The Criminalization of Marijuana Essay by Primo

The Criminalization of Marijuana
This paper discusses the repercussions of the legalization of marijuana.
# 9573 | 855 words | 0 sources | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 31, 2003 in Law (Criminal) , Criminology (Drugs Enforcement)

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This paper is an analysis of the effect on society of the criminalization of marijuana and examines the positive side of the drug, especially its medical advantages in a society where it would be legal.

From the Paper:

"The criminalization of pot creates unnecessary chaos in our legal system and succors a seedy black market. Convictions for marijuana cultivation, use, and possession outweigh those for violent crimes. Were we to reform marijuana laws, the funding and resources devoted to penalizing these "criminals" would be allocated to the proper persecution of serious crimes like rape and murder. Spending millions of tax dollars to imprison a recreational drug user makes light of these greater crimes and fosters a preposterously unbalanced sense of justice. Where does this militant persecution of minor-league drug offenders come from? Some say that the bias against marijuana stems from racism. Because black jazz musicians in the 1930s used marijuana recreationally, its use became associated with that unwanted, unloved sector of society. White puritanical culture supported prohibition against all substances. Alcohol triumphed where Mary Jane did not, because alcohol was already accepted en masse by the dominant culture.
"But drug use leads to crime," some people cry. Those people forget that the black market system created by criminalization creates crime, and not marijuana itself. Furthermore, alcohol is directly responsible for violent crime. This is not to say that we should turn a blind eye to possible offenses committed while under the influence of marijuana, but hard evidence is lacking to support claims that pot causes violence. The effects of marijuana are not such that lead to aggression. Perhaps racism is again an issue here. Just as the unwarranted persecution of African-Americans creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, so does the unfounded criminalization of cannabis sativa. If a crime happened to be committed in the presence of some pot, people will surely cry "Connection!" where there is none.
As an innocent weed, marijuana can potentially provide industrial-strength fibers and nutritious oils. Hemp, cannabis devoid of THC, was once a major U.S. cash crop. Hemp is all but banned now. Why would we extend our hatred for getting high (on something other than alcohol) to a plant incapable of even altering our state of mind? Hemp fiber can be cultivated for paper pulp and heavy fabrics; its seed oil contains a plethora of proteins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. There is absolutely no reason to lump hemp with its psychoactive cousin."

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