AntiLegalization Thesis Essay Research Paper Ben EvenchikLegalization — страница 2

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death( But does the fact that a drug is simply “safe” enough validation for it to be allowed in a given society? Marijuana has been deemed illegal in many countries, including America. Much has been done recently to try and challenge the prohibition of marijuana in the United States, but the law has remained unchanged since 1977 (Smith, 1992). Though there are many reasons, some of them incredibly convincing, that do indeed advocate the legalization of marijuana, there are many more contrary reasons that support the continuation of cannabis prohibition. It will be proved through this paper that the legalization of marijuana will inevitably lead to the deterioration of many aspects of society, including but

not limited to, an increase in violence and crime, a drop in education, a decrease in the natural ambition of the population, and a m lange of other social and personal pathologies. In the Netherlands, there exists a very interesting city that has fully decriminalized the use and sale of marijuana. This city, Amsterdam, has laws that make it completely legal for one to purchase marijuana from a “coffee shop” (though the shop does indeed sell coffee, it would be more aptly named a “marijuana shop”). The legislative basis for this extreme drug policy lies in the Opium Act, as amended in 1976 (Leuw & Marshall, 1994). Great numbers of events led up to the ratification of the Opium Act including a student riot in 1966 in which excessive force by the police was used. The

police brutality outraged the entire city, which in turn forced the police to adopt a more relaxed stance on all social issues, ranging from the peace movement to drug use. This led to a policy of de-emphasizing marijuana possession arrests. Later, the Dutch government appointed a Working Party on Drugs (WPD) whose job it was to assess the drug problem in Amsterdam and make various decisions regarding drug law. Throughout the 4 years between its formation and the ratification of the Opium Act, the WPD concluded that drugs should fall into one of two “schedules”. Schedule I drugs would include drugs that presented “unacceptable risks” such as heroin, crack, ect. Schedule II drugs included marijuana and hashish; those drugs deemed to be “safe” for decriminalization

(Leuw & Marshall, 1994). Thus, marijuana has been decriminalized in Amsterdam for over 25 years. The fact that cannabis has been legalized in Amsterdam for so many years serves as an excellent illustration of what will happen to a society that changes from a traditionally, strict drug law system to one that takes a very lax and lenient stance. When one argues against the legalization of a drug, one must prove how that drug affects individuals in such a way that it would ultimately be detrimental to an entire society. Marijuana is derived from the cannabis sativa plant and, when smoked, provides sensations of intoxication and pleasure. The active chemical in marijuana that provokes these euphoric feelings is a compound called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (Smith, 1992).

Different strains of marijuana contain different levels of THC, with the percent of THC directly proportional to the absolute potency of the drug (ie. The more THC there is, the stronger the effects will be). The actual psychological effects of smoking marijuana include, among other effects, intense feelings of euphoria, an unquenchable hunger for food (known to users as “the munchies”), a lowered level of ambition and drive, and a decreased awareness of time ( Fatigue, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth (”cotton mouth”), and difficulties in operating machinery (driving a car) include some of the physiological effects of marijuana usage ( These sensations can last anywhere between two and six hours after the initial “hit”, depending on

the potency of the drug ( If marijuana were ever to be legalized in America, society would undoubtedly see a dramatic increase in the number of accidents and casualties resulting from operating machinery when “high”, especially on the road. A drug that not only makes one less aware of one’s surroundings, but also has a duration of two to six hours is especially dangerous. With alcohol, most people are still able to drive efficiently after one or two drinks. Just one “joint” of marijuana however, is enough for a group of people to get “high”. Consequently, after one smokes a “joint”, he/she should be technically bounded to the home for six hours until the effects of the drug fully wear off or else endanger the lives of others by picking up