Should Marijuana be Legal? Term Paper by Nicky

Should Marijuana be Legal?
A brief look at the debate surrounding the decriminalization of marijuana.
# 149500 | 1,053 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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The paper begins by discussing state-based initiatives that are based on making marijuana a low police priority. The paper then addresses the arguments of individuals and organizations who continue to be against any type of decriminalization/legalization or the loosing up of current marijuana laws. The paper points out that many state and city-based governments across the United States are coming to realize that the legalization of marijuana has added benefits related to economics and social welfare. The paper concludes that the question as to whether or not to legalize marijuana should be left up to the American people via a national referendum, rather than to law enforcement officials, the DEA and the FDA.

From the Paper:

"According to Paul Armentano of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), these type of initiatives "tap into the sentiments of local voters" and have yielded some success, especially in the city of Seattle, where "their law has some teeth and has yielded a drastic reduction in local arrests" ("Lowest Law Enforcement Priority," 2006, Internet). Obviously, due to the success of these and similar state and city-based initiatives, the viewpoint of making marijuana a low police priority indicates that voters may not be too far away from either decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana on a state-wide basis.
"Of course, there are individuals and organizations that continue to be wholly against any type of decriminalization/legalization or the loosing up of current marijuana laws. For example, in the state of Montana, initiative organizers and supporters "face much opposition from local law enforcement and youth substance abuse prevention groups" that claim legalizing marijuana will lead to a great increase in the number of users. However, as the organizers of the low police priority initiative point out, the evidence to support this assertion does not exist; in fact, "We know that liberalizing drug laws in other places has not led to an increase in drug use. This assertion has also been equated with the "Reefer Madness mentality," a reference to the film "Reefer Madness" of the 1930's which depicted marijuana smokers as deranged criminals ("Lowest Law Enforcement Priority," 2006, Internet)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Ban with the Bull, Chill with the Bear: The Coming Collapse of MarijuanaProhibition." (2009). NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from
  • "California: Oakland Voters Approve Nation's First Marijuana Business Tax." (2009).NORML. Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from
  • "Lowest Law Enforcement Priority Marijuana Initiatives Face the Voters in Five Cities." (2006)Stop the Drug Internet. Accessed July 22, 2009 from

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Should Marijuana be Legal? (2011, December 19) Retrieved March 05, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Should Marijuana be Legal?" 19 December 2011. Web. 05 March. 2021. <>