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Marijuana: America’s Forbidden Asset

  • Date Submitted: 07/27/2011 12:33 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.6 
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Marijuana: America’s Forbidden Asset
The legalization of marijuana has been one of the most controversial issues in America over the past years. The debate over whether to legalize and tax marijuana has divided not only voters but Federal and State governments as well. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated that in 2009 approximately sixteen point seven million Americans (roughly five percent of the total population) aged 12 and older were marijuana users, and the federal government spends billions of dollars each year to keep marijuana out of the hands of those five percent. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, par. 3) That seems a bit ridiculous considering the effects of marijuana have been proven to be less harmful than tobacco and alcohol while both of those substances are legal. Marijuana is also considered to be the most valuable cash crop in the United States at a value of $35.8 billion per year.(Gettman, par. 8) Marijuana should be legalized throughout the United States. Marijuana should be legal or at the very least decriminalized in the United States as the economic effect of doing so could prove helpful to the economy and the American people should be able to judge for themselves whether or not they want to consume a recreational drug that has less harmful effects than other legal drugs currently on the market.
Opponents of the legalization of marijuana cite the negative effects that marijuana has on a person’s health as the main reason for keeping it outlawed. Although an individual is putting their health at risk when smoking marijuana, those risks are dwarfed in comparison to the negative effects that tobacco and alcohol are associated with. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 79,000 deaths annually attributed to alcohol abuse. That number includes disease, accidents and violent crimes. Cigarettes are responsible...

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