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Marijuana should be legalized in the United States.

Big surprise that a teenager thinks this, right? Well, this claim is not something that I simply say for the point of the argument. This is something I truly believe.

Although some believe marijuana to be a menace, mostly because of the false narrative that it is addictive and dangerous, it’s much less harmful to the body than other illegal drugs and often debated to be better for you than cigarettes.

Even my father, a Muskegon County police officer, believes marijuana should be legalized and taxed the same way tobacco is.

To prove the benefits of legalization, here is some history and also statistics based off of -some of the eight states where it has been legalized.
First of all, what is marijuana? Marijuana is a plant that contains cannabinoids that are used for medical, recreational, and spiritual purposes.

Why is it banned in the United States?

Well, around the early 1900s, Mexican immigrants introduced using the plant for recreational purposes. People in the United States, fearful of this new drug brought by immigrants, began publishing false articles and producing films claiming that marijuana made people act insane, violent, and antisocial.

A perfect example of this is the 1936 film Reefer Madness in which teens smoked marijuana and became murderous and or psychotic. All of this false propaganda led to it being criminalized and scheduled as a Class 1 drug.

Today, we know marijuana does quite the opposite of what was portrayed in the early 1900 fear mongering. Some medical benefits include but are not limited to the following: marijuana may help reverse the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and improve lung health; it can help control epileptic seizures; and a chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading. Despite all these interesting and helpful things marijuana can do, currently only about 6 percent of studies on marijuana discuss its medicinal benefits.

For me, marijuana being scheduled as a Class 1 drug is an infringement of our rights and a ploy for the federal government to make money.

John Ehrlichman, former counsel to the Nixon administration, said it himself, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

The government deliberately lied to us and confessed, yet, they are still continuing to waste money on marijuana prohibition. In 2013, the federal government spent $20 billion on marijuana prohibition, which is quite ridiculous since the drug is not addictive and has its benefits.

In addition to the medicinal purposes, marijuana (more specifically hemp found in marijuana) can be made into paper. Many products, Such as paper, rope, and clothes, used around the 1800s and before were made from hemp.

The process of making hemp into paper requires none of the harsh chemicals used to make paper from trees.

In the end, roughly 133 million Americans have tried marijuana once, says a Yahoo News/Marist Survey. With 35 million Americans using it at least monthly, it is obvious that recreational marijuana poses no threat to our current society. By this point it should be clear to every American, that marijuana should be legalized once and for all.

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