Jonathan McSpadden

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Jonathan McSpadden

Composition II

Legalize The Green

What is marijuana? Marijuana is also known as weed, pot, or its botanical name cannabis. Marijuana is the leaves, stems, and seeds of the hemp plant, which is mainly smoked through cigarillos, papers, bongs, or pipes. So why should something that grows from the earth be illegal? It is just a plant, right? The debate on whether or not marijuana should be legalized has been growing through the younger generation of today. More and more teens are being exposed to marijuana and are starting to wonder why it is illegal when alcohol is not. If medicinal marijuana is used to help cure certain symptoms and disorders for people, then why is someone arrested for being in possession of it? When you dig past the general media, you will see that marijuana is no as bad as the government says it is.
When you look at the effects of marijuana compared to alcohol, marijuana is much safer. Alcohol causes much more severe vision and motor skill problems than marijuana does. There are very many people who overdose on alcohol and die from alcohol poisoning. Marijuana on the other hand is virtually impossible to overdose on. With alcohol you only have to drink about 5 to 10 times more than what intoxicates you. To overdose on marijuana one must smoke nearly 40,000 times more than what it takes to intoxicate you. Thus, making the event of overdosing on marijuana virtually impossible (How Much Marijuana? 2011). Marijuana is known as a relaxing stimulant that eases the stress of a human as well as potentially lightens their mood. All users experience marijuana’s effects differently than others, though. Some feel relieved and happy, as others feel paranoid and sometimes depressed. So, I do agree that marijuana is not for everyone, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal everywhere.
When you compare marijuana with cigarettes, you will be surprised to hear that cigarettes are far more dangerous and hazardous to the human body than marijuana. When you compare cigarettes with cigars, cigars are even more threatening to the lungs of a person. So why is that marijuana is illegal, yet tobacco is sold to someone over the age of eighteen? Especially since it is a proven fact that tobacco is more harmful than marijuana. This question has been brought up over and over again and is an extremely valid point on why marijuana should be legalized. There is even a chart that shows the number of deaths a year caused by tobacco and other drugs. This chart shows that about 400,000 people were killed from smoking, dipping, or chewing tobacco. 100,00 people were killed from alcohol, 2,000 were killed from caffeine, and 500 were killed from aspirin. Excluding marijuana, all other illegal drugs killed 15,000 people. Marijuana has never been the cause of death for anyone (Legalize Marijuana, 2012).
Unlike tobacco and other hard drugs, marijuana is not addictive. The only way to become addicted is by smoking marijuana out of cigarillos, which actually just means that you are addicted to the cigarillo wrap used to smoke the marijuana out of. If marijuana is safer than cigarettes there should be no reason that it should remain illegal, especially since it would help the huge American debt we are in. If the government actually legalized marijuana across the country, the profits would be outstanding. Stephen Easton proclaimed that by selling one unit of marijuana for seven dollars, that it would generate over two billion dollars minus the transportation, advertising, and marketing (Easton, Stephen. 2012). If marijuana became legalized, it would most likely attract more people than it does already because there is no risk of getting caught. People would feel more comfortable about smoking marijuana and would potentially buy more if they know for fact they aren’t risking the possibility of an expensive ticket or going to jail. On top of the risk-premium, if the government were to put a tax on marijuana the profit would soar. If you use the street price, then the demand will stay the same. If we were to lower the price after legalization, then the demand would be higher than usual. If we taxed marijuana the same way we tax cigarettes and other tobacco products, then climbing out of the American debt would be far easier than it is at the moment.
Besides the business side of marijuana, many want to know what is in marijuana and how dangerous it really is. There was a group of scientists that wanted to see if marijuana caused brain cells to die. The experiment they performed involved using a monkey, and having it smoke pot for a certain period of time. In the 70’s, these scientists positioned a gas mask on the monkey and pumped 63 joints of marijuana into the mask over a five-minute period. The monkey ended up dying, and the scientists then proclaimed that marijuana kills brain cells and will eventually kill you. This is not true. The only reason the monkey died is because the scientists did not allow the monkey to breathe in any oxygen. When there is no air to the cerebellum, brain cells will die. The scientists simply murdered the monkey by suffocating it due to lack of oxygen (“Marijuana Myth” 2012). According to the source, the government has been using relative experiments that are as absurd. The author believes that the government is hiding the truth from us as Americans, and therefore sheltering us from the truth. Cannabis is in fact the most harmless in its category of drugs. To the media, marijuana is in the category of drugs along with cocaine, heroin, LSD, and meth. According to the article, marijuana should be classified as a drug in the category with aspirin, muscle relaxers, and other pain relievers for the human body.
After hearing about the side the government won’t tell us, it is easy to determine that marijuana is a lot safer than the public may think. Marijuana has never killed anyone and is virtually impossible to overdose on. Before you over dose on marijuana, you would pass out asleep. It is a proven fact that marijuana is safer than smoking cigarettes, and far safer than smoking cigars. When looking at what Mark Perkel said, it is crucial that us as Americans realize that marijuana is in fact safer than alcohol as well. Besides the health issues, marijuana would generate millions of dollars if it were legal. Taxing weed like the government taxes cigarettes would ensure a faster climb out of debt. Finally, if marijuana were legalized, our country would be putting an enormous amount of our younger generation in a securer environment. Taking away the risks of getting caught, going to jail, or bad encounters with drug dealers would help ensure a better world for everyone.

Easton, Stephen. "Should Governments Legalize and Tax Marijuana?." Economics at N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. .

"How Much Marijuana Do You Have To Smoke To Die?." Medical Marijuana News - How To Safely Grow and Use Cannabis - The 420 Times. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. .
"Legalize Marijuana, Legal Weed, Marijuana Facts ." Legalize Marijuana, Legal Weed, Marijuana Facts . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. .

"Marijuana Myth – Marijuana Kills Brain Cells « Loopy Lettuce." Loopy Lettuce. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2012. .

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