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To Legalize or Not to Legalize : The question of Marijuana in America

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Umass Lowell

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  1. Introduction
  2. The war against marijuana
  3. The long legal background of marijuana
  4. Marijuana and law enforcement
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Once upon a time? or more accurately in the early 1930's, marijuana was made illegal and renamed the ?Devil's Weed'. Whether or not there was a conspiracy to make hemp illegal by the government and the pulp paper industry is hard to say, but one thing is for certain, the strangling hold the government struggles and pretends to hold on the war on drugs, and more specifically marijuana is absurd. Not only does the government waste countless dollars convicting law abiding citizens for possessing and using marijuana, it also with holds the benefits the plant has for medicinal purposes, as well as looses out on the numerous amount of money it could gain by regulating cannabis in the same fashion that it regulates tobacco. While the use of any device for the purpose of partying is wrong, why should we treat marijuana differently from other common drugs that are not only legal, but taxed and accepted both socially and economically?

[...] However this law was faulty in two ways: first one had to bring marijuana to a government office to have their quantity stamped with a seal of being taxed after the appropriate tax had been paid, but when peoples showed up to pay the tax on their stash, police were available to apprehend them for possessing untaxed marijuana before they could pay the tax, which was of course entrapment (which was not against the Constitution at the time), secondly, in 1970's, Timothy Leary brought the decriminalization campaign all the way to the Supreme Court in attempt to prove that the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was illegal and that it caused entrapment, upon which the Justices ruled was correct, making marijuana legal for a short period of time. [...]

[...] From the first line of the song, ?Well once upon a time, in 1776, Thomas Jefferson singed his name on a piece of Marijuana, and this document (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) was a symbol of freedom and liberty And in time we marched along, this plant that I refer to has been used for everything from medicine to the American flag.? It would seem that if we so despise the idea of the use of marijuana that maybe we should rid ourselves of priceless American artifacts that are made of it. [...]

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