Almost every American has heard of marijuana and its many nicknames such as weed, MJ, Mary Jane, cannabis, etc. “Nearly 100 million Americans use marijuana.” (“About Marijuana”) NORML, an organization that advocates changing marijuana laws, states, “Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in America behind alcohol and tobacco.” (“About Marijuana.”) If this many people are using it, why has it not been legalized? Some would say it should remain illegal because it hurts people and is harmful to society. To a point, it can be hurtful to people and harmful to society by creating overeaters and mellowed out, couch-bums; however, marijuana itself has never been shown to kill anyone. It is just like alcohol and tobacco. It
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It led to bootlegging, and people bought it and consumed it anyway just like marijuana is now. The Prohibition Era was meant to stop the sale, manufacturing, and transportation of alcohol. It failed. More than ever, people were consuming alcohol. This provided a means for the black market and gangsters like Al Capone, who was one of the most powerful and rich men in Chicago. What was created to boost morality had failed. During prohibition organized crime like the mafia became responsible for, “police funding increased $11.4 million, arrests for drunkenness and disorderly conduct rose 41%, arrests for drunk driving rose to 81%, federal prison population increased 366%, and total federal expenditure on penal institutions increased 1,000%.” ("Organized Crime and Prohibition") Since alcohol was banned, people turned to gangsters or members of organized crime to get their alcohol. Bootlegging created turf wars between gangsters. In this century, prohibition of marijuana is like that of alcohol in the Prohibition Era. Gangsters and turf wars are still in full force over marijuana and drugs rather than alcohol.
According to a recent Rolling Stones article, “Five Reasons Cops Want to Legalize Marijuana,” by Kristen Gwynne, former Deputy Chief of Police of Los Angeles states, “When we ended the prohibition of alcohol, Al Capone was out of work the next day.