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Gabe Dart

Mr. Maslonka
English 101 1N
11/17/14
Recreational legalization of Cannabis
Dont do drugs How much does this phrase get used on the daily? What does it mean
when somebody says this? It is innocent advice. Drugs, more specifically cannabis, are
commonly thought of as harmful, but how many people actually know what they are talking
about? How many people understand the many uses it has in industry and medicine before they
tell you to stay away from it? To be able to make a judgement call on the subject of making
Cannabis legal completely, one must first understand what it is, what it does, what it is used for,
why it is known as marijuana, and why it is illegal. Cannabis should be legal in America so it can
benefit individuals, businesses, and even medical facilities.
If cannabis was made legal tomorrow, crime rates would plummet instantly as profit
skyrockets. According to www.MPP.org, the government and the states own laws allow gangs
to make most of their money from buying and selling Cannabis. By keeping marijuana illegal
and confined to the black market, our wildly ineffective marijuana laws -- and any elected
official who supports them -- are to blame for handing criminals a virtual monopoly on the
lucrative marijuana trade. Many people may be surprised to learn that marijuana is estimated to
be America's largest cash crop, a $36 billion-a-year industry larger than corn and wheat
combined (MPP). More marijuana is grown in California than any other state. As it stands, it's
already the state's biggest cash crop--it's just not legal (Treehugger). Can you imagine a brand
new market pulling The Unites States out of the dept ditch that it put itself in, just by making a
natural plant legal? On top of that, the Unites States must be handing over the reigns to just
anybody if they have the power to make mother nature illegal in the first place.

If cannabis was made legal tomorrow, our modern societys industry and technology can
benefit just like the days where Cannabis was legal. In fact, Cannabis was legal for longer than it
was illegal. The Advanced Holistic Health organization have an article on their website titled
10,000-year history of Marijuana in the world, clearly referring to the Hemp plant. They state
the many uses of the plant and when it was first discovered to be used in such a way. Examples
of these include usage of hemp cord in pottery in 8000 BC, textile production by the chinese in
4000 BC, medical applications by Chinese Emperor Shen Neng in 2000 BC, hemp rope being
discovered in Russia in 600 BC, and Arab paper in 600. It does not stop there. In 1619, Colonial
settlers were actually jailed if they did not grow Cannabis. Americas first marijuana law was
enacted at Jamestown Colony, Virginia in 1619. It was a law ordering all farmers to grow
Indian hempseed. (Drugwarrant). Why did they require it? Back then, hemp was a common
crop, used as in ancient times, for clothing, tools, and paper, and medicine. So why was it not
legal? That history starts during the Mexican Revolution. As people migrated to The United
States, Mexican tobacco commonly known as Marijuana, followed as well. The term referring to
hemp started with Harry J. Anslinger. Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he
recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity. He immediately realized
that opiates and cocaine wouldnt be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to
marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level. Anslinger immediately
drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he
wanted to create. After taken this topic to federal court, the government made the substance
illegal without even knowing what they were making illegal. Anslinger gave cannabis the name
Marijuana to try and trick the steadfast government into making it illegal. The worst part about it,
is it worked. Harry Anslinger got some additional help from William Randolf Hearst, owner of

a huge chain of newspapers. Hearst had lots of reasons to help. First, he hated Mexicans. Second,
he had invested heavily in the timber industry to support his newspaper chain and didnt want to
see the development of hemp paper in competition. (Drugwarrant). Hemp was on the verge of
becoming a super crop because of new hemp processing technologies that were recently
developed. Unfortunately, the potential of hemp was never reaped because of marijuana
prohibition. (Nemeton). One of the technologies that existed was the decorticator. One of the
most talked about decorticators is the Schlichten model. George Schlichtens machine was able
to keep the alignment of the fibers in order and turned out a continuous sliver of hemp that was
ready to be spun with existing machinery. (Kannaway). A miscommunication is all that is
needed to provide a technological roadblock for our future, but cannabis can solve other
problems simultaneously.
If cannabis was made legal tomorrow, the destruction of the environment will begin to
end. Billions of trees are currently being cut down to make paper. Trees must grow for 20 to 50
years after planting before they can be harvested for commercial use. Within 4 months after it is
planted, hemp grows 10 to 20 feet tall and it is ready for harvesting..Fewer caustic and toxic
chemicals are used to make paper from hemp than are used to make paper from trees.. Hemp
fiber is 10 times stronger than cotton and can be used to make all types of clothing.. Cotton
requires enormous pesticide use.. Hemp naturally repels weed growth and has no insect
problems.. Building materials that substitute for wood can be made from hemp. These wood-like
building materials are stronger than wood and can be manufactured cheaper than wood from
trees. Using these hemp-derived building materials would reduce building costs and save even
more trees. (Nemeton) The safety of the environment is a huge subject and humans struggle to
create new ways to go about caring for it, like following strategies to keep our tree population

