Jeff Mizanskey: The Legalization Of Marijuana

1642 Words 7 Pages
Recently, a Missouri man named Jeff Mizanskey walked free after spending almost a third of his life behind bars. Mizanskey had been sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for possession of marijuana. Continued outrage over the sentence led to a petition drive seeking clemency. Nearly 400,000 signatures were received, and Missouri’s governor eventually commuted Mizanskey’s life sentence . As the case illustrated, attitudes about marijuana have softened over the past two decades. Yet many drug laws continue to be unreasonable, and it’s time to stand up and change them.
The prohibition of marijuana began in the early 1900s. Restrictions on selling and the drug began 1906 and outright prohibition began in the `20s. In the 1970s, marijuana was classified
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They brought with them new cultures, languages and customs. One of these customs was ‘marihuana,’ which was used as a relaxant and medicine. When the Texans were introduced to this, they were confused. They had never heard of it before, which was ironic, because many medicines of that time used it under the label cannabis. Unfortunately, the media preyed on this confusion and began to play into the fears that Americans had about these new citizens by spreading untrue claims about ‘disruptive Mexicans and their marihuana drug.’ These reports in the media eventually influenced law. Cities and towns near the border across Texas were inspired by San Francisco 's decision to outlaw opium in years past in an attempt to control Chinese immigrants. Marijuana prohibitions provided authorities with an excuse to search, detain, imprison and ultimately deport Mexicans. In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act went into effect nationwide. Although it was ruled unconstitutional years later, it was the basis for the 1970 Controlled Substance Act, which is still in place today. Marijuana prohibition is also based on phony science that was skewed to conform to the Nixon administration’s points of view. Fears of overdose are surprisingly common, but in fact, it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana. A way to measure a drug 's safety is by the therapeutic index. This is a …show more content…
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 669,000 Americans in 2012 reported using heroin in the past year. This number has steadily grown. America treats heroin addiction like a disease when it should be treated as a mental health or social issue. Many heroin addicts begin by taking opiate based drugs. In the Appalachian region of America (Virginia and Kentucky have the highest rate of heroin usage in the country), there is not medical options to the the degree that they exist in the rest of the country. Many doctors in rural towns simply dispense opioids to people who need pain management. This leads to heroin use, which is much cheaper than the pills. Some people overdose and some attempt to get clean. Heroin changes the brain permanently, and treatment can be hard. Using an artificial opioid called methadone to slowly wean yourself off is common. Some rehab hospitals seek to make addicts completely sober and free of all drugs, but this approach can be deadly. A sober addict will leave a treatment program with the physical cravings still strong, but their tolerance non-existent. Shooting up the same amount of heroin the addict used before treatment can lead to a fatal

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