Commonly known as marijuana, Cannabis Sativa, a natural herb, is also known as ganja, Mary Jane and hemp and a wide variety of slang words. The herb can be grown and cultivated in two forms; hemp (industrial) and marijuana (psychoactive drug THC). Cannabis has endured a long controversial history ranging from the first attempts by state and federal governments to limit the access to marijuana in the early 1900's to the complete criminalization of Cannabis Sativa, labeling the herb a Schedule I drug in compliance with the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. The U.S. Federal Government is infringing on people's freedom of choice, enabling economical progression, and depleting nature's raw materials with the prohibition of Cannabis Sativa. .
The American government is infringing on the American people's right to freedom by blocking their right in choosing to use a natural-growing herb like marijuana. Cannabis Sativa, alcohol, and tobacco all have been linked to: the term "gateway " drug, mind alterations leading to cognitive impairments, and health issues. Cannabis Sativa is the only one that has the potential to produce medical, industrial, economical, and environmental benefits, however, out of the three it is the only one that is illegal. Cannabis and alcohol both alter a person's mind causing cognitive and psychological impairments, however, the consumption of alcohol claims more lives a year than smoking marijuana. .
The War on Drugs, gangs, and cartels claim thousands of lives a year in the international black market demand for marijuana. However, these deaths are due to the effects of intimidation, high demand, and greed, not as a result of the effects of smoking marijuana. The 2011 FARS data report generated by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recorded 9,878 people including 226 children perished as a result of drunk driving or some other alcohol related incident, averaging out to roughly one person every 53 minutes (MADD, 2013).