Essay: The Debate Over the Legalization of Marijuana

At the present moment marijuana is one of the most popular light drugs in the world. Debates about the legalization of marijuana have lasted in the USA for many years.

There are proponents of legalization who give convincing arguments about medical use of marijuana, possible profit from taxation and other reasons. Opponents of the legalization also hold strong position. The question of marijuana legalization has moral, political, social and religious aspects. Different social and state organizations, same as political powers, often speculate on this issue.

Marijuana has a long history. This drug was used in ancient China and India. In both countries marijuana was used for religious practices and as a means to reach euphoria state. In both, China and India, people treated marijuana with great respect for its qualities to provoke changed state of consciousness. In India it was even called “the giver of life” for its qualities. From India marijuana was delivered to Middle East and Africa. For long time marijuana was in legal use in Islamic states where even alcohol has been prohibited. In the fifth century this plant got to Europe but did not get popularity till the eighteenth century. Starting from the middle of the nineteenth century marijuana was listed as a medicine. It was estimated for its ability to relieve pain and was prescribed to treat nausea, rheumatism pains and some other diseases. In 1930 marijuana got the status of dangerous drug and was prohibited for medical use by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Marijuana was recognized as a strong drug and occupied same position as opium or heroine. In 1937 the Marijuana Tax Law was introduced but it provoked great debates later because it was hard to follow. In 1972 Richard Nixon initiated anti-drug war aiming to reduce the use of drugs in the recreational purposes. In 1975 Mexica joined the program aiming to stop producing marijuana. This decision had a great impact on the U.S. since most of marijuana was brought to the United States from Mexica. Bush and Reagan supported anti-drug initiative and took active part in anti-drug war.

In general, attitude to medical use of marijuana differs in different countries. At the present moment government of the U.S. takes active anti-drug position trying to exclude drugs from areas of life. The prohibition of marijuana is widespread to all spheres of life, including medicine. At the present moment growing, saving, selling of using marijuana is illegal. Different means, such as penalties, propaganda and fines are directed by the Federal Government in order to prevent the use of marijuana by the citizens of the country. It is evident that changes in the attitude to marijuana are necessary. The position of the government which had existed till present moment proves its ineffectiveness and even harmfulness and only reviewing anti-marijuana policy of the country can help to correct the situation.

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