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Legalization of Marijuana in the United States (Essay Sample)


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Legalization of Marijuana has been a topic of debate in the United States for a long time.


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Legalization of Marijuana
Legalization of Marijuana has been a topic of debate in the United States for a long time. Proponents and opponents of marijuana legalization raise valid arguments in support of their position, hence the long-standing debate. The basis of most arguments lies on the health effects of marijuana use, with opponents citing negative health effects and proponents citing pain relief and other positive effects. Having all the facts right would ensure that policy on marijuana production, distribution, and use is based on evidence rather than just a general moral stand on the issue. One fact for sure is that cigarettes and alcohol are harmful to our health, yet these substances are legal as long as an individual is within the legal age of twenty-one years. As such, marijuana should be legalized because denying adults the right to use it, whether for recreational or medical purposes, is unconstitutional. Marijuana legalization is more of a moral rather than a legal issue and as Caulkins, Kilmer and Kleiman (27) reveal, people are more concerned about whether it is right or wrong to uses a substance that changes the mind to create that feeling of relaxation. Legalizing marijuana use would ensure that people who feel that it is right to consume marijuana are not denied that right and those who feel that it is wrong do not project their opinion on others.
In fact, I agree with the allegation that the United States government is denying the public the right to pursue happiness as prescribed by the first amendment. Personal liberty is an integral part of the first amendment (Bollinger and Stone 60), and personal liberty entails doing what one pleases without restrictions from others, including the government. The use of marijuana has been associated with stress, anxiety and depression relief among other benefits (Keyhani, Steigerwald and Ishida 5). All these conditions may influence an individual’s ability to lead a happy and fulfilling life and if marijuana use can give them the opportunity to lead happy lives, it should not be restricted, not even by the government. In addition, marijuana, unlike other controlled substances, has never resulted in the death of the user and as such, it is unfair to put it under the same category.
In addition, legalization of marijuana would ensure that marijuana arrests are not racially prejudiced. There have been concerns that there are unfair marijuana arrests on people of color. This is why the New York State introduced the Fairness and Equity Act to decriminalize personal possession of marijuana to

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