuana may be with us well into the future. The decriminalization of marijuana refers to removing drug offences – concerning marijuana – from criminal law rather than completely legalizing and allowing public use of the drug whether regulated or not. This argumentative essay will outline: the steps towards decriminalization, the repercussions displayed in an argument, counter argument form, current status on it, and an interview with someone closely tied to the matter.

It seems a little harsh for people to say ‘well it is illegal, so they are a criminal’. This is a victimless crime! Of course people will say the victim is the user. Isn’t the victim “One who is harmed by or made to suffer from an act, circumstance, agency, or condition”? Yes, smoking marijuana can lead to circumstances that cause suffering, however these circumstances are not brought on by the users’ actions, rather they are forced upon them by the law, judging and punishing these actions. Another argument is that using marijuana is harmful to the user and therefore whoever uses it becomes victimized.

The intake of substances and the social acceptability of the action is a continuous issue in current legislation, specifically, ‘where to draw the line’. It is deemed that the intake of heroin is illegal but the intake of alcohol is not. The question to the legislation is this, ‘is marijuana so harmful or addictive that it should not be acceptable.’ According to precedent namely the addictive qualities of cigarettes and the intoxicating qualities of alcohol, marijuana should, in all rights be at the least decriminalized. Marijuana does not posses the qualities of a physically addictive substance and a Senate report states that it is not harmful to one’s health.

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