Marijuana Prohibition in the United States Argumentative Essay

Marijuana Prohibition in the United States
A persuasive argument against the U.S. government's policy of marijuana prohibition.
# 117527 | 2,604 words | 18 sources | MLA | 2008 | US

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The writer provides strong arguments that marijuana prohibition is enormously expensive, is not effective and encourages "selective enforcement" that unfairly targets certain races. The writer then highlights what he believes are social myths and health misconceptions that frequent the American media. The writer argues against the assertions that marijuana is significantly unhealthier than smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol, that marijuana severely affects the brain chemistry of youths over the long term, that it is especially dangerous while driving and that it is a gateway drug. The writer further contends that legalization of marijuana, as opposed to decriminalization, is necessary.

From the Paper:

"Marijuana use has been prohibited in the United States since the passing of the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. However, it remains unproven that marijuana is a drug dangerous enough to merit its prohibition. Despite the claims of the negative psychological and physiological effects of marijuana use (and there are many), definitive proof that lends legitimacy to any of these theories has yet to surface in the seventy years that it has been a banned substance in this country. The most common arguments for prohibition stem from the idea of "protecting our youth" from the harmful effects of cannabis use. However, as scientific evidence will prove, marijuana use actually has no adverse health effects not already "offered" to Americans in the form of other legal drugs."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. 1994.
  • Bonnie, Richard J., and Charles H. Whitebread. Marijuana Conviction: History of Marijuana Prohibition. Washington D.C.: Open Society Institute, 1999.
  • Earleywine, Mitch, ed. Pot Politics: Marijuana and the Costs of Prohibition. New York: Oxford UP, Incorporated, 2006. 3-40, 91-113, 176-208.
  • Ellard, J. The ninth crusade: The crusade against drugs. Modern Medicine (Neutral Bay, NSW). 1992. 35, 58-61, 64-68.
  • Gerber, Rudolph J. Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics. New York: Praeger, 2004. 77-91, 105-135.

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