Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Essay

1608 Words Oct 24th, 2016 7 Pages
For the last several decades, legalizing marijuana has become a widely debated topic in the United States. The stigma against marijuana has gradually changed, as society is beginning to see its positive aspects. Today, twenty-five states have already legalized marijuana for its medicinal purposes. Legalizing recreational marijuana, however, has become an even more debated topic. In the last two years, four states—Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska—have passed legislation for recreational marijuana use. Although these states have legalized marijuana on the local level, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. The United States Department of Justice acknowledges that it will not challenge a state’s cannabis laws, as long as they do not counteract federal superiority. These priorities include selling marijuana to minors or being under the influence while in public. Federal law regulates drugs through the Controlled Substance Act. Under the Controlled Substance Act, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive category of drugs—along with cocaine, and heroin. A Schedule 1 drug is defined as “one that is highly addictive and of no medicinal value” (Perlman, 2016). While half of the states in the nation recognize the medical uses of marijuana, it is still a major societal transition for the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Pro-marijuana advocates argue that marijuana is less harmful than legal substances on the market like tobacco, alcohol…

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