Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Essay

1398 words - 6 pages

Should Marijuana Be Legalized?

With the recent election season that has just gone by, this question has become more prevalent in society. In 2010 California became the first state to legalize marijuana only for medicinal use. In this election season, both Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana for recreational use. Marijuana usage has been going on since ancient times and the fight to legalize it has grown steadily throughout United States History. There are two sides to every story – one side supports legalization and one side opposes it. Everyone has the right to their own opinion on this matter so I will let you decide after reading this.
Marijuana has been used, ...view middle of the document...

After about a decade of decreasing use, marijuana usage began an upward trend once again in the early 1990s, especially among teenagers (History).
California was the first state to legalize marijuana – but only for medicinal use. According to the California Department of Public Health, “The Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) was established to provide a voluntary medical marijuana identification card issuance and registry program for qualified patients and their caregivers.” The registry system for this is online based and it allows both law enforcement personnel and the public to verify the validity of a qualified patient or caregiver’s card. The card means the person has the authorization to possess, grow, transport, and/or use medical marijuana. After receiving a recommendation from their physician for the use of medical marijuana, patients and their primary caregivers may apply for and be issued a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (Medical Marijuana Program). While marijuana is legal in California only for medicinal use, in Colorado and Washington it is legal for recreational use.
On November 6, 2012 Amendment 64 – or the measure seeking the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults – was passed by Colorado voters. The passing of Amendment 64 made Colorado the first state in the United States to end marijuana prohibition. Amendment 64 will allow individuals 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from specialty dispensaries as well as grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes. However, selling marijuana without a license, buying marijuana from someone who is not licensed and the public use of marijuana will remain illegal. Under the new Amendment, marijuana will be taxed and regulated similar to how alcohol and tobacco are taxed are regulated (Ferner). On the same night, Washington state passed a similar bill.
In Washington state the legalization of marijuana for recreational use came through the passing of Initiative 502. This measure sets up a system of state-licensed marijuana growers, processors and retail stores. As in Colorado, an individual must be over 21 to do any of this. They can buy up to an ounce of dried marijuana; one pound of marijuana-infused product in solid form, like brownies; or 72 ounces of marijuana-infused liquids. Sales in both states won’t start until state officials make rules to govern the legal weed industry (Geranios). Obviously, there are two sides to the fight to legalize marijuana so I will explain both sides.
The arguments against the legalization of marijuana are numerous and vary in their reasons. Here are some of the most common ones heard today. Some people think that the easy availability of drugs would create new consumers rather than decrease the use of them. Some people think that the use of marijuana is morally wrong. Arresting people for drug-related crimes takes people who have committed or are more likely to commit serious crimes...

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