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Let's Legalize Pot!
Just an essay I was proud of. You probobly won't be. That's life.
Some credit goes to Andrew Looney, and his website, for allowing me to bring up some nice points.
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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (4)
Abortion As A Basic Human Right (Essays) I wrote this essay for my Contemporary Issues class, explaining why I believe that the right to have an abortion is a basic human right. Or at least, it should be. [481 words]
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Why We Should Not Invade Iraq (Essays) This is just an essay I wrote, that I thought was particularly well written. I liked it, and thought it presented the facts well. So here it is. Also note that while pasting it from Word, it became me... [725 words]
Let's Legalize Pot!
First off, letís talk about the reason Marijuana is illegal right now. William Randolph Hearst, the newspaper and lumber king, had heard about how hemp would replace lumber as a source of paper. Marijuana was cheaper and more effective to use than lumber was. In response to this, he started printing articles about marijuana, including lies, and anything else he could use to garnish support for making this a controlled substance. It worked, obviously, because look where we are at today.
Also, is pot really a gateway drug? People talk about how 90% of heroin or cocaine users tried pot first. Well, Iíll bet that 90% of them watched TV, or operated a telephone before they used those drugs. Iíll bet many of them had voted in an election before that. Iíll bet they chewed gum, or sang Christmas carols. What Iím alluding to is the fact that just because a lot of people do two things, it doesnít necessarily mean that the two are connected. Why is it that 103 out of 104 people who have used marijuana have never used heroin or cocaine?
Where exactly in the constitution does the government have the power to outlaw drugs? When alcohol was outlawed, a constitutional amendment was required. Since that amendment was repealed in 1933 and no other relevant amendments have since been added, isn't the war on drugs unconstitutional?
Is prohibition of marijuana working? Politicians have talked about how close we are to a drug free society, and how weíre winning the war on drugs for ages. Yet I canít ever remember seeing a significant change in the number of people who use the drug. The only number I see that changes is the amount of money that the government has wasted on this war, and the number of lives that have been ruined by this ďWar on Drugs.Ē 87% of last years 700,000 marijuana arrests were for simple possession. Who benefits from that?
Who really is the worse threat to others: someone who's drunk, or someone who's stoned? For example, who's more likely to start a fight: a crowd of rambunctious, aggressive drinkers, or a group of mellow, relaxed stoners? Who's more likely to get into a car and cause an accident: the uninhibited drinker, who has an inflated sense of capability and is ready to take on the world, or the paranoid stoner, who just wants to lie on the couch watching TV and eating Oreos? And who's more likely to beat his wife or child: the angry drunk, or the wasted stoner?
As a country, we have spent over 200 billion dollars fighting this war on drugs. And each year, the penalties get harsher and harsher. Yet we still arenít anywhere close to becoming a drug free country. Weíre still fighting this nationís largest, and longest, war in history. This war shows absolutely no sign of ever being won. How can it ever be won? A war on drugs is a war on the nationís citizens. The closest people have come to winning a war like this and surviving were the Nazis and the communists.
Also, hemp should be used industrially. ďThe marketplace, not myopic rules, should determine hempís future industrially.Ē Although it grows wild across most of America, and provides no public health or safety threat, hemp is uprooted each year. Hemp can be used in clothing, paper, oils, and even hemp seeds are one of the greatest sources of protein and amino acids out there. Despite this fact, the DEA refuses to grant anyone the right to grow hemp, even though it can be legally imported. Each year, the US imports 1.9 million pounds of hemp fiber, 450,000 pounds of hemp seeds, and 331 pounds of hempseed oil from countries where it is legal to grow hemp, which include well over 60 countries out there, including Canada and Japan.
In conclusion, marijuana is much less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol. It also doesnít kill brain cells, contrary to popular belief. Whereas heroin and cocaine kill the receptors in the brain, marijuana only temporarily messes with them to provide the high feeling. I believe that it would significantly lessen the number of alcohol related deaths in this country, and therefore support the complete legalization of marijuana. I believe that people would be more likely to go out and smoke a joint in a bar than get drunk and drive home. Although not as safe as just going home sober, itís still a much better alternative to drinking and driving. Marijuana doesnít create addicts out there, and people remain relatively in control when theyíre stoned. Marijuana has also not contributed directly to a single death in its history. Tobacco kills over 400,000 people each year, and alcohol attributes to another half of that or so. Marijuana is definitely a safer alternative to these two.
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"I like the points, but, um...'mellow, relaxed stoners'? 'Doesn't create addicts'? 'Safe alternative'? It's a good thing I'm not in those easily-influenced teen years, or I might be confused by this article..." -- Shifra.
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© 2002 James Cartwright
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