up. Cannabis solves that problem. Why not protect the environment, and apply cannabis other
benefits upon our society at the same time?
If cannabis was made legal tomorrow, the public would instantly have a more reliable
symptom treatment for illnesses like cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, epilepsy, and
other conditions. The substance can be used passively to suffocate pain, however the ingredients
in cannabis can also directly attack a disease. Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana,
inhibit tumor growth.. and also kill cancer cells. (Activist) Maybe cure is too powerful of a
word to use, but clearly cannabis is a reliable and significantly cheaper than the common cancer
treatment, chemotherapy. A government website, www.cancer.gov, indicates that chemotherapy
side effect include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fertility changes,
urination problems, and much more. Not to mention the obvious hair loss, cannabis needs to start
being an option for the sick. Marijuana is a muscle relaxant and has antispasmodic qualities
that have proven to be a very effective treatment for seizures.. Since medicinal marijuana was
legalized in California, doctors have reported that they have been able to treat more than 300,000
cases of migraines that conventional medicine couldnt through marijuana.. Marijuanas
treatment of glaucoma has been one of the best documented. There isnt a single valid study that
exists that disproves marijuanas very powerful and popular effects on glaucoma patients..
Despite what you may have heard about marijuanas effects on the brain, the Scripps Institute, in
2006, proved that the THC found in marijuana works to prevent Alzheimers by blocking the
deposits in the brain that cause the disease. (Activist) Medicalmarijuana.procon.org is a reliable
site to view information on marijuana because it states both sides of the issue. Opponents of
medical marijuana argue that it is too dangerous to use, lacks FDA-approval, and that various
legal drugs make marijuana use unnecessary. (Medical) This can be easily shot down. First of

all, why does it not have FDA approval? Change is a hard thing to push. Based on why it became
illegal in the first place, it is evident that some people are still brainwashed. 24 of the 50 states
have made cannabis legal, which is significant progress. In fact, more than half of the United
States population is pro-cannabis so far, being supported by heavy populated states like
California and New York. Non pro-cannabis people frequently argue that there are not many
tests that show the effects of cannabis, but this is simply because these tests are not supported by
the government. With the recent action by many states, hopefully that will change. Non cannabis
supporters will also argue that many of our medicine already on the market solve the same issues
that cannabis can solve, so why make it legal? This is an easy one. Money money money. The
drugs sold on the market currently usually only treat a few symptoms and are not comparable to
what medical cannabis can do, making customers come back for more. There is no
documentation of this, it just happens. Why would medicine companies support a substance that
can potentially wipe them off of the face of the market? On top of that, cannabis can do the same
thing over the counter and prescription drugs can do without the side-effects. "The evidence is
overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other
symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh
drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana
is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day." (Medical) This quote is
by a doctor with an MD degree, Joycelyn Elders. It is time to clear the reputation that cannabis
use leads to other drugs. Why is it that cannabis is considered a gateway drug? This answer may
be simpler than expected. A researcher, Andrew Morral, states it best: The people who are
predisposed to use drugs and have the opportunity to use drugs are more likely than others to use
both marijuana and harder drugs. Marijuana typically comes first because it is more available." It

may be hard to imagine a society where cannabis is legalized, but it is not hard to think that
alcohol and cigarettes are legal. Cannabis, whether medical or recreational, can be regulated in
much the same way alcohol and cigarettes are. ID cards can be used, whether new ones will be
distributed as in many states currently, or just presentation of drivers license before purchase,
exactly like alcohol. If our abomination of a society has tobacco legal for anyone over 18, and
believes cannabis should be illegal for its harm on the human body, then our society is full of
hypocrites. The death toll directly caused by tobacco reaches into the hundreds of thousands
every year. Even for something as common as automobiles, the death toll is higher than it is for
cannabis. There are no reports that any form of cannabis consumption directly caused a death,
ever. With that being said, cannabis abuse is real. It is as real as alcohol abuse, it is as real as too
much sugar consumption leading to diabetes. Cannabis is as harmful as an individual allows it to
be. Alcohol, sugar, and cannabis are alike in that controlled amounts are healthy for the body,
and that excess amounts are harmful for the body. The benefits far outnumbers the problems if
we legalize cannabis recreationally. Where is the rage for making alcohol illegal? Alcohol
poisoning is caused only by the quantity of alcohol that is consumed and can lead to a coma or
even death. There is no documented equivalent of that condition for cannabis consumption,
however, no individual should get to that point with either substance. It is unacceptable for an
individual to have less legal action against him or her for a choice that can potentially have more
harmful effects on their body.
Hopefully, in the near future, modern society will consider the effects cannabis will have
on technology, the economy, and health. Another thing this society should do is stop calling it
marijuana. Marijuana, is a Mexican tobacco. Cannabis is a potential super crop that is

misunderstood because of the carelessness of this nations citizens and government. Next time
someone tells you that marijuana is bad for you, proceed to enlighten them with the facts.

Works Cited

Environmental and Economic Benefits. Nemeton. 2006. Web. 4 December 2014


http://www.nemeton.com/static/nemeton/axis-mutatis/hemp.html
Legalizing Marijuana in California Could Be Good For the Environment. Treehugger. 2009.
Web. 4 December 2014
http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/legalizing-marijuana-in-california-could-begood-for-the-environment.html
Why Is Marijuana Illegal?. Drugwarrant. 2014. Web. 5 December 2014
http://www.drugwarrant.com/articles/why-is-marijuana-illegal/
Its Not the Marijuana but the Prohibition That Fuels Crime. MMP. 2014. Web. 5 December
http://www.mpp.org/media/op-eds/its-not-the-marijuana-but.html
10,000-Year History of Marijuana Use In the World. Advanced Holistic Health. Web. 5
December 2014
http://www.advancedholistichealth.org/history.html
The Hemp Decorticator. Kannaway Magazine. 5 June 2014. Web. 6 December 2014
http://kannaway.com/magazine/history-of-hemp/hemp-decorticator/
Should Marijuana Be A Medical Option?. ProCon. 2014. Web. 6 December 2014
http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/
Still Believe Nature Got It Wrong?. Top Ten Health Benefits of Marijuana. True Activist.
2013. Web. 6 December 2014
http://www.trueactivist.com/still-believe-nature-got-it-wrong-top-10-health-benefits-ofmarijuana/
Chemotherapy Side Effects Series. National Care Institute. 3 October 2014. Web. 6 December
2014
http://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/chemo-side-effects