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Legalizing Marijuana[1]

Legalizing Marijuana[1]






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    Legalizing Marijuana[1] Legalizing Marijuana[1] Presentation Transcript

    • By Anna Jensen
    • Topic Selection Why Marijuana?  People effected negatively by marijuana laws in school and community  Close to home issue- affects entire nation  Clear up misconceptions about cannabis  Encourage a change to benefit the country
    • Federal marijuana laws must be changed in order to further benefit those with disabilities and the entire nation.
    • World history of cannabis Asia  Chinese herbalists- Stomach Pain, malaria, menstrual cramps  Indian god Shiva was said to have given the plant for a joyful past time  Marijuana migrated from East to the Middle East
    • Europe  Arab traders brought the plant to North Africa and Spain  Napoleon introduces marijuana to Europe after conquest in Egypt- 1804  Traveled to London for recreation and medicine- insomnia, pain, tuberculosis, and lowering fevers
    • American History Legal Marijuana  Traveled from Europe to New York in early 19th century  Prohibition caused an increase in popularity (Cheap and legal)  Marijuana was linked to violence and crime caused by illegal bootlegging- scape goat  15 states voted to ban non-medical distribution in 1924  Drug also banned in south due to prejudice during the depression
    • Illegal Marijuana  Harry J. Anslinger takes office at the Federal Bureau of Narcotics  Since immigration issues were involved, marijuana became a political issue  Outlawing a weed had never been done  The constitution stood in the way of making a federal law against cannabis until a loophole was found (National Fire Arms Act)  1950s- Marijuana was illegal, meth amphetamine was the most prescribed drug in American history
    • Continued..  Mayer LaGuardia commissioned a four years study involving medical professionals to study marijuana  Timothy Leary questioned the marijuana stamp act and the law was overturned  Marijuana was officially banned with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970  Medicinal marijuana was not recognized until the 1990s
    • The Current Situation  Medicinal marijuana is recognize by 14 states which allow it  The laws are very inconsistent and vague, creating gaps  According to federal law, marijuana is illegal under any circumstances- patients are not protected  Since marijuana was outlawed, there have been more than 20 million marijuana arrests
    • Solution= Legalization Marijuana should be legalized but restricted as alcohol is 3 approaches to issues regarding marijuana: banning, decriminalizing, legalizing  Decriminalized (no criminal penalties for possessing, using, or transferring marijuana without profit) in Canada and England  No negative affect on crime rate  The country has no ability to tax marijuana for profit
    •  The Netherlands and Spain have taken the approach of legalizing marijuana: “Legalization of the drug in Spain saw a sharp decrease in the number of frequent users, ostensibly because doing so ceased to be seen as a dangerous, rebellious activity. In Holland, where marijuana has been legal for decades, about 5% of the population smokes on a regular basis.”  Also had no increase in crime  The countries’ governments are able to make profit off legal marijuana through taxes
    • Positives of legalization  Combating criminals- less demand for illegal drug dealers and violent Mexican drug cartels  Many legal drugs are equally or more harmful than marijuana  Prescription drugs:  Deaths from 1976-1977: 0  880 deaths from Valium  390 deaths from Aspirin  The difference between a dose of morphine which causes pain relief and death is minuscule  Marijuana is virtually impossible to overdose on
    •  Alcohol  Marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol (scale 1-6: marijuana=1 and alcohol=3)  Deaths from alcohol are far higher: 331 deaths from alcohol in 2001, 0 from marijuana  Alcohol is one of the most toxic drugs, marijuana is one of the least-  Alcohol: using 10 times what one would drink to become intoxicated leads to death  Marijuana: one must use 1000 times the intoxicating amount to over dose
    •  Alcohol contributes to the likelihood of sexual assault and domestic violence, marijuana does not About 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which  victims perceive the offender to have been drinking at the time of the offense Among spousal victims, 3 out of 4 incidents were reported to  have involved an offender who had been drinking Alcohol is involved in nearly 50% of all domestic violence  cases in Denver, and the use of alcohol by the perpetrator is a predominant factor in fatal cases of domestic violence Marijuana is not mentioned as a correlating or causal factor in  cases of domestic violence in Denver
    •  Tobacco  Like marijuana, tobacco is harmful to the lungs and can cause cancer, but is still legal  Nicotine is far more addictive than marijuana (scale 1-6: Marijuana=1, Nicotine=6, Heroine=5)  There has never been a documented case of lung cancer in a marijuana only smoker
    •  Benefits to the economy  Marijuana is America’s largest cash crop- $2 billion revenue  Eliminating many marijuana arrests would put less tax money into housing prisoners  Billions of dollars are spent each year in order to keep marijuana illegal  Case study: Mendocino County, Northern California 2/3 economy marijuana related  Economy would fail if cannabis was eliminated- 60%  population involved in industry Law enforcement spent more than $10 million battling  marijuana trade in this county alone
    •  Marijuana in the medical field  Marijauna could be more accessible for medical marijuana patients suffering from debilitating illnesses  Doctors could recommend marijuana to patients without being concerned about careers  Natural alternative to many harmful prescription drugs  Other disabilities not addressed by current medical marijuana laws could benefit (anxiety)  Medical research on marijuana could be easily performed, possibly exposing more medicinal uses
    • Conclusion  Marijuana has been an affective medicine for thousands of years  Cannabis was outlawed through demonization and propaganda- scape goat for minority crime  Outlawed as a schedule I substance (high potential for abuse, unsafe, no medical application) all of these claims have been proven false  Since this time there have been more than 20 million marijuana arrests- punishment must be put to an end  Now is the time for marijuana to be legalized in order to benefit the country as a whole
    • “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Abraham Lincoln
    • For more information, please visit www.saferchoice.org