Should Marijuana Be Legalized? Essay example

1651 Words Oct 13th, 2016 7 Pages
Cannabis, otherwise referred to as marijuana, weed, or hemp, is a mind altering substance that dates back to ancient times and is still used today. In the United States, cannabis has been illegal since 1970, but today, evidence points to the benefits of ending the marijuana prohibition. Research studies continue to show that marijuana has positive health effects and that the effects of the drug are far less dangerous than other legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. The legalization of marijuana across the nation could positively benefit our health, free up our prisons, and generate tax revenue for the federal government.
Marijuana is a plant that has been used since ancient times. Dating back to 2737 B.C., the plant was described in a medical reference in China. The plant spread from China to India, eventually making it’s way to Europe in 500 A.D.. In 1545, the Spaniards brought marijuana to the new world. Starting in Jamestown, it became one of the most abundant commercial crops, along with tobacco (History of Marijuana). Until 1890, hemp dominated the market but was replaced by cotton as a major cash crop. Around this time, researchers found and studied the medicinal value of the plant. In fact, marijuana was compared to opium and cocaine, legal drugs at the time (The 10,000-year). In 1850, marijuana was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and was prescribed for conditions including labor pains, nausea, and rheumatism (The 10,000-year). Come 1914, the Harrison Act passed…

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