Legalizing Marijuana[1]


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Legalizing Marijuana[1]

  1. 1. By Anna Jensen
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. Federal marijuana laws must be changed in order to further benefit those with disabilities and the entire nation.
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11.  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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13.  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
  14. 14.  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
  15. 15.  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
  16. 16.  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
  17. 17.  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
  18. 18. 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
  19. 19. “A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” Abraham Lincoln
  20. 20. For more information, please visit